mischevious alex dominates swale stakes for john servis

BY Dick Jerardi

When last seen in a race prior to Feb. 2, Mischevious Alex overwhelmed the field in the Nov. 5 Parx Juvenile, winning by 9 3/4 lengths. When he appeared in the Swale Stakes 1,225 miles south at Gulfstream Park, Mischevious Alex was just as dominant, winning by 7 lengths and running his 7 furlongs in 1:22.83.

“I don’t know how far he’ll go,’’ trainer John Servis said from Florida the morning after the race. “On the pedigree and the way he’s built and everything, he doesn’t look like a horse that’s going to go real far. I don’t want to be one of those guys that put him on the (Kentucky Derby) trail trying to make him go that far and then have nothing at the end of the summer.’’

So how far is a question. How fast is not a question. The 3-year-old son of Into Mischief, owned by Chuck Zacney’s Cash Is King and Glenn Bennett’s LC Racing, got a 93 Beyer Figure in the Swale.

With any luck in the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct which went off 15 minutes after the Swale ended, Zacney and Bennett could have had a stakes double. Based at Parx with trainer Butch Reid, Monday Morning Qb got off to a terrible start, made what was probably a premature move on the backstretch, then surged to near the front on the far turn and into the stretch before tiring very late to finish fourth.

Servis said the March 7 Gotham Stakes, a one-turn mile at Aqueduct, is likely next for Mischevious Alex. If the colt really runs well and the Derby begins to come into focus, Servis said he might consider the Lexington Stakes which is two weeks prior to the Derby.

Is the Derby possible after the Lexington?

“If he runs really well, but that’s way down the road,’’ Servis said.

Right now, Servis has a really good 3-year-old.

“If you throw out this horse’s turf race, he should be undefeated,’’ Servis said. “In his second race at Laurel, he got in a little tight and almost dropped himself and dropped back and came running and just got beat. In the Sapling, Trevor [McCarthy] came back and said, ‘John, this horse should have galloped. I’m just sitting. When I pulled the trigger I didn’t expect him to move like he did.’ He looped around everybody, opened up three and just pulled himself up.

“So we knew the talent was there. He’s always been a push-button horse but very green. When we decided to put the blinkers on him (before the Parx Juvenile), that’s when he started to mind his business. 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.”

Mischevious Alex is not the only talented 3-year-old in the Servis barn. He also has the very exciting Dreams Untold, a Pennsylvania bred son of Smarty Jones owned by Pat Chapman who broke his maiden by 14 1/4 lengths at Parx on Jan. 4. Servis is likely to run the horse next in the Feb. 15 Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel.

Dreams Untold does not have nearly the experience of Mischevious Alex, but he has serious talent.

“If he shows he’s good enough, I might think about the Preakness with him,’’ Servis said.

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