‘Trying To Stay Positive,’ Sacco Biding His Time With Mind Control, Joevia

More than 400 horses appeared on the Belmont Park work tab on a busy Saturday morning including Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables’ Mind Control, who covered a half-mile in 49 flat on the Elmont, N.Y., track’s dirt training surface.

Trained by Gregg Sacco, Mind Control is a dual Grade 1-winner on the New York Racing Association (NYRA) circuit. The 4-year-old Stay Thirsty colt’s ledger includes a pair of Grade 1 wins at Saratoga Race Course, beginning with the Grade 1 Hopeful as a juvenile and the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens in August.

Live racing on the NYRA circuit is currently on hold due to changing circumstances in the racing community relative to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but more than 1,300 horses continue to train at Belmont Park.

Mind Control has breezed every seven days dating back to March 21 following his Grade 3 Tom Fool score on March 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

“We’re keeping him on a weekly schedule right now,” said Sacco. “We may skip a week here and there while waiting for a schedule from NYRA. We’re pleased with how Mind Control is doing. I’m also pleased with the how the training track was this morning at Belmont. The track is in excellent shape right now.”

The veteran conditioner said he had considered shipping the colt to Oaklawn Park for the Grade 3, $350,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up slated for April 18 at Oaklawn Park, but is now charting a course to Grade 1 sprint races at Saratoga Race Course.

“We considered the Count Fleet, but we can’t ship our help and he’s not the easiest horse to handle,” said Sacco. “It’s a long year. We’re going to ride out the virus and look at longer term goals at Saratoga like the Vanderbilt and the Forego.”

Jeff Fazio and Michael Fazio’s stakes winner Joevia posted his first breeze back since a successful ‘Llewellyn’ surgery for a displaced palate following an off-the-board finish in the Stymie on March 7 at the Big A, covering three furlongs in 35.91 on the Belmont Park dirt training track.

Third in last year’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, the Stymie was the son of Shanghai Bobby’s second uncharacteristic performance of the year after finishing 11th in the Grade 3 Razorback at Oaklawn Park in February.

“It was a little faster than I wanted, but he did it very easy,” said Sacco of the breeze. “We scoped him after the work and everything was good. He missed a few weeks and was a little heavy, but I just wanted to let him stretch his legs. Hopefully, he’s over the breathing issue that hurt him his last two starts.”

Sacco is maintaining a positive attitude while waiting for a return to live racing in New York.

“Hopefully we can get Joevia back on track and find an allowance spot for him when Belmont opens back up,” said Sacco. “We’re trying to stay positive and be realistic about our goals.”

The post ‘Trying To Stay Positive,’ Sacco Biding His Time With Mind Control, Joevia appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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