SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – StarLadies Racing, LNJ Foxwoods and Gainesway Stable’s 2-year-old filly Prank has big shoes to fill after her half-brother, Mo Donegal, took the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets in June.
But the daughter of Into Mischief showed that she may be able to rise to the levels of her famous sibling after she posted a brilliant debut in Race 6 on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher.
“She’s all Into Mischief when you look at her,” said Pletcher. “She looks like her stallion and she’s been a consummate pro since Day One.”
Prank, who emerged from post 6 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons, was hurried to the front to dictate the pace and was briefly held to a half-length lead by High Class at the half-mile call. She quickly shook off her rival and widened her margins at each point of call, pulling away easily with a few shakes of the reins and one right-handed tap of the crop.
Ortiz, Jr. peeked back just before the sixteenth pole and eased up on the filly to coast under the wire 9 3/4 lengths the best, completing the 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight in 1:03.94.
Pletcher said he was expecting Prank to give a strong performance after showing her maturity in a series of workouts that included a five-furlong breeze over the main track in 1:01.66 on July 11.
“I always try to underplay it, but I’ll put it this way – it did not surprise me,” said Pletcher. “She caught onto everything first time and learned quickly. She’s done everything right.”
Pletcher added that Prank could potentially make her next appearance in the seven-furlong Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway on September 4 at the Spa.
Ortiz, Jr., who worked the filly once from the gate prior to her debut, said he was also expecting a good effort from her.
“She did it very nicely. She’s a nice filly,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “I worked her in the morning from the gate and she was very nice. She gave me a good feeling – she broke sharp, I took ahold of her and never let her run and she went in 48 or 47 [seconds], so I was excited. I wanted to see what she would give me, and obviously she was nice.”
Out of the Pulpit mare Callingmissbrown, Prank was a $500,000 purchase from the Ashview Farm consignment at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She was bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stable.
Early look at Saratoga Week 5 stakes probables
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10
$135K Tale of the Cat
Probable: Awesome Gerry (Saffie Joseph, Jr.), Isolate (Tom Amoss), Mr Phil (Rob Atras), Repo Rocks (Gregory DiPrima), Southern District (Chad Brown)
Possible: Swiftsure (Rodolphe Brisset)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 11
Probable: Artos (Rusty Arnold), Breeze Easy (Christophe Clement), Delmona (Jamie Begg), Derrynane (Clement), Freedom Speaks (Jeremiah Englehart), Makin My Move (John Kimmel), Poppy Flower (Bill Mott)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 12
$125K John Morrissey (NYB)
Probable: Reggae Music Man (Patrick Reynolds), Saint Selby (Atras), Senbei (Clement), Wudda U Think Now (Rudy Rodriguez)
Possible: My Boy Tate (Michelle Nevin)
$125K Union Avenue (NYB)
Probable: Eloquent Speaker (Natalia Lynch), Snicket (David Duggan), Time Limit (Mike Maker)
$125K Johnstone Mile (NYB)
Probable: Brattle House (Bill Mott), Courageous Girl (Horacio De Paz), Make Mischief (Mark Casse), Mashnee Girl (Mark Hennig), Pay Grade (Clement)
$125K Evan Shipman (NYB)
Probable: Bankit (Steve Asmussen), Brooklyn Strong (Victor Barboza, Jr.), Listentoyourheart (Clement), Market Alert (James Ryerson), Sea Foam (Michelle Giangiulio), Therisastormbrewin (Rodriguez), Three Jokers (John Terranova), Wild Banker (Michael Dini)
Possible: My Boy Tate (Nevin)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13
G1 Fourstardave BC WAYI
Probable: Casa Creed (Mott), Front Run the Fed (Caio Caramori), Masen (Chad Brown), Regal Glory (Chad Brown)
Possible: City Man (Clement), Get Smokin (Casse)
G2 Saratoga Special
Probable: Damon’s Mound (Michelle Lovell), Gulfport (Asmussen), Owen’s Leap (Amoss)
Possible: Super Chow (Jorge Delgado), Valenzan Day (Rodriguez)
SUNDAY, AUGUST 14
Probable: All In Sync (Asmussen), Asymmetric (Wesley Ward), Cadamosto (Joseph O’Brien), Editorial Comment (Ken McPeek), That’s Right (Michael Moore)
NYRA Press Office
Photo by NYRA/Coglianese