10/19/2007 12:00AM

Mr. Mink tries for a four-peat

EmailThe name Mr. Mink has been inexorably linked in recent years to the Brickyard Stakes, the top sprint for Indiana-bred colts and geldings at Hoosier Park. Mr. Mink will seek an unprecedented fourth straight win in the $45,000 Brickyard Sunday night, but possibly faces his sternest test yet in the six-furlong stakes.

After a couple dull races at Fairmount Park and Indiana Downs over the summer, Mr. Mink was freshened and brought back in an overnight handicap at Fairmount on Sept. 8. He won the race, seemingly the perfect prep for his title defense in the Brickyard. With 12 wins in 15 starts at Hoosier, and with a bullet half-mile work over the track last week, Mr. Mink remains the one to fear.

The biggest danger may be the 3-year-old Father John, who is coming off a 5 1/4-length win in the Gus Grissom Stakes at 1 1/16 miles earlier this month. Father John is no slouch in sprints either, coming within a head of beating older horses in the William Henry Harrison at Indiana Downs in May.

Liepers Fork edged Father John in the Harrison, but was only third to that rival in the Grissom and has traditionally been more effective in routes.

The surprise entrant in the Brickyard is Vic's Rebel, age 13, who has not raced since Oct. 7, 2001. At his peak, Vic's Rebel won consecutive runnings of the Brickyard in 1999 and 2000, but a win Sunday would have to be considered a phenomenal training feat.