07/06/2017 2:00PM

Mind Your Biscuits ready to show what he can do in Belmont Sprint Championship

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Barbara D. Livingston
Mind Your Biscuits has been training aggressively for the Belmont Sprint Championship.

ELMONT, N.Y. – In Mind Your Biscuits, trainer Chad Summers believes he has the best sprinter in the country, and he wants to spend the second half of the year proving it.

Three months after winning the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan, Mind Your Biscuits returns to the races in Saturday’s Grade 2, $350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship at Belmont Park. Summers is hoping to use the Belmont Sprint as not only a stepping-stone to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 4 at Del Mar but as an opportunity to avenge a loss to Unified in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint in February.

Summers said he told jockey Joel Rosario: “I really don’t want this to be a heart-stopping race. I want to win this race and send a statement.”

Toward that end, Summers has been training Mind Your Biscuits aggressively since he returned to the work tab on May 28 following freshening at Taylor Made Farm. After a couple of sharp half-mile moves in early June, Mind Your Biscuits worked five furlongs in 58 seconds over the Belmont main track on June 23, running down Green Gratto, the Grade 1 Carter winner who is also in the Belmont Sprint.

“It was by design to make sure he was going to be fit enough to go the seven-eighths,” Summers said.

In the Gulfstream Sprint at 6 1/2 furlongs, Mind Your Biscuits was beaten a neck by Unified, who made all the pace that day. On Saturday, Summers is hoping for a pace duel between Green Gratto and Unified to set things up for his New York-bred son of Posse.

“I think if that race is seven-eighths, he doesn’t beat us,” Summers said of the Gulfstream race. “That extra half-furlong is probably going to help us on Saturday.”

Rosario and Mind Your Biscuits, the 124-pound co-highweight, drew post 2.

Unified finished second to Green Gratto in the Carter after Unified’s jockey, Javier Castellano, opted to concede the lead in the opening stages of the race. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens has prepared Unified for this race as though he’s intent to have him on the lead, with a couple of sharp workouts, including one with blinkers, equipment he doesn’t wear in the afternoon.

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Between Green Gratto and Unified, there is a six-pound weight shift in Unified’s favor for the Belmont Sprint. Unified is drawn in post 7, one slot outside of Green Gratto.

Awesome Slew, the winner of the Grade 3 Commonwealth; Tommy Macho, third in the Carter and Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap; and Stallwalkin’ Dude, the runner-up in the Grade 2 True North, are also in with a chance. The longshot Fellowship completes the field.

KEY CONTENDERS

Mind Your Biscuits, by Posse

Last 3 Beyers: 101-107-100

◗ Started to show himself as a top-class horse last fall with a third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, followed by a win in the Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita.

◗ Has been training with a purpose and is likely to get a good setup.

Unified, by Candy Ride

Last 3 Beyers: 98-101-71

◗ Came out of his runner-up finish in the Carter with filling in a hind leg that forced him to miss some training time.

◗ Has also been purposefully trained, with one breeze from the gate, one with blinkers, and a three-furlong blowout in 35.02 seconds to top it off this week.

◗ Reunited with Jose Ortiz, aboard for four of the colt’s five wins.

Stallwalkin’ Dude, by City Place

Last 3 Beyers: 105-97-100

◗ After finishing sixth in Dubai to Mind Your Biscuits, he won the Diablo Stakes here emphatically and finished second to Roy H in the True North, recording a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 105 in his 53rd career start.

◗ Has finished in the money in 9 of 11 starts at Belmont Park. Flavien Prat rides.