Exciting 2-year-olds opening act for stakes action on Travers Day at Saratoga

August 8, 2020

Trio of Into Mischief progeny and American Pharoah duo bring fierce competition to deep fields in maiden special weight races

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Before stakes action kicks off on Saturday’s Runhappy Travers Day card at Saratoga, two maiden special weights will see potential juvenile stars search for their first career victory.

In Race 5, a 5 ½-furlong event over the main track, Shadwell Stable will debut Mutasaabeq, a well-bred Into Mischief colt that has been training forwardly for trainer Todd Pletcher, posting two bullet works from the gate over the Saratoga main track, the most recent of which was a half-mile breeze in 46.40 seconds on August 1.

“He’s a gorgeous horse and Todd is very, very excited about him,” said Shadwell Stables’ general manager Rick Nichols. “We hope that he runs a big race. I’m sure Todd will let the jockey find his own way.”

Bred in Kentucky by Black Ridge Stables, Mutasaabeq was purchased by Shadwell as a weanling at the 2018 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale for $425,000. Out of the Scat Daddy mare Downside Scenario, he is a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Cool Cowboy.

“He was just a really nice individual. He was correct, good-looking and by the right kind of sire,” Nichols said.

Jockey Luis Saez will pilot Mutasaabeq from post 7.

Trainer Chad Brown will saddle Bottle Rocket Man for owners Peter Brant and Robert LaPenta.

The bay son of Into Mischief is out of the Distorted Humor mare Gaudete, who is a half-sister to prominent sire Munnings. Purchased for $350,000 from the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling sale, Bottle Rocket Man is a direct descendant of prominent broodmare La Troienne.

Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano will be aboard from post 6.

Entries for Race 5, post time 2:26 p.m. ET

$72,000 Maiden Special Weight, 2-year-olds, 5 ½ furlongs on dirt 

Post, horse, sire, jockey, trainer, owner, mlo

1. Shackleford Strong (Shackleford) – Ricardo Santana, Jr. – Steve Asmussen – James Zahler, – 8/1

2. American Gentleman (American Pharoah) – Manny Franco – Raymond Handal – Madaket Stables LLC, West Paces Racing, Cutair Racing and Raymond Handal – 10/1

3. Raise the Rent (Malibu Moon) – Joel Rosario – Rudy Rodriguez – Red Storm Stable, Michael Imperio and Theresa Cotrone – 10/1

4. The Best Distance (Distorted Humor) – Eric Cancel – Jaime Mejia – Jaime Mejia – 50/1

5. Guana Cay (Air Force Blue) -Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Wesley Ward – Kent Spellman – 6/1

6. Bottle Rocket Man (Into Mischief) – Javier Castellano – Chad Brown – Peter M. Brant and Robert V. LaPenta – 2/1

7. Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief) – Luis Saez – Todd Pletcher – Shadwell Stable – 1/1


In Race 6 on Saturday, 2-year-olds will take to the Mellon turf course going 1 1/16 miles.

Trainer Al Stall, Jr. will saddle Mystical Man on behalf of Columbine Stable. Purchased for $155,000, the bay son of leading third-crop sire Mucho Macho Man is out of the North Light broodmare Chasida, who is a half-sister to four-time Grade 1-winning multimillionaire Private Zone.

“Keith Dickey bought him for us at the March sale. He’s an unusual 2-year-old in that the second he got away from the sale, he started getting bigger and stronger and filling out,” Stall, Jr. said. “He had a growth spurt after the sale. He looks like a different horse 60 days after the sale, in a good way. We got him started, took our time with him, and he hasn’t missed a day or anything. He’s a January foal. He’s long and leggy. He’s nice, but we just didn’t think he’d be a three-quarter horse like these monster Into Mischiefs. With [2004 Epsom Derby winner] North Light being the damsire, we think he’ll want a little more ground.”

Bred by Equus Farm, Mystical Man comes from a family with plenty of turf talent which includes multiple Grade 1 winner Chief Bearhart, who was a two-time Canadian Horse of the Year, as well as Grade 1 winner Explosive Red. Both are out of prolific Canadian broodmare Amelia Bearhart. Additionally, Mystical Man is a direct descendant of Gold Digger, who produced prolific stallion Mr. Prospector.

“He’s going to get some growth with him being by Mucho Macho Man, who was a humongous horse. But he got taller and filled in,” Stall, Jr. said. “He’s got plenty of miles on him and it’s time to go on that run.”

Jockey Joel Rosario has the mount from post 6.

Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen will debut a well-bred son of international champion producing stallion Galileo when he saddles Hidden Enemy for L and N Racing. Bred in Ireland by Alexander/Groves Thoroughbreds, Hidden Enemy is out of the Grade 1-winning Empire Maker broodmare Acoma and is a direct descendant of Courtly Dee, who was named 1983 broodmare of the year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Hidden Enemy was purchased for $155,000 from last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by Gainesway.

“We took a flyer on him at the Keeneland Sale,” said Michael Levinson of L and N Racing. “No one was on him at the sale. He just had a huge pedigree, vetted perfect and for some reason people weren’t on him. We thought it was a great buy. Steve’s dad had him down at his training center in Laredo and thought he’d be a two-turn horse just based off his pedigree. There’s distance on both sides so it didn’t make much sense to debut him going short.”

Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. will pilot Hidden Enemy as he leaves from post 4.

Peter Brant, Robert LaPenta and Wonder StablesSecret Potion will be making his debut for trainer Chad Brown as he emerges from the rail.

The bay son of Into Mischief, bred in Kentucky by Dixiana Farms, was bought for $475,000 at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale and is out of the Tiznow mare Caxambas Pass, who is a half-sister to turf Grade 1 winner Point of Entry and Pine Island, a multiple Grade 1 winner on dirt.

Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Secret Potion from post 4.

Entries for Race 6, post time 3:02 p.m. ET

$72,000 Maiden Special Weight, 2-year-olds, 1 1/16 mile on turf 

Post, horse, sire, jockey, trainer, owner, mlo

1. Secret Potion (Into Mischief) – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Chad Brown – Peter M. Brant, Robert V. LaPenta and Woodford Racing, LLC – 5/2

2. Pivotal Mission (Noble Mission {GB})  – Jose Ortiz – Graham Motion – Frassetto, Albert – 4/1

3. American Monarch (American Pharoah) – Junior Alvarado – Bill Mott – Mike G. Rutherford- 5/1

4. Hidden Enemy (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}) – Ricardo Santana, Jr. – Steve Asmussen – L and N Racing LLC – 9/2

5. Hilliard (Temple City) – Dylan Davis – Philip Gleaves – Bryan Hilliard – 30/1

6. Mystical Man (Mucho Macho Man) – Joel Rosario – Al Stall, Jr. – Columbine Stable LLC. – 8/1

7. Free Spirit (Candy Ride {ARG}) – Eric Cancel – Jaime Mejia – Jaime Mejia – 30/1

8. Incitatus (Ironicus) – Luis Saez – Ian Wilkes – Franz Morsches – 8/1

9. Esperanto (Tourist) – Jose Lezcano – Bill Mott – Don Alberto Stable – 15/1

10. Fire At Will (Declaration of War) – Tyler Gaffalione – Mike Maker – Three Diamonds Farm – 10/1

11. Restored Order (Frosted) (MTO) – Rider TBA – Todd Pletcher – Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable – 8/5

12. Repo Rocks (Tapiture) (MTO) – Rider TBA – Bill Mott – LRE Racing LLC and JEH Racing Stable LLC – 8/1 


The debuts continue at the Spa on Sunday 

In Sunday’s second race at Saratoga, L N J Foxwoods and Phillips Racing Partnership’s Seasons will attempt to follow in her prestigious family’s footsteps when making her career debut in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight over the Mellon turf at Saratoga.

Trained by Jimmy Toner, Seasons is a chestnut daughter of Tapit out of two-time Grade 1 winner Winter Memories, who won three of her four starts at the Spa, which included a career debut as well as a victory in the Grade 1 Diana in 2012. Seasons’ grand dam was Memories of Silver, a two-time Grade 1 winner who won all four of her starts at Saratoga, all of which were in stakes.

Both Winter Memories and Memories of Silver were also conditioned by Toner.

“I hope that she follows the same pattern,” Toner said. “She’s different than what her mother was. Winter Memories was a big, lumbering filly with a big turn of foot. This one is very athletic and quicker. If she could be what her mother was, that would be nice. It’s really neat to be associated with these kinds of horses. The lineage is still carrying on.”

Jockey Jose Ortiz will be aboard Seasons from post 5.

Trainer Chad Brown will saddle Misspell, a chestnut American Pharoah filly for owner Peter Brant.

Bred in Kentucky by Sahara Group Holdings and Eurowest Bloodstock, Misspell is out of the Dixie Union broodmare Fact File, a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Honorable Duty. Her fourth generation dam was 2002 broodmare of the year Toussaud, who produced four Grade 1 winners including 2003 Belmont Stakes winner and champion producing sire Empire Maker.

Misspell will break from post 7 under Joel Rosario.

Saratoga Entries for Sunday, August 9


Listen to Jonathan Stettin and Michael Vale discuss betting maiden races

Edited Press Release 

Photo: Saratoga Race Course 

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