Mischief Joke dominates Ontario County

Monday, June 24th, 2024

Mischief Joke makes quick work of his five foes in Monday’s Ontario County at Finger Lakes. SV Photography.

Mischief Joke handled his second trip to Finger Lakes in western New York better than the first last fall and came away with a convincing victory in Monday’s $50,000 Ontario County Stakes.

Third after ducking in and checking after the start of the $161,547 New York Breeders’ Futurity October 16, Mischief Joke made amends in the 6-furlong Ontario County as the 2-5 favorite. The 3-year-old son of Practical Joke added Monday’s co-feature to his victory in January in the Rego Park Stakes at Aqueduct, winning by 5 1/4 lengths under Andre Worrie.

Owned by Paradise Farms Corp., Parkland Thoroughbreds, Barry Fowler and Angelo Carlesimo and trained by Mike Maker, Mischief Joke returned in the Ontario County after finishing last of five in the Mike Lee Stakes June 9 at Saratoga Race Course.

Bet down from his 9-5 morning-line odds, Mischief Joke raced third early while 3-1 second choice Stars N Stones took the early lead ahead of Benji Brown. Stars N Stones led by a half-length through the opening quarter-mile in :23.01.

Worrie guided Mischief Joke to the three-path around the far turn and Mischief Joke rolled past Stars N Stones and Benji Brown to take command. Mischief Joke led through the half in :46.72 and cruised through the lane, past 5 furlongs in :59.48 on a 4 1/2-length lead that widened at the finish. Aelfgar ralled from fifth to finish second, 5 ¼ lengths ahead of Stars N Stones in third. Mischief Joke won in 1:12.92.

Bred by Pine Ridge Stables LTD and foaled at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, Mischief Joke is out of the unraced Distorted Humor mare Shesabitdistorted.

Shesabitdistorted is a full sister to graded stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Sharp Humor, champion New York-bred 2-year-old male in 2005 and champion New York-bred 3-year-old male in 2006. She’s the dam of six winners including Mischief Joke and fellow New York-bred It’s Mo Joke.

Mischief Joke sold for $6,500 to Erick Torres as a short yearling at the 2022 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale. He started his career in Kentucky for Torres and owner Twin Oaks LLC, finishing second in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race at Keeneland Race Course, before being purchased privately by his current connections.

Mischief Joke was offered but not sold on a bid of $150,000 during last year’s Fasig-Tipton August digital sale. He compiled a record of 1-5-2 in nine starts last season before starting 2024 with a victory in the Rego Park Stakes in late January at Aqueduct. He defeated Antonio of Venice in the Rego Park before that rival turned the tables in the $93,000 Damon Runyon Stakes in mid-March at Aqueduct.

Mischief Joke didn’t race for nearly three months after the Damon Runyon and returned in the Mike Lee on the New York Showcase Day that closed the four-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga.

The Ontario County victory, worth $30,000, boosted Mischief Joke’s bankroll to $259,595 from a record of 3-6-2 in 13 starts.

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