Holiday Mischief, tracking odds-on favorite Sunbean all the way, collared the leader in the final strides for a head victory in a 16-1 upset in the $100,000 Super Derby Prelude Stakes Aug. 3 at Harrah's Louisiana Downs (VIDEO).
Cliff Berry guided the son of Into Mischief to victory for trainer Joe Offolter, who co-owns the bay gelding with Carter Thoroughbreds. The final time for the 1 1/6-mile distance was 1:44.33 on a fast track.
Sheltowee Farm, Alfonso Mazzetti, Dr.Robert J. Hunt & Rodney Winkle bred the winner in Kentucky from the Maria's Mon mare Darling Daughter. Holiday Mischief brought $25,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Coming off a runner-up finish by a head in an allowance at Lone Star Park June 29, the gelding recorded his first stakes win.
The $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) is Sept. 7 at Louisiana Downs.
Sunbean, the 1-2 choice in the field of seven, took the advantage early after being in a bit tight at the break for Corey Lanerie. The multiple Louisiana-bred stakes winner opened up by 1 1/2 lengths over Hardrock Eleven and Holiday Mischief, who raced close to the rail, gradually extending his lead to three lengths on the final turn.
Holiday Mischief, moved out for the drive by Berry, still trailed by 1 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole. But he gradually wore down Sunbean to get the edge yards from the wire under brisk encouragement. Those two were well separated from the rest of the field; third-place finisher Runaway Stephen was 6 3/4 lengths back under Chris Rosier, and it was 4 1/4 lengths farther back to Nutty Brown in fourth.
Completing the order was second choice Carve, who came up empty in the lane, Bronce Bellator, and Hardrock Eleven.
The fractions for the opening six furlongs—:24.31, :48.36, and 1:12.54—were on the soft side.
Holiday Mischief more than doubled his earnings to $117,810 with his third win in 11 starts.
Carrying 117 pounds, he paid $35.40, $7, and $5.20 while topping a $69.40 exacta. Sunbeam, giving the winner five pounds as the highweight, returned $2.40 and $2.10. Runaway Stephen paid $3.40.