Bobby Zen

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — Given his choice, trainer Brendan Walsh would rather not see it wet on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. That’s because the big horse in his barn, Pretty Mischievous (Into Mischief) is scheduled to run in the GI Ogden Phipps S. on the GI Belmont S. undercard at Saratoga Race Course.

“The less rain we get, the better,” Walsh said while sitting in his office at his barn at the Oklahoma Training Track.

Owned by Godolphin LLC. Pretty Mischievous has seen off-tracks before and has run okay. She was third in the GI La Troienne S. at Churchill Downs in her 2024 debut; in her last start of 2023, she was second in the GI Cotillion S. at Parx.

Pretty Mischievous also won on a sloppy track when she was a 2-year-old.

“She’ll go on it, but it’s not her best surface,” Walsh said.

When asked if he would definitely run Pretty Mischievous in the Phipps, Walsh did not commit.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “It depends on how much rain we get.”

In the La Troienne, Pretty Mischievous and jockey Tyler Gaffalione were beaten 5 1/4 lengths by Idiomatic (Curlin), who has steamrolled her way to six straight wins and won an Eclipse of her own last year for older dirt female.

Idiomatic | Sarah Andrew

Idiomatic, from the barn of Brad Cox, is the 3-5 morning-line favorite in the Phipps. Pretty Mischievous is the co-third choice–along with Randomized (Nyquist)–at 6-1.

Walsh is looking forward to a rematch, hopefully on a fast track.

“I liked the way she ran the last time,” he said. “She loomed up there like she was going to do something. Maybe it was a combination of the track and she got a little tired.”

Pretty Mischievous has satisfied Walsh with her three works at Churchill Downs since the La Troienne.

The filly arrived in Saratoga on Monday.

“She seems like she is working as good as ever–it not better– going into this,” Walsh said. “She is the nicest filly in the world to train. She makes us all look good.”


McPeek’s ‘Other’ Horse Runs Friday

In any other year, Thorpedo Anna (Fast Anna) would be getting all the attention at trainer Kenny McPeek’s barn.

Not this year. Thorpedo Anna is the best 3-year-old filly in the country and she gets to prove it again on Friday when she runs in the GI Acorn S. at Saratoga Race Course. Winner of four of five career starts by a combined 26 1/4 lengths, Thorpedo Anna is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the Acorn.

She is being overshadowed because she lives in the same barn as Mystik Dan (Goldencents), the GI Kentucky Derby winner and runner-up in the GI Preakness S. Mystik Dan is running in Saturday’s GI Belmont at the Spa.

“It’s weird,” McPeek said outside his barn. “Here you have a filly and there is no telling what she is worth, and she literally gets ignored. In any other year, I would be running her in the Belmont!”

McPeek didn’t care that Mystik Dan was made the 5-1 third choice behind 9-5 Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) and 7-2 Mindframe (Constitution) in the Belmont by New York Racing Association linemaker David Aragona.

“I’m not a gambler so it doesn’t really matter to me,” McPeek said. “In New York, they tend to bet on Chad [Brown, trainer of Sierra Leone] and Todd [Pletcher, trainer of Mindframe]. In Kentucky, they bet on me!”


Repole Will Go It Alone … Sort Of

Owner Mike Repole rolled into town on Thursday and will have two chances to take home the top prize in the GI Belmont S. on Saturday. His stable owns Mindframe (Constitution), the 7-2 second choice on the Belmont morning line.

Mindframe (outside) and Protective (inside) | Sarah Andrew

He also owns 20-1 Protective (Medaglia d’Oro) with his long-time partners, Vinnie and Teresa Viola (St. Elias Stable).

However, the Violas aren’t going to be able to make the Belmont. Vinnie Viola owns the Florida Panthers and they are playing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals against Edmonton Saturday night in Miami.

“He and Teresa will be sitting in a box cheering on their team,” Repole said by phone. “Hopefully, we can get the Belmont and they get the Stanley Cup.”

Even though Viola won’t be at the Spa, don’t feel for Repole. He won’t be lonely. He said he has 70 people in his Saturday entourage at Saratoga.


History Is Made At The Spa

Someday, trainer Mertkan Kantarmaci, jockey Dylan Davis and a 3-year-old gelding named Drunk on Sake (Yoshida {JPN}) will be the answer to a Saratoga trivia question.

The answer: They combined to win the first race on Thursday as the four-day Belmont Festival at Saratoga got underway. It is the earliest race ever run in the storied history of Saratoga, which started racing Thoroughbreds in 1863.

“I’m happy to make some history,” Davis, who was born and raised in Saratoga, said. “We’re here a little earlier, but it’s great to be here.”

According to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, before Thursday, the earliest race ever run at Saratoga was July 11, 1882. Opening day of the 2024 summer meet at Saratoga is July 11.

“This is the earliest start ever at Saratoga, so its special,” Kantarmaci said. “What can I say?”

Drunk on Sake took the lead from the bell and won by 8 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/16-mile race on the inner turf. It was his first start on the grass after beating no one in his career debut on a muddy track at Aqueduct.

Kantarmaci is hoping this will be the start of a successful Belmont Festival. He said he has six more horses that could start here.

The post Walsh Will Keep An Eye To The Sky Before Pretty Mischievous Runs In Ogden Phipps appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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