Spendthrift Farm stallion Into Mischief fared very well with his first crop of foals in 2012, finishing a close third to Henrythenavigator and Spring At Last on the freshman sire list, but the new year is starting out even more sensationally for the 8-year-old son of Harlan's Holiday.
On Saturday, Into Mischief was represented by two graded stakes winners whose connections have the newly turned 3-year-olds pointed down the road to the Kentucky Derby. Vyjack took the Grade 2 Jerome at Aqueduct and Goldencents won the G3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita.
“This is the kind of thing you dream about to have a horse hit like this,” said Ken Wilkins, director of stallion operations at the Lexington, Ky., farm. “You couldn't orchestrate or draw it up on a chalk board better than this, to have a couple of horses on either coast going on the Derby trail at one time. That can take a horse right into the stratosphere.”
Vyjack, bred by Machmer Hall and racing for Pick Six Racing, remained unbeaten after three starts in the Jerome, racing on the front end and holding off longshot Siete de Oros by a head. The gelding out of the Stravinsky mare Life Happened is trained by Rudy Rodriguez and was purchased for $100,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Goldencents has won 3-of-4 starts, his only defeat coming at the hands of unbeaten 2-year-old and presumed champion Shanghai Bobby in the G1 Champagne at Belmont Park. He won the G3 Delta Jackpot in November on the lead, and came from just off the pace to win the Sham over G3 winner Den's Legacy.
Out of a Banker's Gold mare Golden Works, Goldencents is trained by Doug O'Neill and races for the partnership of WC Racing, Dave Kenney or RAP Racing. Bred in Kentucky by Rosecrest Farm and Karyn Pirrello, he is a $62,000 OBS June 2-year-old graduate.
Breeders were showing increasing interest in Into Mischief as the 2012 racing season unfolded, Wilkins said. With just 42 foals in his first crop (and 29 and 33 in subsequent years, according to The Jockey Club), his progeny statistics compared very favorably to horses with far greater opportunity.
Into Mischief finished 2012 with progeny earnings of $1,171,578, according to Bloodhorse.com, from 21 runners. Henrythenavigator, with 45 runners from 112 foals, led the first-crop list with $1,231,383, followed by Spring At Last, with earnings of $1,181,230 from 32 runners and 71 foals.
“The phone has really been ringing for the last three weeks,” Wilkins said about Into Mischief. “People are excited about the horse. He had that $100,000 stakes winner on the last day of the year (Sittin At the Bar, Louisiana Futurity) and came within $10,000 of Spring At Last. And Harlan's Holiday (sire of Into Mischief and Shanghai Bobby) has been red-hot.”
Into Mischief raced for Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes and was trained by Richard Mandella. He finished first or second in all six of his starts, winning the G1 CashCall Futurity at 2, the Damascus Stakes at 3, and retired sound after finishing second in the G1 Malibu in December of his 3-year-old year.
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