June 22, 2024

Maxfield launches four-year-old campaign in Mineshaft; Factor This defends title in Fair Grounds

Maxfield wins the Tenacious Stakes (Hodges Photography)

Mineshaft S. (G3) — Race 10 (5:44 p.m. ET)

Restricted to just four starts over two seasons so far due to various infirmities, the undefeated Maxfield will look to use Saturday’s $200,000 Mineshaft S. (G3) at Fair Grounds as a launching pad to a complete campaign.

Although reportedly coming down with an illness following an eye-catching return to action in the Dec. 19 Tenacious S., the Grade 1-winning Godolphin homebred figures to be a strong favorite in the 1 1/16-mile test, which attracted a short field.

The other key contenders are the 2020 Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Wells Bayou, who was likely in need of a tightener in last month’s Louisiana S. (G3) after chasing pacesetter Blackberry Wine. The latter could be the one to catch, though, if Wells Bayou opts instead for Saturday’s Razorback H. (G3) at Oaklawn.

Enforceable has done his best running at Fair Grounds, capturing the 2020 Lecomte (G3) and a second-level allowance by eight lengths most recently. The multiple graded-placed Chess Chief handed Enforceable a defeat in his most recent start on Dec. 18 in a track-and-distance allowance.

The field is rounded out by Sonneman and Dinar, who filled out the second and third slots behind Maxfield in the Tenacious.

Factor This wired the Muniz Memorial Classic in course-record time at Fair Grounds (Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

Fair Grounds S. (G3) — Race 11 (6:16 p.m. ET)

Factor This, whose 2020 campaign included four graded stakes wins, will look to end a recent slump in a title defense of the $150,000 Fair Grounds S. (G3) over 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Following his one-length upset victory in last year’s Fair Grounds, the Brad Cox trainee was a more convincing winner of the Muniz Memorial (G2) over the same course and distance and later added the Wise Dan (G2) and Dinner Party (G2). However, the six-year-old retreated to eighth in both the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and Ft. Lauderdale (G2) in his last two.

Logical Myth is another horse-for-the-course with five wins in six attempts on the local lawn. He’s captured both open stakes so far during the 2020-21 winter meet, the Diliberto Memorial and Colonel E.R. Bradley S.

An intriguing contender making only his second U.S. appearance is Danceteria. A Group 1 winner in Germany in 2019 after running a respectable fourth behind Enable in the Eclipse S. (G1) at Sandown, Danceteria found his way to America after an unsuccessful six-race stint in Australia. His debut for Graham Motion was solid, a second-place finish in a Jan. 13 allowance at Gulfstream.

Albert M. Stall Memorial — Race 9 (5:13 p.m. ET)

Four of the top five finishers from the Jan. 16 Marie G. Krantz Memorial returns for the $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial, including race winner Secret Message, who led Room to Finish across the wire by 1 1/4 lengths with Xanthique and race favorite Dalika farther back.

Also entered in the 1 1/16-mile grass test for fillies and mares is the stakes-placed Florida shipper Tuned and Pass the Plate, last-out winner of the Pago Hop S. for three-year-olds in late December.

Colonel Power S. — Race 7 (4:11 p.m. ET)

An impressive last-to-first winner of the Duncan F. Kenner S. last month in his turf debut, Manny Wah will not be as overlooked in the $100,000 Colonel Power S., which will be run over the same 5 1/2-furlong distance. Sent off at 12-1, Manny Wah won going away by 1 1/4 lengths over Just Might, who returns here as does beaten Kenner favorite Archidust.

Favoritism, however, potentially will fall on Turned Aside, who landed the Quick Call (G3) and Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship last season. Extravagant Kid, narrowly beaten in his last five outings including the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), also figures to attract significant support.