For her second mating, Settle It — a Santa Anita maiden special weight winner and full to two black-type earners — will visit the talented and extremely well-bred first season New York sire Honest Mischief in a mating that will reinforce her turf sprinting proclivities.
As a stakes-winning son of the country’s leading sire, Honest Mischief — who also happens to be a half-brother to the sire of an Eclipse Champion, not to mention being out of a Grade 1-winning half-sister to classic winner and leading sire Empire Maker, plus his Grade 1-winning and -siring half-brother Chester House — is about as exciting a stallion prospect as you’ll find. We believe he has a huge shot to be a major stallion from his base at Sequel NY (home of perennial leading NY stallion Freud, and the farm that started Laoban prior to his recent move to Kentucky on the back of a first-crop Grade 1-winning offspring).
Honest Mischief was an 8-length maiden winner in his second start, covering 7 furlongs in 1:22.43 and earning a 2 Ragozin number for owner/breeder Juddmonte Farm and trainer Chad Brown at Keeneland in April of his 3YO season. Jumped straight into Grade 1 company off that win, Honest Mischief was beaten just 3 lengths in the historic Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont, prior to a strong 3rd in the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga. A return to Keeneland thereafter saw him take a 6-1/2 furlong allowance by 4 lengths, and then he closed out his 3YO season with a gutsy victory in the 7 furlong City of Laurel Stakes at Laurel. He returned at 4 to finish 2nd to Volatile in the Aristides Stakes off a 7-month layoff, was 2nd again next out, and then closed his career with an allowance victory at Churchill at 6-1/2 furlongs.
Honest Mischief retired with a final line of (9) 4-3-1, $287,464, and is standing his first season at stud in 2021.
In addition to a solid race record, Honest Mischief brings a remarkable pedigree to stud. His sire, Into Mischief, led the General and Juvenile Sire lists in 2019 and 2020 — having set a new single-season record for progeny earnings and added Kentucky Derby winner Authentic to his resume in the latter season. Into Mischief also already has leading young sire Goldencents at stud, plus an arsenal full of accomplished young sons hitting breeding sheds in the last few years — but Honest Mischief’s female family trumps them all:
He is a half-brother to 3 stakes winners, including the Grade 1 winner First Defence, who has himself sired Eclipse Champion Close Hatches and 2020 Irish classic winner Siskin. Their dam, Honest Lady, was a Grade 1-winning sprinter who also finished 2nd against males in both the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and Met Mile. Honest Lady is out of Grade 1 winner and Broodmare of the Year Toussaud, whose offspring include five graded stakes winners, four of them Grade 1 winners, and two of those are Belmont winner Empire Maker (sire of Grade 1 winners like Pioneerof the Nile (in turn sire of American Pharoah) and Bodemeister (sire of Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming)) and his half-brother Chester House (sire of Grade 1 winners like Ventura and Divine Park). For those keeping score, that’s 3 incredibly successful stallions under Honest Mischief’s second dam.
TrueNicks give this mating an “A” based on the broad cross of Into Mischief and sons with Mr. Prospector-line mares, but looking at the Into Mischief/Smart Strike-line cross more specifically, from only about a dozen foals there is already Bye Bye (by Into Mischief and out of a Smart Strike daughter), who took the recent Soaring Softly Stakes-G3 at Belmont for Christophe Clement in just her 3rd career start. And Bye Bye is actually bred even more similarly to Settle It’s eventual foal by Honest Mischief than that because Bye Bye’s dam is out of a daughter of A.P. Indy (by Seattle Slew), whereas Settle It’s dam is by General Meeting (by Seattle Slew).
Given that Honest Mischief is out of a Seattle Slew mare himself, this means that the foal from this mating will be inbred 3×4 to the ’77 Triple Crown winner, and inbreeding to Seattle Slew in the 3rd and 4th generations has been good for 2.3% stakes winners/foals (just about average for the breed as a whole) with 18 Grade 1 winners. This foal will also be inbred 4×4 to the classic winner El Gran Senor, which is a pattern that has produced 3.2% stakes winners/foals — or above the breed average.
Although Honest Mischief himself was a dirt performer and Into Mischief is known more as a dirt sire, Into Mischief has gotten some very good turf horses like multiple graded winner Largent and the aforementioned Bye Bye (whose G3 win came at 7 furlongs on turf). Honest Mischief’s dam Honest Lady was a winner sprinting on turf as well as dirt, his half-brother sired a 2020 European classic winner, and Honest Lady’s dam Toussaud got Grade 1 winners on both surfaces. Meanwhile, Settle It herself was a winner sprinting 6-1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita, and both of her black-type full-brothers were winners on both turf and dirt.
All of which suggests that this pairing should produce a very fast, very versatile foal who will hopefully tear up the NYRA tracks on both surfaces when the time comes!
Honest Mischief wins the City of Laurel Stakes at 3
Bye Bye, by Into Mischief out of a Smart Strike mare, wins the G3 Soaring Softly Stakes