Exotics plays for the 2022 Mineshaft Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

February 17th, 2022

A strong field of 11 will go 1 1/16 miles on the Fair Grounds main strip in Saturday’s $250,000 Mineshaft S. (G3).

The lightly raced #5 Miles D (7-2) has never run a bad race in his lifetime for conditioner Chad Brown, and I will tab the talented bay to notch his first graded stakes victory in this competitive field.

By Curlin, the colt compiled a 5-3-1-1 mark in 2021, which included a win in the Discovery S. and a third-place result in the Travers S. (G1). The four-year-old is not especially swift early on, but he does own a measure of tactical speed, and his turn of foot will be difficult to hold off in his seasonal bow.

Miles D has been training especially well in advance of this tilt, and I expect him to move to the fore in midstretch under the guidance of Jose Oritz. He seems poised to have a big 2022 campaign.

Bill Mott’s #4 Olympiad (3-1) is a must use on this occasion. The expensive son of Speightstown rolled home a facile allowance winner at Gulfstream Park in his first try of 2022, which followed a troubled fourth-place finish in the Cigar Mile (G1) to cap his three-year-old season. The bay possesses speed and versatility, and he has a lot of room for improvement with just six lifetime races under his belt to date. Junior Alvarado has the assignment.

#2 Silver Prospector (15-1) is winless dating back to 2020, but I like his chances to make a run and pick up a minor award in his second try at Fair Grounds. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the exotics contender has the right running style to get the jump on the multiple one-run closing types in the field, and he has room to move forward in just his second performance off a long absence. Joel Rosario riding the stalker adds to his intrigue as a value option.

I am not fond of the win chances for #8 O Besos (6-1) or #9 Happy American (6-1), but I will be using each of that pair in the lower rungs of the exotics. Both of the aforementioned contenders will be rolling home in the stretch behind a lively early tempo.

Mineshaft exotics wagers

  • $20 exacta 5 with 4 ($20)
  • $5 exacta 5 with 2, 8, 9 ($12)
  • $1 trifecta 5 with 2, 4, 8, 9 ($12)
  • 50-cent superfecta 4, 5 with 4, 5 with 2, 8, 9 with 2, 8, 9 ($6)