She hasn’t won pretty all season, but Pretty Mischievous has done it enough to be the undisputed leader among three-year-old fillies heading into the $1 million Cotillion (G1) at Parx on Saturday.
The Godolphin homebred can enhance her championship credentials in the 1 1/16-mile Cotillion, which has attracted a field of nine. Pretty Mischievous enters on a three-race win streak encompassing the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Acorn (G1), and Test (G1), none by a margin longer than a neck.
However, there is an asterisk regarding the win in the seven-furlong Test at Saratoga, where Pretty Mischievous inherited the victory after Maple Leaf Mel fell en route to what appeared a likely victory.
“To be very honest, I was a little surprised last time, she struggled with the pace a little bit in the Test,” trainer Brendan Walsh said. “I thought maybe she would have adjusted to it a little better, but saying that, obviously we know what happened. She would have been a good second, so I can’t be too hard on her either.
“The two turns really is her thing. Back to two turns she’s been very effective as we all know, so we’re looking forward to getting her back there. Hopefully, we can cap a very good year for her.”
There is a plentiful amount of speed to help aid Pretty Mischievous in the Cotillion. Ceiling Crusher invades from Southern California where she’s won five of six, including the Torrey Pines (G3) at Del Mar by six lengths.
“Saturday will stamp, or validate, hopefully, what we think of her,” trainer Doug O’Neill said of Ceiling Crusher. “We are excited to see her in there. She doesn’t necessarily need the lead, but she could be forwardly placed. She has a real high cruising speed and a lot of stamina.”
Grade 2 veteran Hoosier Philly has had an inconsistent campaign, but was well below par in the Charles Town Oaks (G3) last time, while Ashland (G1) and Indiana Oaks (G3) heroine Defining Purpose backs up after weakening to third in the 10-furlong Alabama (G1).
There are other entrants on the improve of late. Occult exits a 10-length romp in the Monmouth Oaks (G3), while that race’s runner-up, Foggy Night, book-ended that performance with wins in the Delaware Oaks (G3) and Cathryn Sophia S. Stakes-placed Just Katherine, a daughter of Justify, remains with upside following a recent entry-level allowance score at Saratoga.