Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out 5-2 morning-line favorite Balto Star, who along with Bonapaw should provide a lively pace.Louisiana Handicap winner Connected; Discreet Hero, third in the Diplomat Way; Louisiana Derby runner-up Easyfromthegitgo; California shipper Lord Jim; Deferred Comp and Fighting Indians round out the field.
Mineshaft brings a three-race winning streak into Sunday's Fair Grounds feature race, the $125,000 Whirlaway Handicap (gr. III). The son of A.P. Indy will face eight rivals in the 1 1/16-mile test for older horses.Mineshaft won one of seven races in Europe before coming to America last fall. Since then, William Farish, James Elkins and Temple Webber's Mineshaft has won two allowance races and the Diplomat Way Stakes in his last three outings and is undefeated in North America. In his lone prior attempt in graded or group company, Mineshaft finished third in the Prix Daphnis (Fr-III).While Mineshaft enters the race the winner of three consecutive races, Bonapaw is coming into the Whirlaway with a three-race losing streak, including a poor showing in the six-furlong Colonel Power Handicap.