Make Mischief saves best for last in late-rallying Maddie May score
by Brian Bohl
Gary Barber’s Make Mischief made a strong bid along the rail and overtook pacesetter Brattle House in the final sixteenth, completing a rally for a victory by a neck in Saturday’s $100,000 Maddie May for New York bred 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct Racetrack.
After a trio of runner-up efforts against stakes company as a juvenile, Make Mischief broke through thanks to a late surge, improving to 2-for-2 in her sophomore campaign.
Make Mischief broke alertly from post 3 under Eric Cancel and was forwardly placed in third position, content to stay off Brattle House’s early fractions of 24.19 seconds for the quarter-mile before moving up to second as the half went in 48.50 and three-quarters in 1:14.31 on the muddy and harrowed main track.
Brattle House, under rider Dylan Davis, maintained the lead out of the turn from the three-path and into the stretch. Cancel kept his charge pressed to the rail before finding a seam inside Brattle House and getting up in the final jumps, completing the one-turn mile in 1:40.55.
“It was a little bit nerve-wracking in the stretch. I had the hole at the beginning of the stretch, but then it started closing in pretty tight,” said Cancel, who notched his third win on the card. “I just had to keep on guiding her and work my way to victory. I tried to ride her comfortable. From the quarter pole to the wire, I did my job and I’m glad she helped me do it.”
The Chris Englehart trainee entered with plenty of experience as a juvenile, running second in the Grade 2 Adirondack, Grade 3 Schuylerville and the Seeking the Ante for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse last summer at Saratoga Race Course before finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Chandelier in September at Santa Anita to close out her 2020 campaign.
Casse sent Make Mischief to Englehart to begin her spring campaign. She returned from a four-month layoff to best optional claimers going seven furlongs at the Big A on January 31 and handled the slight stretch out in distance three weeks later; something Cancel said could be pressed even further as she progresses.
“I don’t think distance will be a problem,” Cancel said. “The thing that has to be in her favor is the pace that they make. Hopefully, the trainer and owner keep doing what they’re doing and she’ll keep on improving if she’s good enough.”
Off as the 8-5 favorite, Make Mischief returned $5.30 on a $2 win bet. Bred by Avanti Stable, she improved her career bankroll to $207,750.
Brattle House, a $775,000 purchase at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred Yearling Sale owned by OXO Equine and trained by Christophe Clement, bested Vacay by 2 1/4 lengths for second in her stakes debut. The daughter of Malibu Moon, bred by Oak Bluff Stables, handily won her debut by 5 1/4 lengths on November 22 at the Big A.
“She broke well and took me there,” Davis said. “I was very comfortable up front. It was just unfortunate that the horse came up the inside. I didn’t think the rail was that good but I heard her coming so I had to do a little race riding, but it still wasn’t enough. She’s a nice filly and it feels like she’s still developing. She ran a good race.”
Shanes Pretty Lady, Frost Me, Irish Constitution and Secret Love completed the order of finish. Teetotaler and Cara’s Dreamer scratched.
Live racing at Aqueduct will continue Sunday with a nine-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.