By Frances J. Karon
Much has been written recently about Into Mischief’s success as a sire. Suffice to say that Spendthrift’s flagship stallion merits every bit of praise that he has received, as this look at his stud fee history and number of mares bred per Northern Hemisphere season can attest to:
2009: $12,500; 61 mares bred
2010: $10,000; 44 mares bred
2011: $7,500; 54 mares bred
2012: $7,500; 50 mares bred
2013: $20,000; 210 mares bred
2014: $20,000; 202 mares bred
2015: $35,000; 215 mares bred
2016: $45,000; 218 mares bred
2017: $75,000; 235 mares bred
2018: $100,000; 243 mares bred
2019: $150,000; 241 mares bred
The G1-winning son of Harlan’s Holiday from a hot family — he’s a half to champion Beholder (Henny Hughes), G1SW Mendelssohn (Scat Daddy), and $8.2 million yearling America’s Joy (American Pharoah) — will be 15 in 2020, and at the end of this year that will see him out as the leading sire in N.A. by progeny earnings, with nearly $18.5 million through December 17th, Into Mischief is at peak popularity. Despite a relatively low (all things considered) covering fee range that’s produced of his horses of racing age so far, he’s been competitive with the big boys standing for six-figure stud fees. He’s the sire of 22 current SWs, second in N.A. only behind Tapit (26 SWs). Among his 2019 runners are 3yo Covfefe, winner of five of six 2019 starts, including the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint; and Mia Mischief, a G1SW who sold as a racing/broodmare prospect for $2.4 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sale.
Into Mischief also occupies the top spot on the list of leading sires of 2yos by earnings, and he is tied (with Declaration of War, who is now in Japan) by number of 2yo SWs, with five — conceived when his fee was $45,000.
Over the weekend, he sired two SWs on one card at Remington Park: 3yo Cowboy Mischief (dam by Bob and John) in the Jim Thorpe S. followed by 2yo Shoplifted (dam by Yes It’s True), his 63rd SW, in the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile S., a Kentucky Derby point-earning race.
Shoplifted was a $525,000 Keeneland September yearling, which was a big score for breeders Machmer Hall and Craig and Carrie Brogden. Still, he was only the ninth most expensive of his sire’s 100 yearlings sold, which averaged $277,510 with a median of $220,000, all this from a $45,000 stud fee, remember.
Zayat Stables, who’d purchased Shoplifted as a yearling, pinhooked the colt to the Fasig-Tipton’s Gulfstream sale, where Gatewood Bell of Cromwell Bloodstock bought him for $800,000 — the sixth most expensive Into Mischief 2yo of the year — on behalf of Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables, and LNJ Foxwoods.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Shoplifted debuted with a 4 1/2-length win in a Saratoga maiden special on July 27th, after which he ran a well-beaten second behind Basin in the G1 Runhappy Hopeful in a one-two-three finish for the Asmussen stable. He was unplaced in his next two starts, the American Pharoah and Breeder’s Cup Juvenile — both G1s — at Santa Anita, a track surface he may not have taken to, before the Springboard Mile.
Shoplifted is the 33rd SW produced from a daughter of Yes It’s True, and he is bred similarly to G3SW Holiday Disguise (by into Mischief’s sire Harlan’s Holiday out of a Yes It’s True mare) and G2SW Shancelot (by Harlan’s Holiday’s son Shanghai Bobby out of a mare by Is It True, the sire of Yes It’s True). The cross of Harlan’s Holiday over Is It True is an A+ eNick, a grade that was given prior to Shoplifted’s stakes win.
Into Mischief’s dual Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile-winning son Goldencents sits atop the second crop sires list, almost with progeny earnings of almost $900,000 more than his nearest competitor, and he stands alongside his sire at Spendthrift, where his 2020 stud fee is set at $25,000. The first foals by G1SW Practical Joke ($25,000 at Ashford Stud) are weanlings, while G1SW Audible ($25,000 at WinStar) and G2SW Maximus Mischief ($7,500 at Spendthrift) will breed their first mares next year.
On an unrelated note: Looking back to my “How soon is too soon to judge a broodmare sire?” post of November 20th, 11yo Uncle Mo, one of the top sires in N.A., has just gotten his first SW as broodmare sire. 2yo Bank On Shea (by Central Banker) is a member of the first crop of foals, numbering 13, produced from Uncle Mo’s daughters. Bank On Shea’s dam is Miss Moultree, an unraced first-crop daughter. If he follows the general pattern, it will probably be a couple of years yet before we see a GSW out of an Uncle Mo mare, but it’s encouraging to see him get a SW right out of the gate with a 2yo from his first small crop of foals.