March 27, 2023

Olympiad, Miles D highlight competitive Mineshaft

Midcourt wins the Native Diver S. 2019
Midcourt, shown winning the 2019 Native Diver S., is one of five horses shipping in for Saturday's Mineshaft S. (Benoit Photo)

Following an allowance romp at Gulfstream Park, Olympiad will invade Fair Grounds for a nice renewal of Saturday’s $250,000 Mineshaft S. (G3). Bettors have options in the 11-horse field, and the 1 1/16-mile event is one of six stakes on Saturday’s 14-race “Louisiana Derby Preview Day” program.

Olympiad, who has been installed as a slight 3-1 morning line favorite, will make his second stakes attempt, finishing fourth in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct in early December. The four-year-old colt has registered triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings in his last two outings, and Junior Alvarado will be in to ride the son of Speightstown for Bill Mott.

Miles D, another promising four-year-old eligible to make a significant impact in the graded ranks, comes next on the morning line at 7-2. Third in the Travers S. (G1) in his lone graded appearance, the Curlin colt exits an encouraging half-length score over Speaker’s Corner in the Nov. 27 Discovery S. at Aqueduct. Jose Ortiz will be up for Chad Brown.

Untreated will return to stakes competition for Todd Pletcher after recording a pair of allowance triumphs at Aqueduct late last year. A winner in three of his last four starts, the four-year-old Nyquist colt has been pegged at 9-2 for his second stakes try, and Luis Saez will be up.

Happy American, a nose second when making his stakes debut in the Dec. 26 Tenacious S. at Fair Grounds, has upside for Neil Pessin, and multiple graded stakes victor Midcourt ships in from Southern California for John Shirreffs. They’re listed at 6-1 and 8-1, respectively, on the morning line.

O Besos, who returned from a lengthy freshening to capture a recent allowance, is another runner of note, winning 3-of-5 starts at the New Orleans oval, and the deep field also includes graded winners Silver Prospector, Sprawl, and Title Ready.