07/30/2016 4:30PM

Mind Your Biscuits handles class test in Amsterdam

Barbara D. Livingston
Mind Your Biscuits, ridden by Joel Rosario, gives trainer Robert Falcone Jr., his first graded stakes victory in the Grade 2 Amsterdam.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -  Mind Your Biscuits proved he’s more than just a very good New York-bred 3-year-old when he stepped up to graded stakes company for the first time on Saturday at Saratoga to win the Grade 2 Amsterdam under a rail-skimming ride by Joel Rosario.

Mind Your Biscuits’s victory gave his 22-year-old trainer, Robert Falcone Jr., the first graded stakes win of his career.

Falcone’s decision to put blinkers on Mind Your Biscuits for his last start has seemingly made a huge difference. A son of Posse, Mind Your Biscuits rallied to a convincing 9 1/4-length allowance win against statebreds with the equipment change in his last start at Belmont Park, and he ran back to that effort in the 6 ½-furlong Amsterdam.

Maniacal, as expected, controlled the early pace while stalked from the outset by Its All Relevant and King Kranz through splits of 22.36 and 45.41 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and half-mile. Mind Your Biscuits trailed the field during the early running and even had to steady briefly to avoid Quijote after the latter stumbled badly, nearly unseating his jockey, Jose Ortiz, and quickly retreated through the field on the turn.

Mind Your Biscuits saved ground into the stretch, began to accelerate once settling for the drive, finding ample room inside the leader to assume command near the sixteenth pole before edging away to a 1 3/4- length victory. Maniacal, the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven 3-year-olds, shook off his early pursuers while taken off the rail for the stretch run and proved no match for the winner. Its All Relevant weakened gradually to finish third.                                      

Quijote stumbled badly after appearing to clip heels with King Kranz when attempting to split the leaders with his bid on the turn.  

Mind Your Biscuits completed the distance in 1:15.25 and paid $8.30.

“I got a little worried when that other horse [Quijote] checked in front of him, but he got through it all,” said Falcone. “To win [my first graded stakes] on a day like this is just great.”

Falcone said the addition of blinkers has made a big difference in Mind Your Biscuits’s recent improvement.

“Blinkers on was really like putting the finishing touches on him. They really helped him turn the corner,” said Falcone. “He’s always had a race horse attitude and he’s matured a lot since coming into my barn. Getting Joel to ride him has also helped. He’s a great rider. He does a lot right.”

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