The closest B. Wayne Hughes ever came to owning a Kentucky Derby winner was when his Don’t Get Mad finished fourth behind Giacomo in 2005. But when 2-year-old Into Mischief won the $753,000 CashCall Futurity (VIDEO) at Hollywood Park on Dec. 22, Hughes was speaking of roses once again.
“Maybe this horse will be the one,” the Spendthrift Farm owner told TVG’s Christina Olivares. “I’d certainly like to be there, winning (the Derby).”
Sent off at odds of 15-1 after a second-place finish in the Nov. 22 Hollywood Preview (gr. III), Into Mischief proved worthy of more respect than the bettors gave. Tackling two turns for the first time, he romped to a 1 ¼-length win in the 1 1/16 mile race, and although the margin was an average one, the son of Harlan’s Holiday gave the impression he could have done more when he cruised under the wire.
Into Mischief got an ideal trip under jockey Victor Espinosa, who placed him directly behind the frontrunning Eaton’s Gift. Eaton's Gift set early fractions of :22.76, :46.45, and 1:10.44 while Massive Drama stalked those two on the inside and Meal Penalty raced close early but faded. Never worse than second by a length, Into Mischief took the lead in upper stretch and was all business heading for a final time of 1:40.82.
“He ran like he did in his first race,” said trainer Richard Mandella. “Going down the backside you could tell his intentions were serious. He put it all together today.”
Not to be discounted was the game closing effort of the favored Colonel John, who bumped horses at the start and was seventh in the field of 12 for the first half-mile. After pulling his way up the inside and splitting horses, the Eoin Harty trainee was closing rapidly for second but did not get up in time.
Into Mischief returned $29.60, $11, and $8.40. Colonel John and jockey Corey Nakatani returned $4 and $3.60, while Massive Drama returned $4.60 under Kent Desormeaux. Monba, Indian Sun, Sierra Sunset, Eaton’s Gift, Meal Penalty, Overextended, Shore do, Refereee, and Tres Borrachos completed the order of finish.
Bred in Kentucky by James T. Hines Jr. out of the Tricky Creek mare Leslie’s Lady, Into Mischief was purchased by Hughes for $180,000 at the OBS select sale of two-year-olds in training in March this year. The CashCall Futurity was his first graded stakes victory. He now has two wins and a second from three career starts, and earnings of $448,800. All of his wins have come over synthetic surfaces – one on Cushion Track and one on Santa Anita’s Polytrack.
Earlier in the day, grade I winner Greg’s Gold took the $107,800 On Trust Handicap (VIDEO) for owner William Boswell and trainer David Hofmans. The 6-year-old Lake George gelding went 7 ½-furlongs in 1:26.78 and won by 1 ¾-lengths under a steady hand ride from Victor Espinosa. The win boosted his career earnings to $917,923 and gave him a 8-9-2 record from 23 starts.