Downtown Mischief leads off Showcase Day; Maker’s Candy leaves no doubt in Mike Lee

Monday, May 29th, 2023

Downtown Mischief and Jose Lezcano cruise to finish in Monday’s Bouwerie to lead off Big Apple Showcase Day. Adam Coglianese/NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Lady Shelia Stable’s stakes winning homebred Downtown Mischief avenged her lone defeat Monday when she came home a determined winner of the $125,000 Bouwerie Stakes to kick off Big Apple Showcase Day at Belmont Park.

Returning to 7 furlongs after finishing second over 1 mile last out in the Memories of Silver Stakes, the Linda Rice-trained daughter of Into Mischief broke well to enter a three-way duel out of the gate. It didn’t take long for Les Bon Temps and Miracle to yield the lead to Downtown Mischief with Jose Lezcano staying relaxed. Miracle tried to pressure the leader through an opening half in :45.65.

Downtown Mischief repelled that rival, who tried to head her around the turn, and spurted away as the field straightened into the stretch. Miracle grinded away at her lead in the closing furlong but was only able to get within a length at the finish. Midtown Lights settled for third, 7 lengths back. Downtown Mischief won in 1:23.98 over the fast main track.

Now the winner of four of her five starts, the two-time stakes winning 3-year-old boosted her earnings to $221,850 in the Bouwerie. Each of Downtown Mischief’s starts have come in 2023, with the filly racing once a month since winning her debut January 14.

“She has so much heart and soul and that’s a big part of their careers: do they want to win?” said Lady Shelia Stable’s Shelia Rosenblum. “And she definitely does like to win. She has shown it from Day 1.”

As for what’s next for the filly, trainer Linda Rice said they’d eye a graded stakes.

Downtown Mischief has already faced open company in her career, winning Aqueduct’s Cicada Stakes in March by 1 1/2 lengths. Her runner-up in the Memories of Silver also came against open company, though Rice admitted that race was more of an in-between start than an actual target for the runner.

“I told Sheila that we would try open company after this race if she runs as well as she did today,” she said. “Frankly, we’ll probably be in an open company 3-year-old fillies race. Probably the (Grade 3) Victory Ride.

Foaled at Edition Farm in Hyde Park, Downtown Mischief is a second-generation runner for Lady Shelia with Rice purchasing her dam, the Speightstown mare Downtown Mama, for $440,000 at the OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training for the operation. Downtown Mama went on to win $126,837 with three victories in a seven-race career for her owners.

Downtown Mama is a half-sister to the Grade 2-winning Alpha Kitten and three other winners out of Alpha Mama. She is also one of three stakes producers for that mare with half-sister Malibu Breeze producing stakes winner Coastal Charm and half-sister Mamasez producing Grade 2 winner Brooke Marie.

Downtown Mischief is the first foal out of her dam, who also produced a New York-bred Maclean’s Music filly last year for Lady Sheila Stable and a New York-bred Violence colt April 11.

Maker’s Candy, disqualified from a stakes victory two starts back, comes away with Mike Lee during Monday’s Big Apple Showcase at Belmont. Joe Labozzetta/NYRA Photo.

• Maker’s Candy earned a stakes placing two starts back and went one better Monday with a victory in the $125,000 Mike Lee Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds.

Returning to the dirt after making a start on Turfway Park’s synthetic surface last out in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby, 2-1 favorite Maker’s Candy took up a place behind Looms Boldly early in the 7-furlong Mike Lee. Looms Boldly led by a half-length through the first quarter-mile in :23.07. Jockey Jose Ortiz decided not to fight Maker’s Candy, let him out a notch and his mount quickly poured the pressure on the pacesetter.

The rest of the field couldn’t mount a challenge around the far turn as the timer registered Loom’s Boldy’s half in :45.42, but the game was about to change as they entered the stretch. Looms Boldly and Maker’s Candy continued to battle in the lane with Radio Red charging on the outside. Looms Boldly grudgingly gave in with a sixteenth left to run as Maker’s Candy went by.

Maker’s Candy pulled away late to win by 2 1/2 lengths from Radio Red in 1:23.35 on the fast track. Looms Boldly finished three quarters of a length back in third with What’s Up Bro, Lifetime of Chance, Jackson Heights and Etnico completing the field.

“He didn’t break that sharp, but I saw the opening on the inside and was able to take it,” Ortiz said. “I had a good trip and moved a little bit early to get good position. My horse responded well and I knew he had the stamina because he had run the mile race before and had done well in it, so I wasn’t afraid to move a little bit early.”

Bred by Newtownanner Stud, Maker’s Candy has won two of his four starts in 2023 with one other second via disqualification (from first) in the Gander Stakes. Trained by Mike Maker for Paradise Farms, David Staudacher, Maxi Stable and John Huber, he was a $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale of 2-year-olds in training purchase last year.

“We narrowed down several horses at the sale, got down to about seven or eight horses,” said Paradise Farms’ Peter Proscia. “This horse had great conformation, Mike liked the way he moved and galloped out in the sale warm up. It just worked out for us. We got him for the right price.”

By Twirling Candy, Maker’s Candy is out of the two-time winning Bluegrass Cat mare Purple Cat. Sold for $550,000 as a yearling in 2009, she has produced three winners from six to race.

Purple Cat is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Sky Diva and stakes winner and the multiple Grade 1-placed Freud mare Quick Little Miss with her dam producing six winners from 12 to race. The family also includes dual Grade 1 winner Pure Clan and Grade 1 winner Finley’sluckycharm, among others.

Purple Cat was sold for $12,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February mixed sale and foaled a New York-bred Speightster colt named Dream Alliance for Brendemuehl and Smith a few months later. Purple Cat’s youngest live foal, Dream Alliance was sold for $20,000 at last year’s OBS October yearling sale.

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