11/18/2005 12:00AM

Past two winners face off in stakes


ANDERSON, Ind. - Tin Man Commin and Mr. Mink, the previous two winners of the To Much Coffee Stakes, return in Sunday's edition of the 1 1/16-mile race, which drew a field of eight older Indiana-breds.

The duo will likely also have to deal with Pass Rush, who was cross-entered in Saturday's $100,000 Schaefer Mile against open company.

Mr. Mink has been sharp in his sprint efforts this year, but rider Tommy Pompell will have to dole out his speed to last at this distance. His last race was an impressive 4 1/2-length win in the Brickyard Stakes on Oct. 23, when he sped six furlongs in a rapid 1:09.60 under a hand ride. A 5-year-old by Gold Case trained by Mike Nance, Mr. Mink has a 5-2-0 record from seven starts this year and should vie for favoritism. He sprinted off to a long lead in last year's edition of this race, then tired badly to finish last. Mr. Mink breaks from post 4.

Tin Man Commin was the beneficiary of Mr. Mink's quick pace last year. Tin Man Commin is now trained by Jeff Jones, who claimed him from Frank Kirby for $25,000 at Hawthorne this spring. Tin Man Commin has gone winless this year, competing against mostly mid- to upper-price claiming company. He will have J.J. Delgado aboard from post 3.

Pass Rush, should he opt to run in this spot, is the likely favorite. A career earner of nearly $550,000, Pass Rush took the Gus Grissom Stakes at this distance Oct. 1, and was a slowly closing second to Mr. Mink in the Brickyard. He drew post 6 for trainer David Vance and has Terry Thompson named to ride.

The To Much Coffee is carded as the 11th of 13 races on Sunday night. An extra race was added as the result of Wednesday and Thursday's cancellations due to cold weather.