(Mischevious Alex winning the Gotham Stakes / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team:

Cash Is King Racing and LC Racing’s two-time graded stakes winner Mischevious Alex, victorious in last year’s Grade 3 Gotham, will be eyeing a return to Aqueduct Racetrack for the Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap on April 3.

Trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr., the son of 2020 leading sire Into Mischief returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since the Gotham in his most recent start, a six-furlong allowance optional claimer on January 10 at Gulfstream Park.

Chuck Zacney, owner of Cash Is King Racing, said Mischevious Alex would race before the Carter and could either remain in South Florida for the Grade 3, $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint or could ship to Maryland for the Grade 3, $250,000 General George at Laurel Park. Both races are carded for Saturday, February 13.

“The Carter is absolutely on our radar,” said Zacney. “He’s doing really well right now. We remain optimistic about him.”

Mischevious Alex displayed frontrunning tactics when taking last year’s Gotham, a one-turn mile which he won by two lengths. He arrived at the Gotham off a triumph in the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream Park at seven furlongs.

Initially trained by John Servis, Mischevious Alex was moved to Joseph’s barn in the winter.

“I wanted him to train in a warm weather spot for the winter, so we sent him down to Saffie and he’s done an excellent job with him,” Zacney said.

Mischevious Alex is out of the Speightstown mare White Pants Night and was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm. He has banked $387,730 through a 10-5-1-1 career, having won over three different racetracks.

Zacney expressed excitement about John Servis trainee Five Tool Player, a $900,000 acquisition from the 2019 OBS March Sale, who makes his career debut in Race 9 on Saturday at the Big A, a one-turn mile for maidens 4-years-old and up.

Owned by Cash Is King Racing and D.J. Stable, the 4-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro has been training forwardly for his connections at Parx Racing. On January 12, Five Tool Player breezed a half-mile in 49.44 seconds over the Philadelphia oval – the fastest of 38 works recorded at the distance.

“We bought him about a year and a half ago,” Zacney recalled. “He’s a big, beautiful horse, but it took a little longer with him than we expected. Over the last four to six weeks, he’s been training really well and we’re optimistic for a big run from him.”

Zacney said Five Tool Player could be a horse that favors longer distances.

“There were a few spots that came up that were six furlongs, but we were hoping for something around seven or eight [furlongs],” Zacney said. “Even though it’s one turn, we’re happy to see New York card this race that’s a mile.”

Big A winter meet leading rider Kendrick Carmouche has the call aboard Five Tool Player from post 5 at morning-line odds of 8-1.

Bred in Kentucky by Town and Country Farms and Pollock Farms, Five Tool Player is the fourth progeny out of the graded stakes placed Tapit mare Rashnaa.

Capo Kane remains on point for Withers (G3)

Trainer Harold Wyner said Bing Cherry Racing and Leonard Liberto’s Capo Kane is on target to make his next start in the nine-furlong Grade 3, $250,000 Withers on February 6 at the Big A, which offers 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers.

“He’s doing real good. We’re on track for the Withers,” said Wyner. “He had a two-minute lick this morning. A strong gallop. I just put some air in him and he finished up well in the last quarter.”

The Street Sense bay registered a career-best 84 Beyer Speed Figure last out with a frontrunning score under Dylan Davis in the one-turn mile Jerome on New Year’s Day at the Big A, which earned the colt 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.

The Manchester, England-born conditioner said Capo Kane has thrived out of his first stakes win.

“He’s more aggressive and waking up. He seems to be maturing and moving forward nicely,” said Wyner, who gets up on the talented bay most mornings. “I’ve been working with him and he’s focusing nice.”

A winner at second asking in a mile and seventy yard maiden tilt on November 20 at Parx, Capo Kane made every pole a winning one, drawing off to a 6 1/4-length score in the Jerome.

Wyner said he will let Davis, who retains the mount for the Withers, determine race strategy.

“I’ll leave it up to Dylan. If he breaks good and somebody goes out there winging it on a fast pace, he can sit second or third,” said Wyner. “He can come from behind if he has to. I’ll just tell Dylan to do what he wants and see how the race unfolds.”

Aqueduct winter meet Week 8 stakes probables

Saturday, February 6
Grade 3, $250,000 Withers
Probable: Capo Kane (Harold Wyner), Hold the Salsa (Richard Lugovich), Overtook (Todd Pletcher), Shackqueenking (Gary Capuano)
Possible: Donegal Bay (Todd Pletcher), Leblon (Paulo Lobo), Royal Number (Michael Trombetta)

Sunday, February 7
$100,000 Ruthless
Probable: Dealing Justice (Ray Handal), Miss Brazil (Anthony Dutrow)
Possible: Charge Through (Michael Pino)