10/16/2012 2:06PM

Santa Anita: Nates Mineshaft joins Mandella's barn, eyes Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

Reed Palmer Photography
Nates Mineshaft has joined Richard Mandella's barn and is being considered for a start in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Nates Mineshaft, a three-time stakes winner who was third in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in June, has joined trainer Richard Mandella’s California stable and is a candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.

Nates Mineshaft, 5, has not started since the Stephen Foster and is not a definite for the BC Dirt Mile, Mandella said. Nates Mineshaft arrived in Southern California earlier this month and worked six furlongs at Santa Anita in 1:12.40 on Oct. 11.

“We just got him,” Mandella said. “He’s a thought for the BC Dirt Mile. I breezed him, and he breezed good. We’ve getting to know him a little bit.”

Previously trained by Austin Smith, Nates Mineshaft is owned by Windy Hill Farm. Earlier this year, Nates Mineshaft won the New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds in April. Smith had Nates Mineshaft entered for the Hawthorne Gold Cup on Oct. 6, but the horse was scratched the morning of the race.

Mandella said that if Nates Mineshaft does not start in the BC Dirt Mile that the $250,000 Native Diver Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 1 is a possibility.

“We could take a little more time for the Native Diver,” Mandella said.

Mr. Commons, Include Me Out work

Two Breeders’ Cup hopefuls had workouts at Hollywood Park on Tuesday.

Mr. Commons, who is bound for the BC Mile, worked a half-mile in 47.80 seconds. Trained by John Shirreffs, Mr. Commons was third in the Arroyo Seco Mile here Oct. 6. He was fifth in the 2011 BC Mile at Churchill Downs.

Include Me Out, winner of the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar in August, worked five furlongs in 1:01.80. A candidate for the BC Ladies’ Classic for trainer Ron Ellis, Include Me Out was third in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes here Sept. 29.

– additional reporting by Marcus Hersh