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Duke of Mischief Looms Large in Salvator

Saturday’s $250,000 Salvator Mile is a Grade 3 event with a top-caliber field, as every one of the five horses entered can boast major stakes victories.

The one-mile Salvator is a “win-and-you’re-in” Breeders’ Cup event, pointing horses towards the big event on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs. The field reflects that prospect.

Munnings, who ran third in the Haskell Invitational (G1) here last year, has won three Grade 2 events. Le Grand Cru is a multiple Grade 3 winner and Grade 1-placed. You and I Forever is a Grade 2 winner who was second in last year’s Iselin Stakes (G3) here. Gone Astray won both the Pennsylvania and Ohio Derbys last year.

And Duke of Mischief, trained by David Fawkes, got his Grade 2 win in the Oaklawn Handicap this year before finishing 8th in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster ‘Cap at Churchill last out.

“This is a really tough field, but I think my horse has a good chance,” Fawkes said. “It looks like there’s plenty of speed in there to run at. And I think the flat mile suits him the best.”

Duke of Mischief, who ran fifth in last year’s Haskell, has made four starts this year, winning the Grade 3 Fort Lauderdale before running 8th in the Grade 1 Donn.

“He’s run three times in Grade 1 races,” Fawkes said. “In the Haskell, he blew a shoe and never had a chance. In the Donn, he got Quality Road-ed. In the Foster, he was trapped down along the inside all the way, which he didn’t like.

“This is a tough race, but I think it’s a good spot for him,” the trainer said.



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