July 4, 2022

Mia Mischief seeks stakes hat trick in Victory Ride

Mia Mischief with Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard wins the Eight Belles Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Friday, May 4, 2018 (c) Jamie Newell/Horsephotos.com

Grade 2 heroine MIA MISCHIEF will go for her third straight stakes win on Sunday when facing 10 rivals in the $150,000 Victory Ride Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park.

The Steve Asmussen trainee currently boasts a 4-3-0 career mark from seven starts, most recently wiring the Eight Belles Stakes (G2) in her graded debut at Churchill Downs on the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (G1) undercard. Prior to that the bay daughter of Into Mischief recorded an 8 1/4-length score in the Purple Martin Stakes at Oaklawn Park, just one race after missing by only a neck in the Dixie Belle Stakes to open her sophomore campaign on January 20.

Mia Mischief has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite under regular rider Ricardo Santana Jr. in the 6 1/2-furlong Victory Ride.

Among those lining up against the Kentucky-bred lass is Grade 3 victress TAKE CHARGE PAULA. The Take Charge Indy filly captured the Forward Gal Stakes (G3) in her three-year-old bow on February 3 and ran second in her next two starts, the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) and Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2). She set the early pace in the Kentucky Oaks but faded badly and ended up last in the 14-filly field for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Take Charge Paula showed her former talent when third most recently cutting back to six furlongs in the Jersey Girl Stakes at Belmont, and gets Joel Rosario in the irons on Sunday.

“Anything six to seven (furlongs) is great for her,” McLaughlin said. “We’re happy she’s doing well and we’ll hope for the best. Last time, she was very wide, so this time, we’re going back to a shorter distance and I think it should help.

“I think it’s a good spot and hopefully she’ll get back in the winner’s circle.”

Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) runner-up CLASSY ACT also took part in the Kentucky Oaks and fared not much better than Take Charge Paula. Following a close fourth, beaten only 1 1/4 lengths in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), the Bret Calhoun pupil tired to 10th in the Run for the Lilies. She showed up against allowance/optional claiming rivals early last month and easily wired that seven-furlong contest under returning jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.

Grade 1 queen SEPARATIONOFPOWERS returns to action here for trainer Chad Brown having not been seen in competition since a fourth-place run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) last November. The Candy Ride filly broke her maiden at Saratoga by 11 lengths and finished third next out in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) at the Spa before taking the Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in early October. She shipped outside of New York for the first time to try the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar, and just returned to the official worktab in May over Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track. Regular jockey Jose Ortiz has the call.

Also in with a chance are undefeated SOWER, a 4 3/4-length winner of the Jersey Girl Stakes, and Grade 2 winner SPECTATOR, who returns off a runner-up effort in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on April 7.

A couple races before the Victory Ride, eight distaffers were entered to go 1 1/2 miles over the Widener turf course in the $100,000 River Memories Stakes.