Into Mischief's Wonder Wheel Holds on in Alcibiades

Wonder Wheel | Coady Photo

D.J. Stable's Wonder Wheel (Into Mischief) cleared off and kept finding late to take Keeneland's “Win and You're In” GI Darley Alcibiades S. as the tepid 4-1 favorite. An impressive debut winner at Churchill Downs in June, the $275,000 KEESEP yearling dominated that venue's early season juvenile fillies centerpiece–the July 4 Debutante S.–before heading north to Saratoga. She was favored at 7-5 in the GI Spinaway S. on the Spa's closing weekend, but settled for second behind longshot Leave No Trace (Outwork), who returned to be third in last week's GI Frizette S.

Wonder Wheel, meanwhile, prepped for this two-turn test with a :59 1/5 bullet breeze over the Belmont training track Sept. 24, and flashed that same speed while breaking from the rail here to emerge from an early scramble for position around the first bend. She clicked off opening splits :23.49 and :47.16, and was several lengths clear after six furlongs in 1:11.60. Three rivals began to bear down on her and Wonder Wheel briefly looked to be in deep water, but when she switched leads belatedly, that gave her the burst she needed to deny Chop Chop (City of Light) by a nose in 1:45.17. Raging Sea (Curlin) and Xigera (Uncle Mo) crossed the wire third and fourth, respectively, but their positions were flipped by the stewards due to interference.

“She had a great trip today; she had a little bit of a troubled trip [in the Spinaway]. And in all honesty, the Spinaway is a big race–it's a Grade I, but it wasn't my main goal,” said trainer Mark Casse, who was celebrating his fourth Alcibiades win. “Today was it, and hopefully this will lead us into another big race coming up. She ran well, had a great trip. Some others maybe struggled and didn't, but I do think she probably lost focus a little. She would surprise me if she couldn't get a really good mile and a sixteenth. So maybe this race moves her up.”

The Green family's D.J. Stable will be seeking a second GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies trophy, having campaigned 2018 heroine and Eclipse champion Jaywalk (Cross Traffic).

“I want to thank [Len and Lois] Green and Mark Casse for giving me this opportunity,” said winning rider Tyler Gaffalione. “They've been so instrumental in my career and getting me to this point. I'm so thankful for them. This filly, she came out here and did everything right today. We always thought she had a lot of class and she really showed it today. She put in a really big performance. Visually, [the win] doesn't look as easy as it should, but she kind of just got lost coming into the stretch and there were a lot of people in the stands today, so she had every excuse.”

Friday, Keeneland
DARLEY ALCIBIADES S.-GI, $497,337, Keeneland, 10-7, 2yo, f,
1 1/16m, 1:45.17, ft.
1–WONDER WHEEL, 122, f, 2, by Into Mischief
                1st Dam: Wonder Gal (MSW & MGISP, $904,800),
                                by Tiz Wonderful
                2nd Dam: Passe, by Dixie Union
                3rd Dam: Gal On the Go, by Irgun
'21 KEESEP). O-D. J. Stable LLC; B-Three Chimneys Farm, LLC &
Clearsky Farms (KY); T-Mark E. Casse; J-Tyler Gaffalione.
$275,125. Lifetime Record: 4-3-1-0, $510,725. Werk Nick
   Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Chop Chop, 122, f, 2, by City of Light
                1st Dam: Grand Sofia, by Giant's Causeway
                2nd Dam: Sweet Trip, by Carson City
                3rd Dam: Stellar Affair, by Skywalker
'21 FTKJUL). O-Selective, LLC; B-Cobra Farm & MRJ
Thoroughbreds (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. $88,750.
3–Xigera, 122, f, 2, by Nyquist
                1st Dam: Argent Affair (SW, $154,895), by Black Tie
                                Affair (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Caty's Quest, by Norquestor
                3rd Dam: Cataque, by Clever Trick
TYPE. ($190,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Rigney Racing, LLC;
B-Cedar Hill LLC (KY); T-Philip A. Bauer. $44,375.
Margins: NO, NK, 3. Odds: 4.10, 6.90, 8.81.
Also Ran: *Raging Sea, Sabra Tuff, Mustang Lady, Boss Lady Bailey, Fun and Feisty, Stellar Lady, Take Charge Briana, Kaling, Essaouira, Just Cindy, Infinite Diamond. *DQ'd from third and placed fourth. Click for the chart or the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Pedigree Notes:

Wonder Wheel becomes her super sire's 55th graded winner and 12th highest-level scorer. She is the first Grade I winner (fifth graded) out of a mare by precocious MGSW Tiz Wonderful.

Dam Wonder Gal was precocious enough to take her debut in 2014 by 14 1/2 lengths in Belmont's Lynbrook S. for state-breds. She finished second in the Frizette and third in the Juvenile Fillies later that year. Hailing from the extended family of GISW turfer Force the Pass (Speightstown), Wonder Gal lost her Into Mischief foal the year after producing Wonder Wheel and was subsequently barren to Constitution.

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