Enticed left the starting gate as the 3-1 favorite after a respectable third in the Champagne (G1) and Tiz Mischief was the 5-1 second choice off an eye-catching maiden win. The 2-year-olds proved to be the stars of the November 25 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs, with a scant head separating them on the wire following an exciting finish, and they bolstered their Kentucky Derby stock in the process.
The 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club served as a qualifier on the 2018 American Road to the Kentucky Derby series, with Enticed garnering an additional 10 points (12 total after netting 2 in the Champagne) and Tiz Mischief picking up his first 4 points toward a berth in a 20-horse starting gate next May.
Both colts received a 93 BRIS Speed rating. They’ll need to run faster in upcoming starts but Enticed and Tiz Mischief remain promising prospects entering 2018.
A slow pace did their Speed numbers no favor, with pacesetter Promises Fullfilled reaching the 6-furlong mark in 1:12.53, more than a second slower than the Golden Rod (G2) for fillies (1:11.11) two races earlier. Enticed had to overcome a rough trip in which his hind end was nearly knocked out from under him while being roughed up entering the first turn and Tiz Mischief left himself plenty to do while dropping far behind moderate fractions in the early stages.
The top two were all alone in deep stretch. Promises Fullfilled had no excuses after dictating terms on a clear lead, weakening to be a clear third in his first two-turn start, and the rest of the contestants were never a factor.
I like the progress Enticed is making for Kiaran McLaughlin and the Kentucky Jockey Club could prove to be a beneficial learning experience for a well-bred colt who showed signs of immaturity in his first two appearances.
A Godolphin homebred, the Medaglia d’Oro colt was rank in traffic when making his debut over a sloppy track at Saratoga and looked beaten before being tipped out for clear sailing in the stretch, closing powerfully late to win going away by 1 ¾ lengths at 6-furlongs. He stretched out to a one-turn mile in the Champagne and once again appeared uncomfortable tossing his head behind rivals, waiting until the latter stages before finally showing some interest to get up for third.
And considering runner-up Good Magic came back to impressively win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) by 4 ¼ lengths, the Champagne third looks pretty good. Enticed is the first foal out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Mineshaft mare It’s Tricky, runner-up to Royal Delta in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
McLaughlin’s best Kentucky Derby finish came via 2005 runner-up Closing Argument.
Tiz Mischief, who is by Into Mischief, doesn’t possess the pedigree for longer distances of Enticed but is out of a mare by two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Tiznow. He dropped his first two starts at one-turn distances, rallying for fourth at 6 ½-furlongs and for second at a mile, and overcame a terrible start to stylishly graduate by a widening one-length margin while stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in an October 7 maiden special weight at Keeneland.
The bay colt is part of a deep arsenal for all-time leading Churchill Downs conditioner Dale Romans, who also had Dak Attack and Free Drop Billy as individual interests in Pool 1 of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager and is seeking his Kentucky Derby trophy after finishing third twice.
Tiz Mischief will bring a strong closing kick to future engagements.