Into Mischief's Goldencents won the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1) over Flashback by 1¼ lengths on Saturday as the highlight of the day for the Spendthrift stallion, who also had fellow 3-year-old Vyjack run third, beaten less than a length, in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. Both Goldencents and Vyjack are slated to make their next start in the May 4 Kentucky Derby (G1).
Saturday's results pushed Into Mischief past the $1.2 million mark in progeny earnings on the year, placing him second on the 2013 Second Crop Sire list.
Ridden by Kevin Krigger, Goldencents chased pacesetter Super Ninety Nine most of the way around before swinging to the outside to make his move on the turn for home. He had enough left when the favorite Flashback came to him in the stretch. The bay colt ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.76.
"These are the races you want to be a part of," said winning trainer Doug O'Neill, whose I'll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness last year. "This horse has been such a cool horse. I don't think those big crowds and all the people at the Derby will be a factor for him, so I'm pumped."
"I wasn't focused on where anyone was during the race, I was just focused on keeping Goldencents relaxed and comfortable," winning rider Kevin Krigger said.
"This time it worked out perfect," O'Neill said. "Just credit to Kevin. He didn't panic early when the pace was a little bit hot the first quarter (mile), and was able to just chill and save horse. They're a great team."
University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino owns 5 percent of Goldencents under his stable name of RAP Racing. The majority owners are Glenn Sorgenstin and Josh Kaplan, who race as W.C. Racing; and David Kenney.
Goldencents, who has wins in the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot and Grade 3 Sham S. to his credit as well, is now 4-1-0 in six starts, with earnings of $1,250,000. Dennis O'Neill, brother of Doug, bought Goldencents for $62,000 from the 2012 OBS Horses of Racing Age sale in June.