Mia Mischief Nails Graded Debut In Eight Belles

Madaket Stables, Heider Family Stables, and Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt’s Mia Mischief was sent to post at odds of 3-2 in Friday’s Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs, and proved a deserving favorite with her 1 3/4-length triumph over 4-1 Talk Veuve to Me. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the 3-year-old daughter of Into Mischief covered seven furlongs over the fast main track in 1:21.84. Mia Mischief was making her graded stakes debut in the Eight Belles, and under the reinsmanship of Ricardo Santana, Jr. recorded her fourth career triumph.

“She seems to improve in every start,” Asmussen said. “I made a few mistakes with her in the past but we figured all of them out it seems. I saw during the middle of the race on the Big Board that she was well within herself and she carried herself even on the gallop out way in front.”

Mia Mischief broke very sharply for Santana, and took the lead while slightly off the rail. Amy’s Challenge pressed the pace from the rail while Talk Veuve to Me did the same from the outside, urging fractions of :22.21 and :44.21.

Amy’s Challenge briefly took over the lead on the inside, but Santana had measured Mia Mischief perfectly. When he gave the filly her cue, Mia Mischief re-claimed the lead with ease and turned for home with a one-length advantage. Talk Veuve to Me was making her move while three-wide around the turn, and tried through the length of the stretch to reach the winner.

Mia Mischief had plenty left and drew away to win by 1 3/4 lengths at the wire, relegating Talk Veuve to Me to second. Gas Station Sushi rallied for third, while Salt Bae finished fourth.

“I first have to thank (trainer) Steve (Asmussen),” Santana said. “He did a tremendous job training her. Today she tried so hard. It was a very nice field of horses and she was very impressive. It’s very special to have my family here with me on this weekend as well.”

Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, Mia Mischief was a $135,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale. Pinhooked through the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old in training sale, the filly brought $300,000 from Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt. Second on debut, Mia Mischief broke her maiden in her next start, then was stakes-placed in just her third career start. Last out at Oaklawn Park, the filly won the listed Purple Martin Stakes. The Eight Belles brings her career record to four wins and three seconds from seven starts, with earnings of over $340,000.

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