OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Maximus Mischief has been nothing short of brilliant winning his first two starts by a combined 14 3/4 lengths at Parx Racing. On Saturday, he gets his first true test when he ships to Aqueduct and tries two turns for the first time in the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen Stakes going 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct.
Maximus Mischief, a son of Into Mischief, was purchased for $340,000 out of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale in May. Though he had some gate issues in the morning before his first start, according to trainer Butch Reid, Maximus Mischief broke alertly in his Sept. 29 debut, waltzing to an 8 3/4-length victory while being wrapped up. He earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.
Three weeks later, he again broke alertly, and though he attempted to bear out for the first sixteenth of a mile, he straightened away and beat two rivals in a seven-furlong allowance. He ran the distance in 1:25.22 and was assigned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure.
Reid said he’s been most impressed by the colt’s athleticism.
“A lot of horses his size are kind of clods,” Reid said. “He’s very light on his feet, fluid action, covers ground unbelievably, switches leads so brilliantly.”
Reid said it was his hope to get Maximus Mischief around two turns before the end of the year and said the Remsen was one of the few opportunities to do that.
“Would I have liked to have had an intermediate jump to a mile or mile and sixteenth?” he said. “Sure, but those races are hard to find.”
The Remsen lost a significant player when Champagne runner-up Code of Honor was held out of the race by trainer Shug McGaughey. Vekoma, winner of the Grade 3 Nashua Stakes here Nov. 4, also was not entered, with his connections opting to wait until early next year to run him again.
Network Effect, a son of Mark Valeski, won his debut by three lengths going seven furlongs at Saratoga. He missed a planned start in the Breeders’ Futurity due to a temperature. He finished second, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Vekoma, in the Nashua.
“I thought he finished up strong, plus he needed the race and got a lot out of it,” trainer Chad Brown said. “I’m happy with him.”
Bourbon War won an off-the-turf maiden race going a mile here Nov. 14. Though it’s coming back on relatively short rest, trainer Mark Hennig felt the pros outweighed the cons in deciding to run. Among the pros, he said, are that Bourbon War is familiar with the track, and there are only six others in the field.
“I think getting around two turns is what we were thinking, too, versus his next race being a one-turn mile if you run back at Gulfstream,” Hennig said.
Trainer Danny Gargan won a five-way shake to claim Tax for $50,000 for owners Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing on Oct. 21. The horse won going 1 1/16 miles around two turns, and Gargan doesn’t think 1 1/8 miles will be an issue.
“He wants to run farther,” Gargan said. “It’s hard to find 2-year-olds that want to run long.”
Jungle Warrior will try dirt for the first time in the Remsen. He had a win and a fifth in the Grade 1 Summer on turf at Woodbine. Jimmy Jerkens – who has taken over the training from Sid Attard – said the horse was “ridiculously wide” in the Summer.
He shows five works on dirt.
Trainer Jaime Mejia ships in Chinomado and Gladiator King from South Florida, though both look like longshots.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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