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Center Aisle tops Into Mischief exacta in Sugar Swirl S. (G3)

December 18, 2021

Center Aisle gets her first graded win in the Sugar Swirl S. (G3) – Coglianese photo

Center Aisle and Frank’s Rockette put on quite a show in Saturday’s $100,000 Sugar Swirl S. (G3) at Gulfstream Park, with the two Into Mischief fillies battling the length of the stretch before Center Aisle edged clear late to win by a length over her very game adversary.

Center Aisle, who placed in last year’s Prioress S. (G2) and Victory Ride S. (G3), is Into Mischief’s 46th graded stakes winner and his 105th overall stakes winner. Poised to become the leading General Sire for the third year in a row, Into Mischief’s 2021 progeny earnings are a record $24.5 million.

Center Aisle, who didn’t make her first start of 2021 until mid-October, came into the Sugar Swirl off two sharp allowance tallies. She came away well and was in a four-way battle for the early lead as the field flew through a quarter-mile in :21.72. Center Aisle, three-wide on the turn, emerged with a narrow lead over Frank’s Rockette to set up the dramatic stretch duel.

The duo was nearly inseparable until the final sixteenth, when Center Aisle edged clear to stop the timer in a very quick 1:09.54 on a fast main track.

“She was coming into this race ready from two very nice races,” trainer Paulo Lobo said. “She’s a very special mare. I think she has a bright future. I felt good because the body language of Saez, she looked very comfortable outside and when they came home, my feeling was very good.”

Four-year-old Center Aisle is now 4-0-3 in eight starts, earning $263,190. She is owned by Larry Best’s OXO Equine, who made her the sales-topper of the 2019 Fasig-Tipton March Sale when the hammer fell at $1.5 million.

Center Aisle was bred in Kentucky by Breffni Farm. Her dam Specification produced a colt by Goldencents this year and was bred back to Vino Rosso.