Pretty Mischievous Holds off Gambling Girl in Kentucky Oak
Godolphin’s homebred Pretty Mischievous took charge at the top of the stretch and held off the late surge from Gambling Girl to prevail in Friday’s 149th Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Trained by Brendan Walsh and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, the 10-1 chance finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.77 and paid $22.74.
Pretty Mischievous has always been highly regarded, and the daughter of leading sire Into Mischief appeared to be fulfilling that promise with scores in the Untapable S. and Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds.
But after she was a well-beaten second in the March 25 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), connections believed that she lost focus.
Blinkers were accordingly added for the Kentucky Oaks, and Pretty Mischievous responded to earn her biggest career win.
Despite a wide trip throughout from post 14, the bay traveled well in striking range of the leaders, cruised up to challenge on the far turn, and kept finding down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch.
Gambling Girl proved the only danger as she uncorked a furious rally, but Pretty Mischievous was all determination in the headgear. At the wire, Pretty Mischievous still had her neck in front.
Alys Look took third in a photo from favored Wet Paint, her stablemate from the Brad Cox barn.
Wet Paint, herself a Godolphin homebred, gave Sheikh Mohammed’s global operation the bookends of the Oaks superfecta. Next came Darth Vader, pacesetter Flying Connection, Defining Purpose, Mimi Kakushi, Wonder Wheel, Southlawn, Affirmative Lady, And Tell Me Nolies, Botanical, and Promiseher America.
Out of the Grade 1-winning Tapit mare Pretty City Dancer, Pretty Mischievous improved her record to 7-5-1-1. She won her first two career starts beneath the Twin Spires last fall and placed third in the Golden Rod (G2), and wintering at Fair Grounds, which once again has furnished the Kentucky Oaks winner.
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