After Joey Platts bought a yearling daughter of Into Mischief from Legacy Bloodstock at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, he kept sending in names and getting them rejected.
“I was sitting there and I said, ‘This ain’t easy,’ and there it was, Ain’t Easy,” Platts said. “And then I got to thinking about it; it’s not easy to win a race or do a lot of things.”
Ain’t Easy found the Oct. 1 Chandelier Stakes (G2) for 2-year-old fillies at Santa Anita exceedingly easy, however. Once she pulled even with pacesetter Electric Ride in the second turn of the 1 1/16-mile race, she sauntered home so easily that jockey Joel Rosario was able to sit completely still and let her coast home. The victory earned Ain’t Easy a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), and Ain’t Easy became the 100th black-type stakes winner for Into Mischief.
The 7-2 second choice to odds-on and TVG Del Mar Debutante (G1) winner Grace Adler , Ain’t Easy settled in on the rail early behind Electric Ride and Dance to the Music . Around the first turn, Electric Ride was about a length in front of the six others with the favorite racing in last.
Rosario found enough room inside of Electric Ride to bring Ain’t Easy up into second down the backside. Those two raced as a team, with Ain’t Easy taking over near the half-mile pole. From there, Ain’t Easy used the stretch merely to pad her advantage. She ultimately defeated Electric Ride by 4 3/4 lengths, with Desert Dawn third. Grace Adler finished fifth of seven. Ain’t Easy stopped the timer in 1:45.20.
“It was a very good trip—she broke really sharply,” said Rosario. “It was her first time going long, and she did it really easily. You don’t know how good you are until you go with tough competition like this, and she did it the right way.”
Phil D’Amato trains Ain’t Easy, who is out of the stakes-placed Fastnet Rock mare Ameristralia. Platts owns the filly with Andrew Molasky’s Old Bones Racing Stable and Michael Lombardi.
“My brother Brad and I picked her out and short-listed her, and then Phil showed up at the sale and that was the first horse we took him to,” said Platts, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., and is in the oil and gas business.
They bought Ain’t Easy for $400,000, the highest-priced filly of Session 5.
“I was partners with Mike Lombardi on another horse,” said Platts. “I asked Phil if he had anyone else who wanted to partner, and that’s how I got hooked up with Andrew.”
Spendthrift Farm bred Ain’t Easy in Kentucky. The second dam, Kentucky-bred Heart Ashley, won the Cicada Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack and the Adena Stallions’ Miss Preakness Stakes (G3) at Pimlico Race Course, both in 2009.
D’Amato unveiled Ain’t Easy at Del Mar Aug. 21, and she broke her maiden by 5 1/4 lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs. The Chandelier was her second start.
“She just looked like she was having fun in the stretch,” said D’Amato. “I think it set up perfect, a good two-turn experience, confidence booster, an easy win, where it didn’t look like she was taxed too much.”
Platts looks forward to having Ain’t Easy in the Breeders’ Cup now that she has an automatic berth.
“Hopefully, she can do it again come November,” he said.