Into Mischief's Goldencents, already considered a top 2-year-old of 2012, kicked off his 2013 campaign in style with a length and a half win in the Grade 3 Sham S. Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Along with Vyjack, who took the Jerome S. (G3) at Aqueduct earlier in the day, Goldencents gave Into Mischief two graded stakes wins for 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail. After finishing third on the North American Freshman Sire list with more than $1.1 million progeny earnings in 2012, into Mischief's stud fee for 2013 has been announced at $20,000 LFS&N.
Making his first start since taking the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) on Nov. 17, Goldencents was keen to go from the start of the one-mile Sham. His rider Kevin Krigger, who has been aboard for all four career starts, eased his mount about a length off of Manando, who was intent on getting the lead. That duo remained one-two for more than six furlongs, when Krigger sent Goldencents after the lead. He collared the pacesetter inside the eighth pole and drew off smartly for the win. The final time was 1:36.50.
Goldencents shows his class in the G3 Sham S.
“Today was a great race – the first race back and he shows us that he’s pretty versatile,” said the winning rider. “We’re all happy and pumped up about it. We had a good challenge (in the stretch), but by the time we got to the eighth pole, I got him on top of his feet, and just said ‘Let’s go,’ and that was it.
“From the gate, I got a little bump from the one (Den’s Legacy) on the inside, and by then Martin (Garcia) had already cleared us a little bit. That made me have to ride a smart race by taking him back and putting him on the outside. He’s always been relaxed, but he was so relaxed that I could ride him confidently from behind, too. He’s doing everything right.”
“As the races go on and the fields get bigger, you got to have versatility, and he showed it today. Kevin is a great rider and he’s as one with the horse. It’s beautiful.” added trainer Doug O'Neill.
“Having a (Kentucky) Derby contender is such an exciting thing. This horse is such a brilliant athlete and so amazing mentally. He’s just getting better every day.”
Goldencents is now three for four lifetime, with $782,000 in earnings. He is owned by the partnership Joshua Kaplan, David Kenney, and University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.
O'Neill indicated that Goldencents could run next in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis S. (G2), also at Santa Anita, on Feb. 2.