Mineshaft Stakes Predictions, Odds, Picks (Fair Grounds)

Mineshaft Stakes Post Position and Odds

Odds for the race taken from TVG. If you’re looking for a great horse racing betting app then TVG betting might be the option for you.

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 SPRAWL 15/1
T Gaffalione T Drury
J Rosario S Asmussen
R Gutierrez D Stewart
J Alvarado W Mott
5 MILES D 3/1
J Ortiz C Brown
6 FORT PECK 20/1
R Vasquez R Diodoro
F Geroux J Shirreffs
8 O BESOS 6/1
B J Hernandez Jr G Foley
J Graham N Pessin
L Saez T Pletcher
J Loveberry W Catalano

Best Bets for the Mineshaft Stakes

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$10 Exacta Part Wheel – O Besos over Miles D, Olympiad and Silver Prospector = $30

$10 Exacta part wheel – Miles D, Olympiad and Silver Prospector over O Besos = $30

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick O Besos (6/1)

Mineshaft Stakes Predictions

Miles D and Olympiad, a pair of late-developing runners from high profile barns, will invade New Orleans as the top two choices in a deep field of older males set for Saturday’s Grade 3 Mineshaft Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Miles D comes into the Mineshaft with an identical 6-3-1-1 record as Olympiad but is already a stakes winner. Third in the Grade 1 Travers last August, he comes into Saturday’s test off consecutive wins in New York, accounting for a Belmont Park allowance race in October and Aqueduct’s Discovery Stakes in November. Trained by Chad Brown, the son of Curlin will be making his first start in three months.

Olympiad has yet to win a stakes race but looks primed to win one in the near future. A 4-year-old son of Speightstown, he made his stakes debut two starts back and finished a troubled fourth in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. Trained by Bill Mott, he returned to allowance company for his seasonal debut and romped home an easy winner at Gulfstream Park five weeks ago.

While the two favorites have never before raced at Fair Grounds, O Besos comes into the 1 1/16 mile test with plenty of experience over the local oval. A 4-year-old son of Orb, he has won 3-of-5 in New Orleans, including a hard-fought allowance race seven weeks ago. Last year, he finished third in the Louisiana Derby and fifth in the Kentucky Derby.

Mineshaft Stakes Predictions

Miles D

It’s hard to knock what this Chad Brown-trained runner has been able to do so far in his six-race career. A good third in the Grade 1 Travers behind the champion Essential Quality in only his fourth career start was proof of his class. He then followed that up with a pair of wins last fall in New York. Neither were spectacular, but they fit his grind-it-out type of running style. He has found a tough spot for his seasonal debut and his first race in almost three months, but anything less than another solid effort would be a bit of a surprise. I can’t say I like him best in this field, but he is certainly on a shortlist of most likely winners.


There is some other speed in the race, but I am not sure any of them have as much speed as this talented son of Speightstown. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, he never looked better than last time when he cruised to an impressive allowance victory at Gulfstream Park. The win five weeks ago should set him up perfectly for a second try in graded stakes company after having some trouble when a decent fourth in last fall’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile. I believe he has the class, having faced good horses his entire career. I am going with a little more value for my top pick, but this one looks like the one they all have to beat.


This son of Nyquist has flashed some serious potential in his short five-race career for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. He’s won three of the five nicely, including a good pair of allowance victories in New York late last year. Perhaps he wasn’t quite ready for his first graded stakes appearance, but his poor showing in the Grade 2 Blue Grass last spring is a concern. In fact, in both races which he did not win, he packed it in pretty badly. He is a danger, but moving up in class, I do not trust him yet in a tough race like this.

O Besos

It was nice to see this son of Orb return to the races last month and grind out a tough win at Fair Grounds in an allowance race. The win came after a seven-month layoff. While this test is obviously a much tougher race, the Greg Foley-trained runner already has proven his class by running well in a series of graded stakes races in the first half of last year. His rally to be third in the $1 million Louisiana Derby behind Hot Rod Charlie was an especially nice performance, and he backed it up with a solid run in the Kentucky Derby. It also demonstrates his fondness for this track where he has already won three times. It’s a deep field, but I think he has a big shot to pull off a minor upset. He is the top pick.

Happy American

This late running son of Runhappy made some real improvement last fall for trainer Neil Pessin. Having only a maiden win in his first eight starts, he rallied to win consecutive allowance races at Churchill Downs in October and November. Most recently, he came running once again and just missed by a nose in the Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds. Despite the 0-for-5 record at the New Orleans oval, it is clear that he has developed into a much better horse than when he was running there early in his career. He is a threat, but this looks like his toughest test yet, and I am not ready to back him against this bunch. He is eligible to prove me wrong, but I like several others better.


This 7-year-old gelding has some nice wins in his career while amassing over $600,000 in earnings. Unfortunately, it’s been just over two years since his last stakes win. He only made it to the races twice in 2021, winning an allowance race before being eased in the Grade 1 Awesome Again. Now he returns after another layoff, and it’s just very difficult to know what to expect. If he somehow can come back near his best, he is a legitimate threat, but considering all of the time off over the last year plus, I can’t recommend him in a pretty tough return spot.

Silver Prospector

A grade stakes winner at both 2 and 3, it has been a while since this gray son of the Declaration of War has found his way to the winner’s circle. Having said that, he only had four chances last year and did not run poorly. A wide trip probably cost him a better placing in a good field at Oaklawn Park in his return off the layoff last time. This time he will pick up the services of top rider Joel Rosario as he looks to improve in the second race back off the layoff. With plenty of horses to bet in here, he should offer solid value, and I do like both his running style and his back class. Of all the longshots, he is the one that most interests me.


This son of City Zip has good early zip to be involved on the pace right from the break, and with his rail draw, I would expect that to be the plan. He had a couple of nice wins last year, including in the Grade 3 West Virginia Governor’s Cup, but he has yet to be able to defeat a field this deep in his career. Every time he faces a really solid field like this, he has come up short. With a good trip, on or near the lead, he could be the type to stick around for a piece, but anything better than a bottom spot in the exotics would be a bit of a surprise.

Title Ready

This 7-year-old has faced plenty of strong competition over the years, and at his best, he can compete at this level. In fact, he won the Grade 3 Louisiana in his only previous try at Fair Grounds in January of last year. Since then, however, he is 0-for-4 and has finished way back in his three-stakes attempts. A confirmed late runner, he will need to show more than he has recently for trainer Dallas Stewart. I would not be surprised if he turned in an improved performance on Saturday, but overall there is just not enough in his past performances of late to be excited about his chances.

Big Dreaming

This one has done most of his running on the turf, and in fact has not tried the dirt since finishing third in a Churchill Downs allowance race six starts back. He did win in his only other start on the main track, though. He has only started once before in a graded stakes race and he finished way back. He is pretty consistent against cheaper, with five wins from twelve career starts, but there are just too many I like better to give him a long look in this deep field.

Fort Peck

This gelded son of Fort Larned was claimed last spring and quickly showed improvement for the barn of Robertino Diodoro. A sharp win at Saratoga was followed up by a second-place finish to Life Is Good in the Grade 2 Kelso at Belmont. The 7-year-old could not keep up the momentum, though, in a sloppy edition of the Grade 2 Fayette at Keeneland to close out his season. Even at his best, he looks in tough in this spot, but a return to the form he displayed in the first two tries for the new barn could make him one to consider for the exotics.

How to Watch the Mineshaft Stakes

Mineshaft Stakes Race Information
What Mineshaft Stakes (Grade 3)
Location Fair Grounds
Time Saturday, February 19 — 5:25pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $250,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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