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Into Mischief Propelled Into the Lead

Into Mischief closed out 2012 as the third leading freshman sire.

Harlan's Holiday’s growing momentum saw him end 2012 with the leading sire of 2-year-olds title, a new record for juvenile earnings, and an assumed juvenile champion in Shanghai Bobby . Now he may be about to make a first step as a sire of sires, as his young son Into Mischief  is building a significant head of steam of his own.

Into Mischief closed out 2012 as the third leading freshman sire, following late-season stakes wins by his sons Goldencents , who took the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) in mid-November; Traskwood Stakes winner Vyjack; and Sittin At the Bar, who annexed a pair of December stakes at Fair Grounds. He jumped to a very early lead in the second-crop sire standings on the first Saturday of the new year when, in the span of a couple of hours, Vyjack took his record to three wins in three starts in the Jerome Stakes (gr. II) and Goldencents captured the Sham Stakes (gr. III).

It’s no great shock that Into Mischief’s offspring have made their mark early, as he was a fast and precocious horse in his own right. He started three times at 2, breaking his maiden over 6 1/2 furlongs first out, then finishing second in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) before winning the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) in a very quick time. He ran second to grade I winner Georgie Boy in the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) first time out at 3, but was then sidelined to the autumn. On his return he won the seven-furlong Damascus Stakes over Georgie Boy and other subsequent grade I winners Dancing in Silks and Gayego, then ended his career with a second in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I).

Into Mischief’s pedigree features precocity aplenty. In addition to his trio of middle-distance grade I victories at 3 and 4, Into Mischief’s sire, Harlan’s Holiday, also won four stakes events at 2, at distances from 5 1/2 to 8 1/2 furlongs, including the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III). Into Mischief’s dam, Leslie’s Lady, is by Tricky Creek, a son of the well-known speed influence Clever Trick. In addition to Into Mischief, she is dam of this year’s likely champion 2-year-old filly Beholder (who, like Into Mischief, is by a grandson Storm Cat). When the 2012 Eclipse Awards are announced, therefore, Into Mischief’s sire and dam both will be represented by champion juveniles. Lest the impression form that this is only a speed family, however, we should mention that Into Mischief’s third dam, One Last Bird—a daughter of top turf horse One for All, out of the Sea-Bird II mare Last Bird—is closely related to Last Cause (by the One For All half brother Caucasus, a grandson of Northern Dancer), the third dam of I’ll Have Another, winner over the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brand (gr. I)’s 10 furlongs.

Vyjack is out of Life Happened, a daughter of the Nureyev horse Stravinsky, a sprint champion in Europe. She previously produced the multiple graded stakes-placed Bernstein horse Prime Cut. Life Happened is a half sister to the speedy Citidancer son Disco Rico, winner of the Maryland Breeders’ Cup Handicap and Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup Stakes (both gr. III) and now a useful sire in the New York program. Second dam Round It Off (by Apalachee) was stakes-placed in the Maryland restricted program. A half sister to the Ladies Handicap (gr. II) and Carousel Stakes (gr. III) victress Miss Slewpy, Round It Off is out of Capp It Off, winner of nine of 18 starts, including three stakes events. This looks a speedy pedigree, and we’d have to think that Vyjack is not going to want to go too much further than the long mile of the Jerome.

Goldencents is the second named foal of the Banker’s Gold mare Golden Works. She was out of the tough Manitoba-bred Body Works, a daughter of Canadian multiple leading sire Bold Ruckus. Spending most of her time in Western Canada, principally Assiniboia Downs, Body Works won 18 of 45 starts, including 13 stakes events, from four to nine furlongs. Prior to the 2012 Delta Downs Jackpot, Body Works was the only stakes winner in the first four dams of Goldencents’ pedigree. However, Goldencents’ fifth dam, Doily (by the Derby Italiano winner Daumier) is also granddam of the 1983 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hero Sunny’s Halo. Ultimately, the family goes back to Maggie B. B., dam of Iroquois, who in 1881 became the first U.S.-foaled horse to win the Epsom Derby.

Rated A++ by TrueNicks, Goldencents has an interesting pedigree structure. Broodmare sire Banker’s Gold is out of a mare by Nijinsky II, a close relative to Storm Bird, who is in the male line of Into Mischief, who himself has a cross of Nijinsky II through his broodmare sire. Goldencents also is linebred to the notable mare Alanesian, who appears as dam of Boldnesian (here as sire of Bold Ruckus) and in the tail-female line of Harlan’s Holiday. Like Vyjack, and despite his European and Kentucky Derby connections, Goldencents too has a pedigree with a lot of speed, and he too may find the best expression of his talents at distances shorter than 10 furlongs.