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Pretty Mischievous won the 2023 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds to earn 50 points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1), upsetting the undefeated division leader Hoosier Philly in the process. Is the Brendan Walsh trainee now a top contender to win the Oaks? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
Godolphin’s Pretty Mischief was able to turn the tables on heavy favorite Hoosier Philly and earn 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks Championship Series in Saturday’s $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes presented by Fasig-Tipton (G2).
Pretty Mischievous was ridden by jockey Tyler Gaffalione and trained by Brendan Walsh. She completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.15.
It was an eventful start to the Rachel Alexandra as 2-5 favorite Hoosier Philly appeared to stumble leaving the starting gate. Meanwhile, pacesetting Miracle was able to set very moderate early fractions of :25.02 and :48.85. Hoosier Philly was relegated to last while Pretty Mischievous tracked in third in the early stages. Around the far turn, Gaffalione tipped Pretty Mischievous to the three path and battled every step of the Fair Grounds stretch to narrowly defeat Miracle.
“Before she ran Brendan told me we had a really special one in the barn,” Gaffalione said. “She keeps improving physically and mentally.”
In total, 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks were up for grabs in the Rachel Alexandra. Runner-up Miracle earned 20 points followed by Hoosier Philly (15), Vahva (10) and Chop Chop (5).
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Knockyoursocksoff rounded out the Rachel Alexandra field.
Pretty Mischievous rewarded her backers with payouts of $18.20, $6.60 and $3.40. Miracle returned $10 and $5.80 while Hoosier Philly paid $2.10.
Pretty Mischievous is a daughter of Into Mischief out of the Tapit mare Pretty City Dancer. She was bred in Kentucky by her owner. She now sports a record of four wins from five tries with her only defeat coming to Hoosier Philly in the Golden Rod (G2) (finished 3rd) in late November. She increased her career bankroll to $421,310.
Nine of the last 26 winners of the Kentucky Oaks have participated in the Rachel Alexandra. The final race in the filly series at Fair Grounds is the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) presented by Fasig-Tipton on Saturday, March 25.
Tyler Gaffalione, jockey, Pretty Mischievous, (winner): “Before she ran Brendan told me we had a really special one in the barn. She keeps improving physically and mentally. Today, I sat in a perfect spot and let Johnny (Velazquez) go on Miracle while Luis (Saez and Vahva) tracked inside.”
Brendan Walsh, trainer, Pretty Mischievous (winner): “She never missed a beat from her first start at 2 until now. We knew we’d have to give her a rest at some point because we didn’t want to go to the well too often. We were quietly confident she’d be good enough and today we found out she is. Now, we’ll see how she comes out of things, talk things over with the ownership team and get her to be 110% on the big day in May.”
John Velazquez, jockey, Miracle (runner-up): “She was in the perfect spot today. It was the first time going two real turns and she handled things well.”
Edgar Morales, jockey, Hoosier Philly (third): “I think the stumble at the start cost a lot. I had nowhere to go when they were going so slow. Every horse is going to finish going 25. It’s part of the game. It is what it is. It was her first race back and she was faced was a lot of adversity. She’s always in the bridle but I had to take a hold of her because everyone was going so slow. “
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