Stallion Spotlight offers stud farm representatives a chance to address breeders and answer questions as they plan their future matings.

In this edition, Molly Lightner of Sequel New York in Hudson, N.Y., discusses Honest Mischief, a stakes-winning son of Into Mischief whose first foals arrive in 2022. He was New York’s most popular stallion of the 2021 breeding season, with 127 mares bred.

Honest Mischief
B. h., 2016, Into Mischief x Honest Lady, by Seattle Slew
Race Record: 9-4-3-1; $287,464
Advertised Fee: $6,500

Honest Mischief. Barbara Livingston Photo

Question: What makes Honest Mischief an attractive stallion for potential breeders?

Molly Lightner, Sequel New York: Honest Mischief is Thoroughbred royalty. He is a gorgeous son of Into Mischief out of Juddmonte’s Grade 1-winning dam, Honest Lady, the half-sister to Empire Maker. As a racehorse, he was remarkably fast, quickly earning his TDN Rising Star status in just his second start producing a 97 Beyer and 2 Ragozin. Pedigree and speed alone, however, cannot make a stallion. Support is so incredibly important, and Honest Mischief has received more support from both New York and Kentucky breeders than any regional sire in just his first year at stud. This combination not only leads to numbers in the sales ring, but winners on the track.

If I’ve got a mare that needs help physically, what can Honest Mischief best contribute to the equation?

Lightner: Honest Mischief is a very well-balanced horse that we expect will pair best with larger mares who could benefit from some more hip and speed. If he stamps his progeny at all, you are going to get a very pretty baby.

What would someone breeding to capture the Into Mischief line find familiar in Honest Mischief?

Lightner: Physically, Honest Mischief looks very much like his superstar sire, Into Mischief. Standing at 16 hands, Honest Mischief is a beautifully balanced horse that looks fast and was fast. In addition to the physical similarities, both female families are absolutely exceptional. With graded stakes winners like Honest Lady, Empire Maker, Toussaud, First Defence, Chester House, Decarchy, and Chiselling jumping off the page, Honest Mischief was born to be a great racehorse and sire.

Into Mischief is white-hot right now. How much do you think having his first son in New York affected his breeder interest?

Lightner: The timing couldn’t have been better. A son of Into Mischief is something all breeders are looking for. His son Goldencents was the most popular sire in North America in 2021 and Honest Mischief followed suit, boasting more mares bred than any other horse outside of Kentucky. This is a huge testament to the popularity and demand for Into Mischief and his progeny. We are very happy to be able to offer him in New York.

Honest Mischief did his best work sprinting, but did so with a strong closing kick. Does that affect your projections at all for his ability to get a two-turn horse?

Lightner: Honest Mischief was certainly a speed horse but is unique in that he has a pedigree full of classic distance horses. We expect his individual ability and family history of distance horses to produce horses with an aptitude for both one-turn and two-turn races alike.

Honest Mischief’s second dam is the great Toussaud, the dam of Grade 1 winners and sires Empire Maker and Chester House. Honest Mischief himself is a half-brother to a Grade 1 winner and successful sire in First Defence. How much does having that level of stallion production in the female family help the stock of a young sire like Honest Mischief?

Lightner: It’s unbelievably helpful. Outside of Into Mischief’s own female family, it is difficult to find a horse with more of a license to be a tremendous sire. Juddmonte has worked for decades to breed a horse with the pedigree of Honest Mischief. He is the culmination of generations of royally-bred racehorses.

What is something about Honest Mischief that you think goes overlooked?

Lightner: Honest Mischief is receiving more support than any Sequel stallion ever. While he easily bred more mares than any other sire in the Empire State, it is the quality of mare bred which has really stood out. His 127 mares include 16 stakes horses, 20 stakes producers and most notably the dams of Grade 1 millionaire and soon to be freshman sire, Firenze Fire and 2-year-old stakes winner Red Danger.

Honest Mischief wins a Keeneland maiden special weight on April 6, 2019.

What makes Honest Mischief a value in his price bracket?

Lightner: Honest Mischief is quite simply the best-bred son of Into Mischief at stud. His pedigree is exquisite and he is stunning. At $6,500, there is no greater value.

What else should breeders know about Honest Mischief before picking up the phone?

Lightner: Honest Mischief’s unprecedented support from Sequel, our partners and breeders is well documented. While we believe he will present tremendous commercial value, our primary goal is and always will be to win races; not only amongst New York breds, but on Saturday afternoon as well.

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