When planning the first mating for a young broodmare, picking a proven stallion tends to be our favored tactic because it gives the breeder a better take on the mare’s potential, rather than breeding her to a young stallion that might himself be a flop and thus give no real clue as to what the mare herself might be able to accomplish. For the exceedingly well-bred Merry Mischief, the proven stallion that we have settled on for her first match is the noted Kentucky value sire Dialed In.
With 18 stakes winners to his credit, including 7 graded winners (two of those, both from his 2018 crop, being G1 winners), Dialed In’s percentages are solid as it is, and with big, well-bred crops still in the pipeline after his early success at a lower stud fee, there is even more upside left in the coming seasons. His AEI of 1.47 is well above his mates’ CI of 1.18, demonstrating how much he moves his mares up, and reiterating why we think he’s a good fit for a young mare.
He also matches with Merry Mischief well on pedigree. TrueNicks rates the Mineshaft/Harlan cross an “A+” (20 runners, 14 winners, 2 stakes winners, including one by Dialed In, who’s own stats with Harlan-line mares are 7 runners, 5 winners, and that stakes winner), and at least 5 of Dialed In’s stakes-winning offspring are inbred to Storm Cat, as will be the foal from this mating, given that Merry Mischief’s sire, Into Mischief, is by a grandson of Storm Cat. Additionally, Merry Mischief is out of a Deputy Minister mare, which is another cross that has already worked for Dialed In. And in fact, Dialed In’s G2 winner Ms Locust Point and stakes winner Ruffenuff are both out of mares by Storm Cat-line sires, with second dams by Deputy Minister-line horses.
Merry Mischief herself is a half-sister to the romping G2 winner and former Maryland stallion Freedom Child, who was sired by Malibu Moon (he a son of AP Indy out of a Mr. Prospector mare, as is Dialed In’s sire Mineshaft; there is also a black-type horse under Merry Mischief’s second dam by Congrats, who is also bred on that identical pattern), so the cross has worked for this female family already, too.
A medium-sized, well-made horse who cost $475,000 as a yearling and whose own offspring saw a big jump in yearling sales prices from 2020 to 2021 as his better-bred crops cone of age, Dialed In will also suit the young, late-foaled Merry Mischief physically, as a nice case of like-to-like without subjecting her to a monstrous sire for her first delivery in 2023.