At the Keeneland January sale, the number of mares in foal to a stallion suggests different things, depending on the horse. For instance, some sires in great demand, like Bernardini and Tapit, have only one mare in the first book of the January, and this indicates that nearly all the mares covered by those sires and intended for the sales went through the ring in November.

On the other hand, stallions that would be regarded as more representative of the middle market, such as Midnight Lute, Scat Daddy, and Into Mischief, have the most in-foal mares consigned (12 each for Midnight Lute and Scat Daddy), or the most short yearlings (11 for Into Mischief).

With mares in foal, buyers are looking not only at the mares themselves but also at what they are carrying. Clearly, mares in foal to sires with six-figure stud fees have to bring a hefty price to justify selling them, and only a limited number of buyers operate in that range. But January brings a vast array of middle-market buyers to the ring, and mares in foal to more mid-range stallions attract a great deal of attention from buyers and their representatives.

The same goes for the sires of these first-look yearlings of 2015, and Into Mischief is of particular interest because these yearlings are among the sire’s first offspring conceived after his first racers came to the races in 2012.

Those runners included Goldencents, winner of two races as a juvenile, including the G3 Delta Jackpot, and second in the G1 Champagne Stakes. Also from Into Mischief’s first crop, Vyjack was a stakes winner at 2, then added the G2 Jerome and G3 Gotham early the next season. Goldencents kept the headlines coming with his victories in the Sham and the Santa Anita Derby in the spring of 2013, and their sire’s book swelled to massive proportions.

According to statistics from the Jockey Club, Into Mischief covered 210 mares that season, with 181 pronounced in foal. From those, he got 168 foals (80 percent). Some of those foals were bred on what now would be reckoned bargain stud fees for those who beat the wave of demand for the young son of leading sire Harlan’s Holiday.

And with the unexpected death of his sire and his runners’ continuing success, Into Mischief has become a very appealing prospect for middle and upper-middle market commercial breeders.

In 2015, the big bay will stand for $35,000 at the Spendthrift Farm of owner Wayne Hughes.

With at least nine stakes winners representing the stallion in 2014, Into Mischief has been warmly received at the sales, with multiple six-figure yearlings in 2014. From last year’s foals, now yearlings, the sire had 24 sell in 2014 for an average price of $73,042, with a median of $68,500.

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