Center Aisle (Into Mischief) and 'TDN Rising Star' Frank's Rockette (Into Mischief) ran hard every step of the way in Saturday's six-furlong GIII Sugar Swirl S. at Gulfstream, and, after throwing down in the stretch, it was the former coming away with a hard-fought, one-length victory for a career high.
Perched four-wide beneath Luis Saez as four of them lined up–including favored MGSW & MGISP Frank's Rockette who was racing under fire in between runners–through an opening quarter in a sharp :21.72, Center Aisle poked a head in front approaching the quarter pole.
The classy duo emerged clear from the field of eight as they straightened for home, and, after putting on a nice show down the lane, the 2-1 second-choice Center Aisle edged clear late from her ultra-game rival in a race that didn't deserve a loser.
Center Aisle, a sharp debut winner at Gulfstream for Chad Brown last March, completed the trifecta behind Frank's Rockette in last term's GIII Victory Ride S. at Belmont as well as the GII Prioress S. at Saratoga. Transferred to Paulo Lobo for her 4-year-old campaign, the bay scored in front-running fashion in her first two tries this season–a sloppy Keeneland allowance Oct. 15 over a next-out winner and an optional claimer at Churchill Downs last time Nov. 20, respectively.
Lobo said that the plan is to send Center Aisle back to Kentucky for a freshening before returning to South Florida for the seven-furlong GII Inside Information S. at Gulfstream Jan. 29.
“She was coming into this race ready from two very nice races,” 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.”
Saez added, “The other filly was running pretty fast. But I had a lot of horse, and we came to the top of the stretch, she gave me another kick. At that point, we knew we had horse to fight, and she did it. She did it pretty impressively.”
Center Aisle, a $1.5-million FTFMAR purchase by Larry Best's OXO Equine and the highest-priced filly out of that sale after breezing a quarter in a powerful :20 3/5, becomes the 105th stakes winner/46th graded stakes winner for her all-conquering sire Into Mischief. She becomes the 65th stakes winner/29th graded winner for her late broodmare sire Empire Maker.
The Into Mischief/Empire Maker cross is also responsible for GI TVG.com Haskell S. winner via disqualification and GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun.
Juddmonte homebred Specification, a maiden of two career starts, produced a colt by Goldencents this year and was bred back to Vino Rosso.
The winner's dam is a half-sister to dual GI Pacific Classic winner Skimming (Nureyev). She is out of five-time graded stakes victress Skimble (Lyphard).
Specification was a $37,000 Keeneland November purchase by Todd and Shawn Hansen in 2017 when followed into the ring by then-weanling Center Aisle.
SUGAR SWIRL S.-GIII, $100,000, Gulfstream, 12-18, 3yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:09.54, ft.
1–CENTER AISLE, 120, f, 4, by Into Mischief
1st Dam: Specification, by Empire Maker
2nd Dam: Skimble, by Lyphard
3rd Dam: Nimble Folly, by Cyane
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($165,000
Wlg '17 KEENOV; $450,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP; $1,500,000 2yo
'19 FTFMAR). O-OXO Equine LLC; B-Breffni Farm (KY);
T-Paulo H. Lobo; J-Luis Saez. $60,140. Lifetime Record:
8-4-0-3, $263,190. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Frank's Rockette, 122, f, 4, Into Mischief–Rocket
Twentyone, by Indian Charlie. 'TDN Rising Star' O-Frank
Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc.; B-Frank Fletcher (KY);
T-William I. Mott. $19,400.
3–Bronx Beauty, 120, m, 6, Liaison–Forever Sunshine, by
Rockport Harbor. ($250,000 6yo '21 KEENOV). O-Breeze
Easy, LLC; B-Blackstone Farm LLC (PA); T-Anthony R.
Margotta, Jr. $9,700.
Margins: 1, 5, 2. Odds: 2.10, 1.10, 6.40.
Also Ran: Music City Star, Loriloupies, Sosua, Quinoa Tifah, Compensate. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs, or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.