Last seen rallying to a minor award behind Drefong in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), New York shipper Mind Your Biscuits complimented the presumptive champion by annexing Monday’s $301,380 Malibu (G1) in his return trip to Santa Anita. In the process, he handed young trainer Robert Falcone Jr. his first Grade 1 victory.
Mind Your Biscuits, who also furnished Falcone with his only prior graded score in the Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga, benefited from the added ground on offer in the seven-furlong Malibu. Jockey Joel Rosario had him well placed in a ground-saving spot just off the contested pace, in striking range. After Jazzy Times reeled off an opening quarter in :22.16 on the fast track, his nemesis Sharp Azteca put a head in front at the half-mile split in :43.80, and tried to open up entering the stretch.
But Mind Your Biscuits, now angled out into the clear, took aim and proved relentless. Wearing down the leader in the final yards, the Posse colt prevailed by a half-length in a time of 1:20.81. The 7-2 second choice returned $9.40 to win.
“It’s worth the trip – not a bad afternoon,” said Rosario, who earlier guided Bettys Bambino to a comeback victory in the San Simeon (G3). “It is always fun coming out here. I was a little concerned in the stretch. We were closer than we have ever been before. They were smoking up front. We got a little late kick and he took off.”
The 4-1 Sharp Azteca dug in resiliently while holding second, 2 1/4 lengths clear of 8-5 favorite Ten Blessings.
“I think there was quite a bit of speed in that race,” Sharp Azteca’s rider, Edgard Zayas, said. “I let the horse go for a bit on the lead but I didn’t just want to give it to him so I had to put the pressure on a bit but that horse finished really strong. He’s a really nice horse and my horse ran his eyeballs out. I felt that he tried his hardest.”
Ten Blessings, a son of dual Eclipse champion and 2008 La Brea (G1) queen Indian Blessing, fared best of Bob Baffert’s trio in third.
“We got a good trip,” jockey Rafael Bejarano said of Ten Blessings, “and we were in a good position at the three-eighths pole. We kept running, but they were really running up front. They did 1:20 and we would have had to run 1:19 to beat them.”
Stablemate Mor Spirit, unraced since his 10th in the Kentucky Derby (G1), closed for fourth over a trip much too short for him. This should set Mor Spirit up well for his subsequent stretch-out.
“He got knocked around a little bit leaving the chute, then after that it was hard to catch them,” Hall of Famer Mike Smith recapped. “He kept coming, but they didn’t stop. He’ll get a lot out of that.”
Baffert’s third runner, early pacesetter Jazzy Times, faded to last.
Mind Your Biscuits, third home in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, will soon be awarded second upon the impending disqualification of runner-up Masochistic (for testing positive for stanozolol). His other stakes credits include seconds in the Gallant Bob (G3) and Mike Lee, and a third in last year’s New York Breeders’ Futurity for original trainer Rudy Rodriguez. Campaigned by J Stables, Head of Plains Partners, Summers, Kisber et al, Mind Your Biscuits has compiled a record of 13-4-4-3, $675,366.
“This is great for him,” said Falcone, who took over the colt’s training in advance of his breakout 2016. “He bounced out of the Breeders’ Cup great, and he gets over the track so well. He just proved today, again, that he’s a great horse. He’s a real nice horse. It feels great.”
Bred by Jumping Jack Racing in the Empire State, Mind Your Biscuits was a $47,000 Keeneland January yearling who RNA’d for the exact same price that summer at Fasig-Tipton’s New York-bred sale, and as an OBS April two-year-old. He was produced by the Toccet mare Jazzmane, an unraced half-sister to Canadian champion filly Kimchi.
As a pedigree footnote, Mind Your Biscuits’ sire and broodmare sire raced against each other in the 2003 Malibu, where they were both unplaced. Posse was seventh, Toccet 11th.