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Breeders' Cup 2017

Mark Valeski Prepares for Mineshaft

Mark Valeski (no. 5), ridden by Rosie Napravnik and trained by J. Larry Jones, wins the 58th running of the grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes for three year olds on May 12, 2012 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)
Brereton Jones’s Mark Valeski, winner of Belmont’s Grade II Peter Pan last summer and runner-up in last year’s Grade II Louisiana Derby and Grade II Risen Star Stakes, breezed five furlongs last Sunday in 1:00.20 in preparation for the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap as part of Louisiana Derby Preview Day Presented by Lamarque Ford Feb. 23 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

 

The Mineshaft ’Cap is Fair Grounds’ designed prep for the Grade II New Orleans Handicap, showcase race for older horses on the main track that will be run on Louisiana Derby Day March 30.

 

“That was a pretty good work for Mark Valeski,” trainer Larry Jones said during training hours on Mardi Gras morning at Fair Grounds. “He’s really never been much of a work horse but he surprised me a little bit in that work. He actually galloped out on his own.

 

“Rosie (Napravnik) was up for the work,” Jones said speaking of Fair Grounds’ two-time defending jockey champion. “She came back and said he (Mark Valeski) did it all on his own and it surprised her a little bit. Usually I don’t even have to be up on my pony when Mark works because he just eases up when it’s over. When she went by me on the pony I just let her keep going, but when it  looked like she was having a  little trouble pulling him up I started to think I should have gone after her to help pull him up, but she was able to handle him just like always. But she did say he surprised her a little bit, too.”

 

 

 

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Cool Street longshot
Mark Valeski zipped 5f in a bullet :59 (1/64) at Fair Grounds on 2-17.

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