Played Hard leads all the way to take the $500,000 Falls City S. (G3)
November 24, 2022
Into Mischief’s 4-year-old daughter Played Hard dictated all the pace in Thursday’s $500,000 Falls City S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, winning the Thanksgiving Day feature by a length for her second career graded victory.
She joined the ranks of Into Mischief’s 14 graded stakes winners this year with her win in Churchill’s Locust Grove S. (G3) on Sept. 17.
Keen right from the start, Played Hard was on top immediately, leading through a half-mile in :47.43. She got challenges from Ava’s Grace, Leader of the Band and Bellamore at different points, but repelled them all with relative ease to finish the 1 1/8-miles in 1:49.39 on a fast main track.
“She keeps getting better,” jockey Joel Rosario said. “She fought hard on the lead and didn’t want to give it up. There were a couple horses that got close to her but she never gave way.”
“I’m actually pretty speechless right now,” trainer Philip Bauer said. “This is what it’s all about. You win a half-million dollar race on your home track with your family and the greatest owner (Richard Rigney) in attendance. It can’t get much better on Thanksgiving. I’m so proud of Played Hard. She pinned her ears back and didn’t want to let anyone by. We’re excited to keep her in training next year.”
Played Hard improved her overall record to five wins, five seconds and two thirds in 14 starts. Her earnings are now close to near-millionaire status at $978,390.
Played Hard is out of the Tiznow mare Well Lived, whose siblings include Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Well Armed and Railbird S. (G3) winner Witty. She was bred in Kentucky by Susan Casner.