01/05/2018 12:20PM

2017 Eclipse Awards: Mind Your Biscuits

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Mind Your Biscuits took first-year trainer Chad Summers on the trip of a lifetime in 2017, winning the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai and the Grade 2 Belmont Sprint Championship.

The season also included runner-up efforts in the Cigar Mile and Gulfstream Park Sprint, and a rapidly closing third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The campaign has made Mind Your Biscuits an Eclipse Awards finalist in the male sprint division.

Mind Your Biscuits has come a long way since failing to reach his reserve at both the 2014 sale of Saratoga New York-bred preferred yearlings and the 2015 Ocala Breeders’ Sales spring auction of 2-year-olds in training.

Privately purchased by Summers, his father M. Scott, and his brother Daniel, the son of Posse is now owned by J Stables, Head of Plains Partners, Michael Kisber, and the Summers family.

Mind Your Biscuits ended 2016 with a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and a win in the Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita. He was voted New York-bred Horse of the Year.

Summers, 33, took over the 4-year-old colt’s training in February from Robert Falcone Jr.

“After the Malibu, Dubai contacted us,” Summers said. “So we had a decision to make: give him a freshening or look at Dubai. After discussing it, from Jan. 1 on, all eyes were on Dubai.”

Summers decided to prep in the Gulfstream Sprint. Although Mind Your Biscuits came up a neck short of catching a loose-on-the-lead Unified, his strong finish proved a perfect setup for what lay ahead.

“We got what we wanted from the race and he came out of it phenomenal,” Summers said.

When Mind Your Biscuits stormed home under Joel Rosario to win the Golden Shaheen by three lengths following a wide trip, it was Summers’s first victory as a trainer.

“I was nervous and anxious as the day got closer, but after the race it was just happiness for the team, for the horse,” Summers said.

Mind Your Biscuits came back to win the Belmont Sprint by 3 1/2 lengths, then hit a bump in the road at Saratoga, finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Forego.

“He wasn’t training great,” Summers said. “I went back and forth about going out west for the Pat O’Brien instead or skipping the race completely. Then he started training a little better and I think I tricked myself into thinking he was ready.”

After returning to Belmont, Mind Your Biscuits still wasn’t completely himself, prompting Summers to train him up to the Breeders’ Cup.

Mind Your Biscuits lagged far back in the BC Sprint, leaving himself too much work to do. He finished with a rush to be third, beaten three lengths.

He concluded his season by chasing Sharp Azteca home in the Cigar Mile while finishing well clear of the remainder of the field. The performance suggests longer distances may be within his reach.

“The Cigar might have been his best race,” Summers said.

Mind Your Biscuits is in training at Palm Meadows. Summers is considering two Feb. 17 races for him - the General George at Laurel Park or the Pelican at Tampa Bay Downs. His spring objective is a return trip to Dubai.

“Our goal is to make him a champion,” Summers said. “Possible races include the Met Mile, Belmont Sprint, and maybe even the Woodward.”