NEW YORK — Pretty Mischievous held off Dorth Vader in the stretch to win the $500,000 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park by a head on Friday.
Ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Pretty Mischievous covered the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies in 1:43.33. It was the second straight Grade I win for the Godolphin-owned filly, who won the Kentucky Oaks last month.
“I’m just so proud of her. She’s really developed into an amazing filly,” Gaffalione said. “She seems to just be getting bigger and stronger with each race.”
Off as the 9-5 second choice, Pretty Mischievous returned $5.80, $3.30 and $2.70 in winning for the sixth time in eight starts. She also gave veteran trainer Brendan Walsh his first Grade 1 victory on the New York Racing Association circuit.
Dorth Vader paid $8.60 and $5.40 and was four lengths ahead of third-place finisher Occult, who returned $7.90 to show.
Dorth Vader, bred in Florida and trained by George Weaver, made her first start since running fifth in the Kentucky Oaks.
“She fought hard,” jockey John Velazquez said. “I think she got a little bit surprised by the horse outside of her (Pretty Mischievous). But she put in a really good fight.”
Pretty Mischievous sat off 8-5 favorite Munnys Gold’s early pace and overtook her entering the stretch. Dorth Vader, at odds of 11-1, made a strong challenge, nearly running on even terms to Pretty Mischievous’ inside before Gaffalione coaxed more out of his filly.
Todd Pletcher-trained Munnys Gold was fourth. Accede, Randomized, Frosty O Toole and Goodgirl Badhabits completed the order of finish.