HOT SPRINGS, AR (Friday, April 5, 2019) – Mia Mischief isn’t the program favorite for the $150,000 Carousel Stakes for older female sprinters Saturday at Oaklawn. But she will be the post-time favorite, the heavy post-time favorite.
The defection of Amy’s Challenge, perhaps the most dominant horse this year at Oaklawn, leaves Mia Mischief as the overwhelming choice in the 6-furlong Carousel, which goes as the ninth of 10 races. Probable post time is 5:30 p.m. (Central). Doors open for Saturday’s annual boat and truck giveaway promotion at 11 a.m., with first post 1:05 p.m. The infield activities for the day have been cancelled due to the weather.
Amy’s Challenge, a two-time stakes winner at the meet, was cross entered in the Carousel (she is the 7-5 program favorite) and $300,000 Madison Stakes (G1) Saturday at Keeneland. Her connections opted for a trip to Kentucky, leaving the Carousel with five projected starters: World Riot, Ramon Vazquez to ride, 122 pounds, 15-1 on the morning line; Salt Bae, David Cohen, 117, 8-1; Mia Mischief, Ricardo Santana Jr., 122, 3-2; Shanghai Tariff, Fernando De La Cruz, 122, 5-1; and Ours to Run, Terry Thompson, 122, 10-1.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Mia Mischief is already an Oaklawn stakes winner, taking the $150,000 Purple Martin for 3-year-old fillies in 2018. She won the $200,000 Eight Belles Stakes (G2) last May at Churchill Downs in her next start and narrowly missed winning the $500,000 Test Stakes (G1) last summer at Saratoga.
After finishing ninth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs, Mia Mischief launched her 4-year-old campaign with a three-length allowance victory March 3 under Santana, Oaklawn’s leading rider the last six years.
“She came back more relaxed than last year and Steve has her ready,” Santana said. “We look forward to a fun year with Mia.”
Asmussen has won the Carousel a record six times. Mia Mischief races for the trainer’s longtime clients, Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Heider Family Stables LLC (Scott Heider) and Madaket Stables LLC (Jason Monteleone and Sol Kumin).
The Carousel is Mia Mischief’s scheduled prep for the $500,000 Humana Distaff Stakes (G1) May 4 at Churchill Downs, according to Bradley Weisbord (BSW Bloodstock/ELiTE Sales), who purchased an interest in the filly on behalf of Heider and Madaket.
The speedy Shanghai Tariff finished second to Amy’s Challenge, beaten 8 ¼ lengths, in the $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes March 2 for trainer Jimmy DiVito. She was a sharp allowance winner in her first two starts at the meeting.
Ours to Run returns to open company after dominating Louisiana-breds for more than a year. Ours to Run has won her last four starts (all stakes) for trainer Larry Jones.
“We always had it in our mind,” Jones said of the Carousel. “We kept her in Louisiana the whole time recently, but the next Louisiana race gives us time to get this race in between. We thought this might be a good opportunity to at least test open waters.”
World Riot can become the first three-time Lasix-free Bonus winner since the program debuted in 2015 at Oaklawn. Trained by Norman McKnight, World Riot collected the bonus – a 10 percent hike of the winner’s share of the purse for winning the anti-bleeder medication – Feb. 7 and March 2.