Duke of Mischief flies home in the Oaklawn Handicap.

Duke of Mischief flies home in the Oaklawn Handicap.

Coady Photography

Duke of Mischief Timely Winner at Oaklawn

Duke of Mischief got the jump on Win Willy to win the Oaklawn Handicap.

Duke of Mischief  made the right move at the right time to get the jump on favored Win Willy and hold him off late to win the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Oaklawn Park April 3.

Owned by Alex and Joann Lieblong, Marilyn McMaster, and trainer David Fawkes, Duke of Mischief rebounded from an eighth-place finish behind standout Quality Road  in the grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in early February. In January at Gulfstream, Duke of Mischief won the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (gr. III).

With Eibar Coa riding, Duke of Mischief got away third behind Jonesboro and Dakota Phone, who took the field through fractions of :23.11 for the opening quarter-mile, :47.04 for the half-mile, and 1:11.24 for six furlongs. Duke of Mischief ranged up outside of the front-runners approaching the top of the stretch, spurted away and built a 5 1/2-length lead with an eighth of a mile to go.

Duke of Mischief needed most of that lead to win as the fourth choice and pay $14.20. Win Willy, well off the early pace under Cliff Berry, rallied on the far turn but ran into brief traffic trouble in the stretch before leveling off. Win Willy was flying late, but Duke of Mischief held on comfortably to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

The time for the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track was 1:49.14. Jonesboro held well for third, and Delightful Kiss, last of the seven for most of the race, closed for fourth.

Duke of Mischief, a 4-year-old colt by Graeme Hall out of the Regal Courage mare My Lady Amelia, was bred in Florida by co-owner McMaster. As a 3-year-old, Duke of Mischief won the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino and finished fifth behind eventual Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.

Duke of Mischief earned $300,000 in the Oaklawn Handicap to boost his bankroll to $673,925. He now has five wins in 12 career starts.