Mineshaft turned in brilliant six-furlong workout for trainer Neil Howard Sunday at Churchill Downs.The time, 1:13.80 on a fast track, wasn't as important to Howard as the way he did it. The A.P. Indy colt, who is owned by William S. Farish, Temple Webber, Jr. and James Elkins, was timed by Howard in furlong fractions of 13.60, 26.60, 39.20, 51.60, and 1:03. A quick check of the math indicates that Mineshaft completed his final eighth of a mile in a sizzling 10.40 and he then galloped out seven furlongs under Finney in 1:27.20.
"It was excellent," Howard said. "It was fantastic. It was just what we were looking for. It was a nice, handy work, but he finished up strong and just did it so well within himself. He looked like Ipi Tombe."
The breeze was the colt's last serious prep for a date in the $500,000 Suburban (gr. I) on July 5 at Belmont Park, which will be his first race since a narrow loss to Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift in the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The loss in the Stephen Foster snapped a string of three consecutive stakes victories for Mineshaft, with the most recent being the Pimlico Special (gr. I).
Howard said the colt has done well since his setback in the Stephen Foster and he is anxious to see Mineshaft in competition again in the Suburban.
"I'm looking forward to it and I'm excited," said Howard. "He's going to run good, he always does. They're not going to win every time, I don't care what happens or who you are."