By Emily Shields
The come backing Mind Control makes his return to the races on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York in the $150,000 Toboggan Stakes for older sprinters. The seven-furlong contest drew nine, with Mind Control the big name amongst some quick rivals.
The son of Stay Thirsty is trained by Greg Sacco, and was last seen winning the H. Allen Jerkens (G1) at Saratoga in August. He was also a grade 1 winner at two, but has been off since then. He returned to the worktab on November 17 and has been working consistently since, with a Christmas Eve bullet five furlongs to his credit prior to this. Mind Control, who will be ridden by John Velazquez, has won half his ten starts for earnings over $800,000.
Tough gelding T Loves a Fight was second in the Say Florida Sandy on January 11 and is back quickly for this. Orlando Noda trains the six-year-old gelding by Girolamo, who has won 11 of 37 starts with 21 top three finishes. He has won three of 12 starts here with seven top three efforts. He is seeking his first graded win in this.
Sunny Ridge drew the rail. The son of Holy Bull is winless in five starts here, but is coming off a stakes win at Laurel Park November 30. Jason Servis trains the seven-year-old gelding, who will have Jose Lezcano on board. He backs up to a seven-furlong distance that he has never tried before; he hasn’t run less than a mile since 2015.
American Anthem makes his first start for the Danny Gargan barn after spending most of his career with Bob Baffert and then making one start for Rodolphe Brisset. The son of Bodemeister, now six, has earned over $775,000 with a grade 2 win at Belmont Park in 2017 and a grade 2 win at Santa Anita in 2018. He was grade 2 placed last year, but hasn’t won since July.
Nicodemus rounds out the top contenders. The son of Candy Ride (Arg) is a five-year-old entire for trainer Linda Rice. Kendrick Carmouche will ride for the first time. This lightly-raced horse has only ten starts but three wins, including the grade 3 Westchester across town last May. He returned to the races off a five-month layoff last out in the Cigar Mile (G1), a tough spot but he should move forward here today.
Arch Cat, Bon Raison, Still Having Fun, and The Sicarii round out the field. Watch the Toboggan Stakes live on TVG.
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