Cash is King and LC Racing's Maximus Mischief scored his first 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, capturing Aqueduct's G2 Remsen Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths as the 7-5 second choice. The 2-year-old son of Into Mischief, ridden by Frankie Pennington for trainer Robert Reid, covered nine furlongs over the fast main track in 1:51.34.
“He's the kind of horse that will do it easy by himself, but as soon as he feels the pressure he becomes an even better horse,” Pennington said. “When he feels that fight coming, that's what he likes.”
Maximus Mischief broke on top of the seven-horse field, but allowed Gladiator King to cruise up his inside to take the lead around the clubhouse turn. The frontrunner set fractions of :25.12 and :50.61, leading Maximus Mischief by a half-length. Tax was out three-wide in third, while favorite Network Effect moved up into fourth down the backstretch.
Rounding the far turn, Maximus Mischief took command with a slight advantage over Tax at the head of the lane. Pennington gave Maximus Mischief a sharp reminder at the three-sixteenths pole, and the colt responded by drawing away to a 2 1/4-length victory. Network Effect hit his best stride late to gain second over Tax at the wire.
“He runs the turns really well and he swaps leads really good so that's generally where he gets the drop on them,” Reid said. “The first thing Frank [Pennington] said when he came off the horse was that when he went into the first turn, [Maximus Mischief] pricked his ears and settled down – and he hadn't had too many horses around him early in his career – that he wasn't worried about the horses inside or outside of him, so that's a really good sign.”
Bred in Kentucky by Martha Jane Mulholland, Maximus Mischief was a $165,000 weanling at the Keeneland November sale, and was pinhooked through the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old in training sale for $340,000. The colt has won all three of his career starts for earnings of nearly $200,000.
“He came through in fine colors as far as I'm concerned,” continued Reid. “I was really concerned that it was a deep racetrack at Aqueduct. Parx is pretty deep, and maybe that's helped him a little bit. They've been running slow times down here. I watched the beginning of the card and I was hoping it was a little faster than that, but to go from seven-eighths to a mile and an eighth, especially the way he did it, is a pretty good accomplishment.”
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