Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stable’s Mind Control led at every call en route to a 1 1/2-length victory in the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct on January 1. The bay sophomore picked up 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby in securing his second stakes triumph.
Mind Control is trained by Gregory Sacco and made big noise as a juvenile. The son of Stay Thirsty was a sharp maiden winner at Monmouth Park second time out and followed up his graduation run with a wire-to-wire tally in the historic Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. He concluded his two-year-old campaign with a seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs after a slow start.
The colt was bred in the Bluegrass State by his part-owners, Red Oak Stable. He is by Stay Thirsty, who is best known for winning the 2011 Travers Stakes (G1) and 2012 Cigar Mile Handicap (G1). Stay Thirsty, himself a son of Bernardini, is responsible for at least eight stakes winners and his progeny have banked in excess of $9 million from four crops to date.
Mind Control is the first stakes winner produced from the stakes-winning Lightnin N Thunder mare Feel That Fire, who is also responsible for an unraced two-year-old filly by Bodemeister named My Gift From Above. Feel That Fire counts herself a full sister to stakes victress Ima Jersey Girl.
Lightnin N Thunder has yet to distinguish himself as a broodmare sire. His daughters have produced just a trio of black-type winners to date, with earnings exceeding $2.1 million.
Mind Control is obviously a very talented colt with a bright future. He earned a lifetime-best 96 BRIS Speed figure in his three-year-old debut, which also included a strong 105 BRIS Late Pace number.
His sire, Stay Thirsty, has had most of his success at stud with sprinter/miler types, and his female family is laced with speed throughout, as well. This is not a catalog page that screams Classic distances.
Mind Control will have to overcome some obstacles to become a prominent horse on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. First, he must get faster to compete with the best in his crop. Second, it is likely the colt will have to prove capable of winning from off the pace. He led at every call in each of his last two victories. Finally, the bay will have to outrun his pedigree.
PHOTO: Mind Control and jockey John Velazquez win the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct on New Year’s Day, 2019 (c) NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand