Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Mischevious Alex

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 10th, 2020

Speed is the mark of a talented racehorse. If you can’t keep up with your rivals, you won’t get very far.

There’s no doubt Mischevious Alex has speed in abundance, as he demonstrated while cruising to a two-length victory in the $300,000 Gotham (G3) goinga mile at Aqueduct. But speed without stamina makes it difficult for even the classiest of horses to succeed in two-turn routes, and so far it’s unclear whether Mischevious Alex has the stamina to negotiate the Derby’s testing 1 1/4-mile distance.

Mischevious Alex Pedigree

From top to bottom, Mischevious Alex has the pedigree of a sprinter/miler, which was certainly the profile of his sire, Into Mischief. A Grade 1-winning juvenile who placed in the Malibu (G1) at age 3, Into Mischief’s stamina topped out at 1 1/16 miles, and the same can be said for the majority of his best foals. From champion female sprinter Covfefe to two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Goldencents, the progeny of Into Mischief have excelled up to a mile and not much farther, though Florida Derby (G1) winner Audible did place third in the Kentucky Derby.

Additional speed comes courtesy of Mischevious Alex’s female family. Dam White Pants Night is a daughter of champion sprinter Speightstown, and while Speightstown has sired a surprising number of classy two-turn route runners (including Golden Ticket, Haynesfield, Force the Pass, and Competitionofideas, all Grade 1 winners running 1 1/4 miles), White Pants Night evidently didn’t inherit the stouter side of her sire’s genetics. A speedy front-runner, her two victories came sprinting 6-furlongs or less.

This isn’t surprising when you consider the bottom half of White Pants Night’s pedigree. Her dam, More d’Amour, was a multiple stakes-placed sprinter whose previous foals include Jersey Shore (G3) winner Hebbronville, Prairie Meadows Debutante S. winner A Day for Dancing, and Saratoga Special (G2) runner-up Master of Disaster, all sprinters who proved best running 6 furlongs.

So strictly from a pedigree perspective, it’s hard to endorse Mischevious Alex as a potential classic winner. He seems more likely to excel in races up to a mile and distance, an opinion seemingly shared by trainer John Servis. Following Mischevious Alex’s blowout victory in the 7-furlong Swale (G3) on Feb. 1. Servis told Gulfstream Park “I really think, me personally, a one-turn mile is going to really hit him on the head. Is he a mile and a quarter horse? I don’t think so.”

But as they say, anything can happen in racing. Horses defy their pedigrees every day of the week, and we won’t know for certain whether Mischevious Alex can negotiate 1 1/4 miles until he enters the Churchill Downs homestretch on the first Saturday in May.

Read more Kentucky Derby pedigree analysis here.

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Mischevious Alex wins the Gotham Stakes (Coglianese Photos)