Our Minesweeper Shocks Handicappers In Oakland

Our Minesweeper Shocks Handicappers In Oakland

     Our Minesweeper, the longest shot in the field at odds of 19-to-1, rallied from last to post a shocking upset in the $55,100 Oakland Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.

     Our Minesweeper defeated a very game Restless Youth by one length in the six-furlong sprint while clocking an impressive time of 1:08.84.  Live Sundays finished third, three lengths behind Restless Youth and a length in front of 9-to-5 favorite Silver Stetson Man.
     Our Minesweeper had finished ahead of just one horse in his previous two races and was making his first start since May 15, when he was beaten 25 1/2 lengths in the Alcatraz Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile turf event.  Our Minesweeper had trained very well for the Oakland, however, and his work tab included a quick half-mile move in :45 4/5 on
Oct. 16.

     Trainer Michael Lenzini said the key to Our Minesweeper’s big performance Saturday was getting him to relax while running inside of horses.

     “In the past, this horse hated the rail, so every time I worked him for this race I put him on the rail with another horse outside of him until he finally got it,” said Lenzini.  “He stayed right on the rail in this race and then came through like it was nothing.  He wouldn’t have been able to do that before.”

     Jockey Inoel Beato, who had never ridden Our Minesweeper in a race, put up a fine ride on the 3-year-old gelding in the Oakland.

     “Mr. Lenzini just told me to let him run his race,” said Beato.  “He said the horse doesn’t like it if you try to take a strong hold.  He relaxed great for me.  I just waited and once I asked him to make his move, that was it.”

     Our Minesweeper, a gray son of Cause Ur Mine, was bred in Idaho by his owners, Art and Betty Suitter.  The Oakland is the third stakes victory for Our Minesweeper, who has four wins in 12 career starts and $136,249 in earnings.

     The 7-year-old gelding Restless Youth, who battled on the lead with Summer Excess (who finished last) through an opening four furlongs in a sizzling :43.76, ran a huge race in defeat. 

     “Talk about a warrior,” said jockey Russell Baze of Restless Youth.  “He was just not going to give up.  He was still digging in and trying to come back on at the wire.  Roger [trainer Hansen] does a great job of keeping this guy so good.”

      Racing continues at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.  Post time is 12:45 p.m. and the track is offering fans $1 specials (general parking, general admission, programs, beers, hot dogs, and sodas all cost just a buck) and the opportunity to watch all the football action via the NFL Sunday Ticket.