DQ Elevates Mind Control To Repeat Win in Parx Dirt Mile

by Tom Law/Parx Racing

Mind Control needed a call from the stewards stand but successfully defended his title in the $200,000 Parx Dirt Mile to kick off the open stakes portion of the betPARX Pennsylvania Derby Day card Saturday at Parx Racing.

Second and a neck behind Far Mo Power at the finish, Mind Control and jockey John Velazquez were elevated to first because of interference in the stretch. Far Mo Power and jockey Dexter Haddock were placed second.

Mind Control won last year’s Parx Dirt Mile with a similar prolonged stretch battle, prevailing at the finish by a head over Silver State for one of two victories on the season. He improved to 2-for-5 in 2022 with this year’s Parx Dirt Mile for trainer Todd Pletcher and owners Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables.

Far No Power took the early initiative and led Mind Control into the first turn and to the backstretch, holding a half-length lead through splits of :24.06 and :47.54. Velazquez edged Mind Control closer around the far turn and they were just a head back through 6 furlongs in 1:11.50. Mind Control and Far Mo Power raced side-by-side into the lane, with the latter coming a few paths off the inside as the former took the lead.

Mind Control took the lead briefly in the lane before losing it again when brushed by Far Mo Power, who hit the finish in 1:36.59. Dontmesawithme, the second longest shot on the board at 30-1, finished 11 3/4 lengths back in third. New Commission, Derby House, Too Boss, and Milton the Monster completed the field.

Mind Control, a 6-year-old son of Stay Thirsty out of Feel That Fire, by Lightinin N Thunder, improved to 11-for-28 in his career and boosted his earnings to $1,773,334.

Winning assistant trainer Byron Hughes: “He’s been a pleasure to train, such a fighter. You hook him up down the stretch and he’s going to give you everything he’s got. He’s just fun to be around. I saw that second bump that he got there near the wire, he really lost his momentum. Just showing that he fought back and only got beat a little at the wire shows that he really did lose momentum.”

Winning jockey John Velazquez: I had a good trip until that moment at the top of the stretch. My horse is a fighter but when he came out and touched him, I was OK, but he got a little intimidated, but my horse got head and head with him again. Then I thought, ‘I got him.’ Then at the sixteenth pole he hit him back left-handed and he touched him, kind of got him off balance. That really got my horse intimidated and off balance and I couldn’t get back on it. I came out running.

“I wanted to be at least 1-2 the first part of the race. I rode the race before and obviously the horse went to the lead real easy and I couldn’t go by. So I said let me come out running, get a good position where I’m close to the lead.

“He’s such a nice horse. He gives you everything whenever he can. When he gets in a good position and he’s fighting, that’s when he does his best.”

Trainer Louis Linder Jr. (Far Mo Power, second): “It was a great effort, and I expected the effort. I figured he’d show up and run big today. That’s horse racing. It hurts, but we’ll live to fight another day. From the minute this horse has been in the barn I knew he was special. The more distance, the better he was getting, so I was really pleased.”

Jockey Dexter Haddock (Far Mo Power, second): “He (Mind Control) was coming right. I don’t know. My horse tried hard. I am sad. I get on him in the morning every day. I am sad for me; I am sad for the trainer. No, I don’t agree with the decision.”

The post DQ Elevates Mind Control To Repeat Win in Parx Dirt Mile appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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