Arctic Arrogance after his Sleepy Hollow score (Joe Labozzetta)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Lady Sheila Stable’s New York-homebred Downtown Mischief registered a 77 Beyer Speed Figure for her impressive 7 3/4-length debut score in a six-furlong state-bred maiden special weight on Saturday, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Linda Rice, the Into Mischief sophomore broke alertly and tracked the hustling early speed of Weekend Rags before taking over in upper stretch and drawing clear in a final time of 1:12.53.
Downtown Mischief is out of the Speightstown mare Downtown Mama, who was purchased for $440,000 by Rice for Lady Sheila at the 2016 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. Downtown Mama won her first three starts, including a pair of allowance scores at Belmont Park.
“It was pretty exciting,” Rice said of the debut score for Downtown Mischief. “Sheila and I raced her mother together. She was a pretty nice filly but got injured. So, it’s nice to get a win with her first foal for Sheila.”
Rice said Downtown Mischief exited the win in good order and will hopefully echo the precocious early efforts of her dam.
“I hope this filly has a longer race career, but she has a lot of promise. We’ll go one race at a time,” Rice said.
Rice recently purchased a trio of horses privately for Lady Sheila Stable, including multiple stakes winner Les Bon Temps, who captured the Maid of the Mist and the $500,000 NYSSS Fifth Avenue in her last two starts here in the care of conditioner Mike Maker.
The sophomore daughter of Laoban is nominated to next Sunday’s $100,000 Franklin Square, a 6 1/2-furlong test for state-bred sophomore fillies, but could wait for the $100,000 Maddie May at one-mile here on February 19.
Also acquired for Lady Sheila Stables was Starry Midnight, a 3-year-old New York-bred daughter of Connect, who rallied to a head score in her November 27 debut for trainer Jorge Abreu.
Bred by Dr. James Randall McGlinn, she is out of the winning Street Cry mare Street Singer. Starry Midnight is also nominated to the Franklin Square.
“It’s a little short for her. I think she needs more distance, but it’s a consideration,” Rice said.
The third acquisition for Lady Sheila Stables is an unnamed juvenile filly by Gun Runner.
Rice leads all trainers at the Big A winter meet with six wins heading into Sunday’s card. She will send out graded-stakes placed New York-bred Betsy Blue and stakes-winning Florida-bred Piece of My Heart in Saturday’s $100,000 Interborough, a seven-furlong test for older fillies and mares.
Cloud Nine Stable’s Betsy Blue was claimed for $50,000 in March 2021 out of a winning effort at the Big A and has since won seven races for her current connections, including the 2021 Bouwerie against fellow state-breds at Belmont. She finished a distant third in the one-mile Grade 3 Go for Wand over a sloppy and sealed main track here on December 3 but returned one week later to take the six-furlong Garland of Roses versus open company.
“She’ll be two years with us in March. She’s just a gem,” Rice said.
Rice said she would love to try for more graded blacktype with Betsy Blue in the seven-furlong Grade 3, $150,000 Distaff Handicap on April 7 here.
“Definitely. That’s what we’ll be pointing for. A graded win for her would be huge,” Rice said.
Winning Move Stable’s Piece of My Heart, a 6-year-old Flat Out chestnut, was claimed for $62,500 in July at Saratoga and since posted a record of 5-1-3-0, including a last-out optional-claiming score on January 5 over a sloppy and sealed Big A main track.
Chester and Mary Broman’s graded-stakes placed New York-homebred Arctic Arrogance, with blinkers on, breezed a half-mile under Jose Lezcano in 50.47 seconds Sunday over the Belmont dirt training track in his first breeze since a runner-up effort in the Jerome on January 7 here.
The Frosted sophomore raced in second position throughout the one-turn mile Jerome, finishing a half-length back of West Coast-based shipper Lugan Knight.
Rice said she’s looking forward to stretching Arctic Arrogance back out to nine furlongs in the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers on February 4. The Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier offers 20-8-6-4-2 points to the top-five finishers.
“He had a good workout this morning,” Rice said. “We missed a breeze coming into the Jerome over the holiday with bad weather. I thought he was a little heavy coming into the race, so I want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen going into the Withers.”
Arctic Arrogance, who captured the one-turn mile Sleepy Hollow here against fellow state-breds on October 30, is currently ranked 10th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with eight points. He picked up four qualifying points for a runner-up effort to Dubyuhnell in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Remsen on December 3, which was contested over a sloppy and sealed Aqueduct main track.