Pretty Mischievous was beaten more than five lengths by Hoosier Philly when the three-year-old fillies first met in the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs in November. On Saturday, in the $291,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds, Pretty Mischievous returned the favor on the overwhelming 2-5 favorite, who wound up 8 1/2 lengths behind in third after a lackluster start.
The 8-1 third choice in the field of six, Pretty Mischievous had made one interim start since the Golden Rod, winning the Dec. 26 Untapable S. by more than three lengths. Bypassing last month's Silverbulletday S., Pretty Mischievous entered the Rachel Alexandra relatively fresh.
Showing her usual tactical foot, Pretty Mischievous raced in close attendance to pacesetter Miracle, inching closer to the rival down the backside with a mild inside bid. Taken back slightly entering the far turn before shifting outside the leader, Pretty Mischievous came on again to challenge that rival in upper stretch and asserted herself late to win by three parts of a length.
Hoosier Philly, a dominant winner in three starts at Churchill Downs last fall and bet down to 11-1 in last week's fourth pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, was the biggest favorite on Saturday's card, but never quite recovered after bobbling at the start and bumping with a rival. Although within three lengths of the leader much of the way, Hoosier Philly lost contact with the top pair in the final furlong and settled for third in a relatively dull performance.
Pretty Mischievous covered 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:45.15 under Tyler Gaffalione and paid $18.20. Miracle had 7 3/4 lengths on Hoosier Philly, who was followed by Vahva, Chop Chop, and the eased Knockyoursocksoff.
By virtue of winning the Rachel Alexandra, Pretty Mischievous assured herself a spot in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs on the first Friday in May, earning 50 qualifying points to boost her total to 63 points. Miracle earned 20 points, while Hoosier Philly earned 15 to increase her total to 25. Vahva saw her point total rise from three to 13, while Chop Chop added five points to increase her total to 17.
Trainer Brendan Walsh said the Godolphin homebred would likely have one more race before the Kentucky Oaks. The two logical alternatives are the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) on March 25 or the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland on April 7. Pretty Mischievous moves on with a record of four wins from five starts.
Bred in Kentucky, Pretty Mischievous is by Into Mischief and out of Spinaway (G1) winner Pretty City Dancer, a Tapit half-sister to Grade 1 winner Lear's Princess.