Mischevious Alex Back Sprinting in Vanderbilt

Mischevious Alex | Sarah Andrew


Undefeated as a sprinter this season, Cash is King and LC Racing's Mischevious Alex (Into Mischief) will turn back to six furlongs after being defeated in the one-mile GI Runhappy Metropolitan H. as a likely favorite in Saturday's GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga.

Proving himself as an exciting sophomore prospect last season with back-to-back open-lengths scores in the GIII Swale S. and GIII Gotham S., but missed the triple Crown and failed to crack the trifecta in his last two starts for John Servis when fourth in the GI Woody Stephens S. and sixth in the GI H. Allen Jerkens S. Transferred to Saffie Joseph and laid up for over five months, the $75,000 Keeneland September bargain came back with three straight dominant victories, culminating with a 5 1/2-length score in the GI Carter H. that earned a field-best 109 Beyer. He was unable to quite stick it out in the Met Mile though, flattening out late to be third after contesting the pace.

Hard-knocking 14-time winner Firenze Fire (Poseidon's Warrior) will also try to rebound after suffering a rare defeat over his favorite track at Belmont. The victor of a remarkable 11 stakes races, he was last of four in last summer's Vanderbilt and again could see them all at the finish in the local GI Forego S., dropping his record to just one win in seven starts lifetime at the Spa. He's picked up three graded stakes trophies since though, all at Belmont, before being narrowly outdueled by Mind Control (Stay Thirsty) in the GII John A. Nerud S. last out July 4.

The ever-popular Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) is back for another bite at the apple after running a strong second in last year's Vanderbilt. Out of the top three in his next two outings, he unleashed a powerful stretch run to upset the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint by 3 1/4 lengths, locking up champion male sprinter honors. He's yet to find the mark in three tries as a 7-year-old, however, running second in the Hot Springs S. and GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. and most recently a close third in the GI Churchill Downs S. May 1.

The 'now' horse may be improving 5-year-old gelding Special Reserve (Midshipman). Haltered by Mike Maker for $40,000 out of an allowance/optional claiming spot Feb. 6 at Oaklawn, the bay has gone three-for-four since, with his only loss coming when second in the GIII Commonwealth S. Apr. 3 at Keeneland. When last seen, he dueled through a jaw-dropping :43.35 half-mile split and kicked away in the final furlong to a 2 3/4-length conquest of the Iowa Sprint S. July 3 at Prairie Meadows.

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