A few of these have experience, but the most intriguing entrants are the first-time starters. The one who figures to attract the most attention is Chad Brown’s $775,000 2-year-old purchase, White Mischief (#3). This filly went a furlong in 10 1/5 seconds at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale this year and looked very good doing so. She’s bred to have some speed and quality as a daughter of Into Mischief out of a full sister to graded stakes winner Conveyance. Brown has had an excellent year with his juvenile first-time starters, and this is another one who looks well intentioned. I’m definitely using her, but there are other debutantes to consider.
The one I want to bet is TRIUMPHANT (#6). Mark Hennig’s recent run of success with first-time starters continued this week as he sent out the 2-year-old Bourbon War to win an off-the-turf race. Over the past year, this barn is 8 for 16 (50 percent, $7.86 ROI) with first-time starters on dirt. He appears to have another live one in this daughter of Quality Road. I think it’s interesting that Hennig is starting this one out on dirt given her pedigree, which is geared more toward grass. She is a half-sister to turf winner Lipstick City, and her dam won three times on the lawn. I assume he gained the confidence to start her on the main track by her morning drills, which have been impressive. She has accomplished her times willingly and easily outworked the aforementioned Bourbon War when they were matched up Oct. 7. I get the sense that this one has some real quality.
I also wouldn’t dismiss Romantic Pursuit (#7), a daughter of Grade 1 CCA Oaks and Alabama winner Questing.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 3,4,7,8
Trifecta: 3,6 with 3,6 with 1,4,5,7