Officials at Prairie Meadows may want to consider changing the name of the $100,000 Governor Terry E. Branstad Stakes to the Minecraft Maniac Stakes after the six-year-old Midshipman gelding captured the race for the third straight year.
Showing his affinity for the one mile-and-a-sixteenth contest run on the last Saturday in September, Minecraft Maniac rolled to the lead on the far turn, rebuffed the late challenge from favored Kauai, to win by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
The second Black Type winner from his family, Minecraft Maniac races as a homebred for owner Warren Bush. Out of the Officer mare Our Sweet Mary B, who is a half-sister to G3 winner and G1 placed Wild Snitch, Minecraft Maniac is half-brother to Hot Shot Kid, a multiple Black Type winner.
Midshipman’s other Black Type winners in 2021 include the undefeated two-year-old Averly Jane, who was an impressive winner of Saratoga's Skidmore Stakes. Her 86 Beyer in that race is the second fastest for a two-year-old filly this year. The juvenile speedster now heads to the G1 Darley Alcibiades on October 8th at Keeneland.
Other Stakes winners this year for Midshipman include Royal Ship, winner of the G2 Californian and G1-placed in the Gold Cup; Special Reserve (G3 Maryland Sprint Match Series Stakes and G1-placed in the A.G. Vanderbilt Stakes); Naval Laughter (G3 Modesty Stakes) and Admiral Abe (Listed Marshall Jenney Stakes).