Mean Bean springs Mint Mission stunner
Mean Bean. Photo by Coady Photography.
The early pace was swift in Saturday’s $35,000 Mint Mission Overnight Stakes at Charles Town Races. That was bad news for the horses involved in the early action, particularly likely contenders Last Print and Aaron’s Tap.
But it was good news — stunningly good news — for Mean Bean, who was well back early but rallied between horses in the lane to prevail by a half-length in the 6 1/2-furlong test. The even-later-running Nova Boy was second, and favored Clubman was third.
Mean Bean, the longest shot in the eight-horse field, paid $93.40 to win as a 45-1 outsider. Runner-up Nova Boy was 21-1, and the $2 exacta returned $671.40. The one-dollar triple, with the 8-5 favorite filling it out, returned $1,896.70.
Mean Bean’s win was his ninth from 37 career starts and pushed his earnings to $232,998. It was also his first stakes win after five prior unsuccessful efforts.
For that matter, Mean Bean’s win provided trainer/owner Glenn Harrison the first stakes win of his conditioning career, which has spanned 1,004 starts. And it was the first stakes win for rider Jason Simpson, who lost his first 100 starts in 2019 before winning 12 times in the last four months of the year. Simpson owns 55 career wins from 1,052 starts.
Simpson provided an astute ride Saturday, biding his time in fifth in the early going. Up front, the leading trio of Last Print, Aaron’s Tap, and Rescue Five ripped off an opening quarter in 22.85 seconds in the two-turn event. The half was gone in 46.32 seconds, and the field began to bunch up.
Rounding the turn and hitting the head of the lane, Mean Bean moved into the three-path for running room. Once he switched leads, he surged to the advantage and stubbornly held off Nova Boy to earn the victory.
Running time for the distance over a fast main track was 1:19.93.
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