The Plans for Maximus Mischief

One day after posting a win in his stakes debut in Aqueduct’s Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen, trainer Robert Reid, Jr. said Maximus Mischief came out of his 2 ¼-length score in good order and shipped back well to his home base at Parx in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

“It looked like he came out of the race perfectly and made good time, he was safely back in his stall by 9 p.m. or so,” Reid said. “He was a little tired, but he’s on his toes this morning.”

Owned by Cash is King Stable and LC Racing, Maximus Mischief improved to 3-for-3 to start his career. The Into Mischief colt won his debut with an 8 ¾-length win in a 5 ½-furlong sprint on September 29 at Parx before winning by six lengths at seven furlongs over the same track October 20.

Stretching out to the Remsen distance of 1 1/8 miles and two turns, Maximus Mischief handled the new challenges with aplomb, earning a 97 Beyer Speed Figure and also netting 10 qualifying points towards the Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

“The most impressive part was how he acted in the paddock and all the pre-race stuff, because he can be a handful in the paddock,” Reid said. “In his new surroundings, he handled it very well. He stood perfectly in the paddock, which at Aqueduct can be a little foreboding. He handled it great and was cool as a cucumber and stood there perfectly when we put the tack on him. I was pretty confident with the way things were going to go after that.”

Out of the gate, Maximus Mischief, under jockey Frankie Pennington, dueled Gladiator King for the early speed before eventually taking command by the half-mile mark. In the stretch, he dug in against the Chad Brown-trained Network Effect, who was the field’s lone graded stakes veteran in having finished second in the Grade 3 Nashua on November 4 at the Big A.

“Frankie did a great job riding him. He didn’t worry about the horses inside or outside of him,” Reid said. “Once he switched leads and opened up, I felt really good about it.”

After a brief respite, Maximus Mischief’s conditioner said the $340,000 purchase will be headed for warmer temperatures and what is hopefully a bright sophomore year.

Maximus Mischief Heading to Florida for 3yo Campaign

“We’re going to give him a little break but then we’ll be heading down to Florida,” Reid said. “We’ll be heading down to Gulfstream Park in the next few weeks and get him used to the weather down there and get him ready to start his 3-year-old campaign.”

Klaravich Stables’ Network Effect garnered four points for the 2019 Kentucky Derby with his runner-up finish when he edged Tax by a half-length. The Mark Valeski colt won his first race on August 11 at Saratoga before taking the jump in class in running second to Vekoma in the Nashua.

Gulfstream Park horse toteBrown said Network Effect, the even-money favorite who rallied from fifth, has talent but is looking to take the next step.

“He ran spotty a little bit in the race,” Brown said. “He was in a pretty good position and in the final turn it looked like the eventual winner got away from him a little bit, but late in the race he was starting to gain on him. I thought the winner ran terrific and our horse ran very respectable. He’s a work in progress.”

Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable’s Tax made a splash for trainer Danny Gargan in his first race for the conditioner since being claimed for $50,000 on October 21 at Keeneland, where he had a maiden-breaking, two-length win for then-trainer Ben Colebrook.

Tax’s third-place finish earned him two qualifying points for the “Run for the Roses” and his black type performance in his first stakes start resulted in a 93 Beyer.

“I thought he ran huge. We were expecting a big performance; he’s a really good-looking horse,” Gargan said. “He ran really well and the [speed] number came back tremendous, we’re really excited about that. He came out of the race great.”

Tax, who has trained at Belmont Park, will likely be kept in New York, said Gargan, who left open the possibility he could run in the $150,000 Jerome for newly minted 3-year-olds on New Year’s Day at the Big A.

“He has a really big future. We’ll keep him in New York and evaluate him and see where our next stakes spot will be. There’s a big chance he’ll run next at Aqueduct but if not, there’s a couple of different options.”

Source: NYRA

Kentucky Derby 140 Contenders, Borderline Horses & Throwouts – Part IV

CANDY BOY (Stalker, 25/1)

The John Sadler trainee made a smashing three year old debut, rallying from just off the pace to score in the G2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.  Off that solid performance he was one of the betting favorites in the G1 Santa Anita Derby, where he stalked the pace in third throughout, faded at the top of the lane, and then came again to narrowly get the show spot.  He crawled home in :38.2 and was beaten nearly 9 lengths by Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome.  Stevens has indicated that they will take him further off the pace this time around.

Candy Boy is out of a dam who was a minor stakes winner in California going long, but there is little in the pedigree to predict a top performance in the Kentucky Derby.  You have to like Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens being in the irons for a top California barn, but this colt has never set foot outside of Southern California. You simply can’t include everyone, and Candy Boy is a toss based off his last race.

KYD_Candy Boy

Form: Questionable

Status: Throwout

Value Line: 25/1

VICAR’S IN TROUBLE (Speed horse, 15/1)

Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, this colt exits a smashing win in the G2 Louisiana Derby.  Despite what some other sources have reported, this colt set a very honest pace in that Fair Grounds race as he took the field gate to wire.  What I don’t like to see is the way he finished, coming home in a slow :38.3 for the final three furlongs (3/8ths of a mile).  In his prior start, the Risen Star Stakes, he made a big move from off the pace to contend at the 1/8th pole but collapsed in the final furlong.  In both of these starts, he switched back to the ‘wrong’ lead in deep stretch, typically not a good sign.

On the positive side, he is one of only two horses in the race (the other being the favorite California Chrome) who sports two triple-digit BRIS Speed Ratings this year of 104 and 103, respectively.  He is trained by Mike Maker, who on a national scale is one of the best horsemen in the country.  The media is probably praying that this horse doesn’t win, as Maker is a man of very few words.  He lets his horses do the talking, as evidenced by his 26-percent win rate.

A lot people question this horse’s ability to get the distance, with his sire Into Mischief being one of the questions.  Into Mischief was a really nice horse who never ran worse than 2nd in six career starts.  He won going long in the 2007 G1 CashCall Futurity and he is a half brother to superstar and route horse Beholder, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Vicars in trouble PPs

Form: Sharp

Status: Contender

Value Line: 15/1 Kentucky Derby Watch – Revolutionary


The Todd Pletcher-trained Revolutionary was a most impressive winner of this year’s Withers Stakes, a race that typically doesn’t produce a serious Kentucky Derby contender. Most legit Derby horses are not racing at Aqueduct in the frigid winter but rather training in the likes of Florida, Louisiana or California.

The problem for us handicappers is that pretty much everyone saw this troubled trip of this potential Kentucky Derby contender. It was really a combination of an overconfident ride from top jock Javier Castellano coupled with some bad racing luck. First, he steadied briefly behind a tiring horse on the far turn, which resulted in the colt being shuffled back to last. He made multiple moves in this race, including again at the top of lane when there was simply no hole to run into. Castellano altered course again aboard Revolutionary, ducked to the inside, and finished gamely to just get up at the wire. It was explosive turn of foot from a very inexperienced, young colt.

“I was watching the replay of the race…and there was nothing good about it except for the last two or three jumps,” stated Pletcher’s assistant, Michael McCarthy. “That may have been one of the worst winning trips I’ve ever seen.”


“This race,” said Elliot Walden, CEO and racing manager for WinStar Farm, “was worth three in terms of education. When you’re looking at a race like the Derby, potentially down the road, to get that kind of experience, it’s invaluable.”

Can’t argue with that.

Revolutionary sports an excellent pedigree. He is out of a dam (mother) who won the G1 Alabama Stakes, and his grandsire on that side is the great A.P. Indy. The colt is bred to run all day.