stretched his winning streak to 4 as he lead the G2 New Orleans Handicap
field on a merry chase around the Fair Grounds oval in track-record time.
The dark bay son of Mineshaft, ridden by jockey Jesse Campbell, got the jump on the 8-horse field at the break and quickly outran favored Mission Impazible and Pants On Fire. Toby's Corner, making his second start off a long 10-month layoff, sat back in mid-pack with Fair Grounds favorite Mister Marti Gras. Nates Mineshaft burned through the first quarter in :23.2 and a half in :46.8. On the backstretch, Fast Alex made a move on the outside as well as Pants On Fire, but no one could get close to the pacesetter.
Mission Impazible looked to threaten as they thundered into the long homestretch, but Nates Mineshaft simply kicked into another gear, drawing off from the rest by 7 lengths. He hit the wire in a final time of 1:47.64, a new track record. Mission Impazible, the defending champ in the race, finished up second, and Toby's Corner closed for third.
Nates Mineshaft is owned by Windy Hill Farm and trained by Austin Smith. The five-year-old ridgling won the G3 Mineshaft Handicap in much the same fashion earlier this year, and will be a tough competitor in the older horse division in 2012.