11/16/2007 1:00AM

Mr. Mink aims to extend streak

EmailWhen the venerable gelding Mr. Mink is eventually retired, race meets at Hoosier Park just won't be the same. The 7-year-old Indiana-bred has won at least one stakes at each of the last four Hoosier meets, and will have one final chance to extend that streak in the $45,000 To Much Coffee Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Denied a fourth consecutive win in the Brickyard Stakes by stablemate Father John last month, Mr. Mink looks a solid prospect to rebound in the To Much Coffee, a race he won in 2003 and 2006. Though not as imposing around two turns as he has been around one, Mr. Mink's task for a third win in the To Much Coffee is made easier by the absence of Father John, a leading candidate for Indiana horse of the year honors.

The primary challenges to Mr. Mink figure to come from Heza Wild Guy and Squeaky Rich. Heza Wild Guy has run primarily on turf this year, but did post an optional-claiming win on the dirt at Canterbury in May and was later a solid third in the A.J. Foyt at Indiana Downs, a race that was moved from the turf to the dirt due to rain.

Squeaky Rich won three straight allowances earlier in the year prior to finishing a distant fourth behind Zanjero in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby. He might not have cared for Polytrack when finishing last in an optional claimer at Keeneland in his most recent start.