Mia Mischief lived up to her 3-2 favoritism in Friday’s $200,000 Eight Belles Stakes (G3), leading all the way home under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. to score by 1 3/4 lengths on the wire.
The seven-furlong contest kicked off the stakes action on Kentucky Oaks Friday, and Mia Mischief was ready to go for trainer Steve Asmussen. The bay daughter of Into Mischief grabbed command and set swift splits of :22.21, :44.21 and 1:08.73.
Amy’s Challenge pressed in second along her inside initially, but faded in the stretch. Talk Veuve to Me then ranged up to threaten, but could not reel in Mia Mischief, who stopped the clock in 1:21.84 over the fast main track.
Mia Mischief returned $5 for taking her graded debut. It was 4 3/4 lengths behind Talk Veuve to Me to 5-2 second choice Gas Station Sushi, while Salt Bae followed in fourth another 3 1/4 lengths adrift. Criminal Mischief came next while Hold Her Tight and Amy’s Challenge completed the order under the wire.
Mia Mischief entered the Eight Belles off an 8 1/4-length victory in the Purple Martin Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 24. Prior to that she just missed by a neck to Amy’s Challenge in the Dixie Belle Stakes while making her sophomore debut on January 20.
Campaigned by Heiligbrodt, Heiligbrodt, Heider Family Stables LLC and Madaket Stables LLC, Mia Mischief began her career with a runner-up effort last September at Churchill Downs, then headed to Keeneland for a 16-length maiden triumph on October 8. She returned under the Twin Spires three weeks later to close out her juvenile season with a second in the Spendthrift Juvenile Filly Stallion Stakes and a 3 3/4-length win against allowance/optional claiming rivals on November 25.
Mia Mischief is now 7-4-3-0 in her career having banked $342,320 in lifetime earnings. Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm LLC, she is out of the Speightstown mare Greer Lynn, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 winners Sing Baby Sing and Roll Hennessy Roll as well as dual Grade 1-placed stakes victor Value Plus.
EIGHT BELLES QUOTES
Ricardo Santana Jr., jockey Mia Mischief, winner
“I first have to thank (trainer) Steve (Asmussen). He did a tremendous job training her. Today she tried so hard. It was a very nice field of horses and she was very impressive. It’s very special to have my family here with me on this weekend as well.”
Steve Asmussen, trainer Mia Mischief, winner
“She seems to improve in every start. I made a few mistakes with her in the past but we figured all of them out it seems. I saw during the middle of the race on the Big Board that she was well within herself and she carried herself even on the gallop out way in front.”
Rodolphe Brisset, trainer Talk Veuve to Me, second
“She made me look good. She got a little tired at the end. This was just her second start of the year. The question now is if she can go a little farther. We have options.”
Corey Nakatani, jockey Gas Station Sushi, third
“She ran hard; she ran her race. Unfortunately, the speed held. The horses up front just kept on going.”