Into Mischief has found himself at the top of the dirt rankings by number of black type winners, mid-way through 2018 and he doesn’t look like he’s about to slow down now. This ever-improving sire is part of the family to be associated with as a son of Leslie’s Lady, making the great mare Beholder and top sophomore runner Mendelssohn, his half-siblings.
It took him some time to get here, but with his younger half brother showing incredible versatility on any surface, breeders are flocking to the horse that is being boldly proclaimed as the “Heir to the Storm Cat line”. He was the most popular in 2017 by number of mares covered and he was booked solid for 2018 as well, a vast difference from his first year as a sire that resulted in only 42 named foals. That first year, however, was a sign for better things to come as out of those 42 named foals, 36 (86%) were runners, 29 (69%) were winners, and 7 (17%) ended up black type winners. His winner percentage has remained above the 60% mark every single year since then, with his 2015 crop being 3YOs of this year and still garnering him praise.
The most famous of the 2015 offspring is Audible, who even had the Amazon company under the same name throwing their hat into his ring in the Run for the Roses. He finished third behind eventual Triple Crown winner Justify and Champion 2YO Good Magic in a race that was plagued by rain, mud, and a bumper car beginning that left Mendelssohn finishing dead last, almost 70 lengths behind his nephew (by human standards).
In the filly category, the nod for most accomplished for this year goes to Mia Mischief. The 3YO filly out of a Speightstown broodmare won the Eight Belles S. on Kentucky Oaks day, and beat out the other Into Mischief filly in the race, Gas Station Sushi, who finished third behind Talk Veuve to Me. The fillies were fortunate to get a dry track, where the colts had to run through historic amounts of rain. Mia Mischief has been kept primarily at the sprint distances and has shown herself to be wicked fast when called upon for a final kick.
Getting away from his active runners, fans of Goldencents would be frustrated if I didn’t bring up the best son of Into Mischief that has made it to stud. His track career spanned three whole years and after finishing off the board only four times, he is remembered best for his two gutsy victories in the Gr. I Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at three and four held in consecutive years at Santa Anita Park.
Now three years into his stallion career (he entered when the 3YOs mentioned above were only foals), Goldencents already has two first-crop winners. Auction prices have been reflecting six digit figures for his offspring of racing age, and he’s currently fourth on the first-crop sire list with Bano Solo being the chief earner; that colt was victorious at Churchill Downs this past weekend.
While the best, Goldencents isn’t the only son of Into Mischief now at stud. Practical Joke joined the Coolmore Ashford rankings early this year and he’s been well-received by breeders.
Many of the best “eyes” in the sport have sung their support for the stallion, and it isn’t hard to see it yourself. A brilliant winner of the Gr. I Hopeful Stakes and Gr. I Champagne as a 2YO, he also finished third in the Gr. I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile behind fellow barn mate, Classic Empire and Taylor Made stallion, Not This Time.
He returned as a 3YO to be victorious in the Gr. I H. Allen Jerkens Stakes and the Gr. III Dwyer Stakes, despite being taken off the Triple Crown trail after second place efforts in both the Gr. II Blue Grass Stakes and the Gr. II Fountain of Youth Stakes; both are considered to be key preps for the Kentucky Derby, where he ultimately finished fifth.
Into Mischief is one of the most intensely watched older sires on the market, with many buyers scooping up mares at auction with the intention of breeding to him. While this is a common occurrence when people seek out mares to support new, incoming stallions like Gun Runner or Arrogate, this doesn’t happen all that often when it comes to well-established sires that already have nine crops on the ground (seven of racing or breeding age).
However, as his family enjoys doing, Into Mischief is riding an ever-quickening ascent into the upper echelons of the sport. Beholder was overshadowed in her early years before she matured and became the Queen B we now know. Mendelssohn didn’t blow them all away first out, but now that he’s a maturing sophomore runner, he’s found ways to make a name for himself and the hope among the fans is that he races into his 4YO year.
Into Mischief is going to be the stallion to watch these next few years, as the yearling auctions are going to experience a surge in horses sired by him, and many will come with nice price tags attached as the dam quality continues to improve. If you don’t have one now, get yourself an Into Mischief foal and get ready for those yearling sales because the demand is only going to get higher from here.