Make Mischief rallies up inside to win Maddie May

Saturday, February 20th, 2021

Maddie May slips through the inside to top Brattle House in $100,000 Maddie May at Aqueduct. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Make Mischief showed plenty of promise early, starting as a yearling when she brought $285,000 and the sixth most expensive price at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred sale.

The daughter of Into Mischief backed up that potential with results last summer, winning her debut at Belmont Park before back-to-back placings in graded stakes and another stakes placing against fellow state-breds at Saratoga Race Course. She added another win in late January to further bolster the pedigree of her 100 percent winner-producing dam, the winning Speightstown mare Speightful Lady.

Make Mischief further bolstered those credentials – her own and Speightful Lady’s – even more Saturday at Aqueduct when she came up the inside late to win the $100,000 Maddie May Stakes for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies.

Make Mischief, the 8-5 favorite running in Gary Barber’s pink and black colors under Eric Cancel, outdueled fellow Saratoga New York-bred sale graduate Brattle House in deep stretch to win by a neck for her first stakes victory. Vacay, the 7-2 second choice, finished 2 ¼ lengths back in third. Trained by Chris Englehart, Make Mischief won the 1-mile stakes in 1:40.55 on the muddy main track.

“It was a little bit nerve-wracking in the stretch,” Cancel said of the tight quarters in the lane. “I had the hole at the beginning of the stretch, but then it started closing in pretty tight. I just had to keep on guiding her and work my way to victory. I tried to ride her comfortable. From the quarter pole to the wire, I did my job and I’m glad she helped me do it.”

Cancel, who won three races Saturday at the Big A, rode Make Mischief for the first time in the Maddie May. She’d been ridden by five other jockeys in her six prior starts – Jose Ortiz for the maiden win in June, John Velazquez for her runner-up efforts in the Grade 3 Schuylerville and Grade 2 Adirondack, Joel Rosario for her runner-up in the Seeking The Ante and Abel Cedeillo when fifth in the Grade 2 Chandelier at Santa Anita Park in late September.

Make Mischief made those first five starts for trainer Mark Casse. She prepped at Casse’s training center in Ocala late last year and early in 2021, including five breezes from mid-December to mid-January, before the Canadian Hall of Famer sent her north to join Englehart’s string at Belmont. She won her return to New York in a 7-furlong optional at Aqueduct Jan. 31 to set up her run in the Maddie May.

Bred by Mario and Dawn Martinez’s Avanti Stable and foaled at Song Hill Thoroughbreds in Mechanicville, Make Mischief was purchased by Flamingo Bloodstock at the 2019 New York-bred sale. She sold late in the second of two sessions, the fourth most expensive yearling of the night, out of the Paramount Sales consignment.

She’s one of five winners out of Speightful Lady, purchased in foal to Uncle Mo by Mario Martinez for $75,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale.

Speightful Lady delivered her first foal a few weeks later, the Uncle Mo colt later gelded and named Motown Rhythm. He was her first winner, along with $220,450-earner Speightful Kitten, the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling Jody’s Song and the $115,000 Saratoga select yearling Crescent Lady. Speightful Lady is also the dam of a yearling filly by Union Rags born last April named Speightful Lily.

Make Mischief’s Maddie May victory improved her record to 3-3-0 from seven starts and boosted her bankroll to $207,750.

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