01/11/2013 4:11PM

Aqueduct: Mischief Maker enters Swirlaway off career-best Beyer


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Bruce Brown has always thought highly of Mischief Maker. That explains why he ran her against males in her career debut and in a stakes race in her second start.

It wasn’t until her last race, however, that Mischief Maker showed everybody else what Brown had been seeing.

Sunday, Mischief Maker will attempt to validate her impressive seven-length allowance win last out when she faces four rivals in the $75,000 Swirlaway Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares going a mile over Aqueduct’s inner track.

Mischief Maker had her coming out party on Dec. 12 when she galloped to a seven-length victory in a second-level allowance restricted to New York-breds. She earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 86.

“She showed ability right from the get-go,” Brown said Friday. “Then she leveled off a little bit. Finally, she got in a groove and matured. I think she really appreciates two turns.”

Brown said he would like to give Mischief Maker some time off after this race because she’s been going non-stop since last January.

“Hopefully, she runs well here and then I can give her a little vacation,” Brown said.

Mischief Maker will break from the outside post in the five-horse field under Cornelio Velasquez.

While Mischief Maker may be an up-and-coming New York-bred filly, the 6-year-old Opus A appears to be in the twilight of her career. A multiple stakes-winning daughter of Read the Footnotes, Opus A has lost her last five starts for trainer Rick Violette.

“She’s getting a little bit longer in the tooth,” Violette said. “She used to accelerate turning for home. She didn’t do that last time. I think the inner track is her strongest suit of all. She’s pretty consistent [but] she might have lost a step from her very best game.”

Opus A has recorded four of her six career victories over the inner track. She finished fourth last time in a tough open company stakes, a race in which she set a measured lead early on. In retrospect, Violette felt that perhaps jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. should have attempted to open things up early on.

“He kind of let everybody in the game,” Violette said. “Maybe you’re supposed to just keep going and let them catch you.”

Ramon Dominguez will ride Opus  A on Sunday from post 3.

Silver Prize, third in the four-horse Ladies Handicap, is likely to show speed from the rail under Jose Ortiz.

Shesabronxbomber and G. A. Empress complete the field.