Mineshaft Drills Toward Stephen Foster

Edited Release from Churchill Downs

Mineshaft, the likely favorite for the $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on June 14, worked a strong six furlongs over a wet track Tuesday at Churchill Downs. The homebred son of A.P. Indy covered the distance over "sloppy" footing in 1:14 under exercise rider Annie Finney.

"He went great and I couldn't have been happier with him," said Neil Howard, who conditions the grade I winner for William S. Farish. "He always has a great turn of foot, but he really showed me something at the end today."

Mineshaft won the Pimlico Special (gr. I) in his first race over "sloppy" going and Howard said he had no concerns about working him over a wet Churchill Downs surface. The colt worked just after the mid-session break for track maintenance.

"I had no concerns about the track whatsoever," said Howard. "Butch (Track superintendent Butch Lehr) had sealed the track overnight in anticipation of the rain and it had a great bottom."

Howard said Mineshaft would have one more work, probably on Monday or Tuesday of next week, before the 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster the following Saturday.

Other Stephen Foster candidates on the track on Tuesday included Proud Citizen and Full Mandate.

Proud Citizen, runner-up in the 2002 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The work by the son of Gone West, fourth in the recent Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park, ranked second among 17 at the distance. Fog City Stable and Padua Stable's Full Mandate, the Steve Asmussen-trained winner of the Black Tie Affair Stakes at Arlington Park, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.