Stakes Advance - Pippin

Compiled by Robert Yates

She has a chance go out a winner. Maybe.

Misty Veil is scheduled to run in the $150,000 Pippin Stakes Saturday at Oaklawn and she’s also entered in next week’s Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale for co-owner Michael Hui of Little Rock, AR. Misty Veil is listed a racing or broodmare prospect.

“We’ll set a reserve, an aggressive reserve,” said Hui, who campaigns Misty Veil with Little Rock orthopedic surgeon John H. Yocum. “If we can get out, we’ll sell her. If not, we’ll continue to race her at Oaklawn.”

Misty Veil is among five horses entered in the Pippin, an 8 ½-furlong event for older fillies and mares. First post Saturday is 12:30 p.m. (Central), with probable post time for the Pippin, the ninth of 10 races, 4:22 p.m.

The Pippin field, from the rail out: Lovely Ride (#1), Cristian Torres to ride, 122 pounds, 9-2 on the morning line; Misty Veil (#2), Ramon Vazquez, 115, 2-1; Butterbean (#3), Julien Leparoux, 122, 5-2; Tiz a Macho Girl (#4), Harry Hernandez, 115, 8-1; and Ice Orchid (#5), Ricardo Santana Jr., 122, 9-5.

The Pippin returns the top three finishers from Oaklawn’s one-mile $150,000 Mistletoe Stakes in late-running Butterbean (#3) for trainer Kenny McPeek; Misty Veil (#2) for Mike Maker; and Ice Orchid (#5) for John Ortiz. In a blanket finish, the three mares were separated by three-quarters of a length at the wire. Lovely Ride (#1), who won the Mistletoe and Pippin during Oaklawn’s 2022-2023 season, finished a troubled seventh.

A 6-year-old daughter of Tonalist, Misty Veil is seeking her first career stakes victory, which would boost her residual value. She was 0 for 7 in stakes races last year, but finished second, beaten a half-length by multiple graded stakes winner Interstatedaydream, in the $100,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff May 19 at Pimlico, third in the $400,000 G3-Locust Grove Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs and fourth in the $400,000 G3-Falls City Nov. 23 at Churchill Downs. Misty Veil was beaten a half-length in the Mistletoe after grabbing a narrow lead approaching the finish line.

“We’re at the head of the stretch and Doc and I got an adrenaline rush,” Hui said. “Any time you have the lead at the head of the stretch … then it all fell out and got nailed at the wire because I was watching Johnny Ortiz’s horse. That’s who I was worried about and then out of nowhere comes Butterbean. That’s the way racing works.”

Maker, on behalf of Hui, claimed Misty Veil for $80,000 out of a fourth-place finish in a Nov. 24, 2022, allowance/optional claimer at Churchill Downs. In 11 starts for her new connections, Misty Veil has bankrolled almost $200,000 and won a starter allowance route last March at Oaklawn.

Hui and Maker, since uniting in 2015, have teamed for numerous major victories following high-priced claims. Zulu Alpha, taken for $80,000 in September 2018 at Churchill Downs, gave Hui his first career first career Grade 1 victory in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes in January 2020 at Gulfstream Park. Hui and Maker also captured the inaugural $250,000 Oaklawn Mile in May 2019 at Oaklawn with Exulting, who had been claimed the previous month at Aqueduct for $62,500.

Hui said Maker was drawn to Misty Veil because she had beaten the trainer a few times in races, was sound and had starter conditions “for a while.” Misty Veil has won six of 33 starts overall and earned $527,093.

“I’m always looking for something, financially, that makes sense, that Mike can get me out, and just have fun,” Hui said. “She’s very consistent. As far as natural speed, I think she’s just more of a grinder. She’s done her job well. Hopefully, she does well in the Pippin.”

Hui said Misty Veil is the second horse he and Yocum have owned together. They won multiple races with Hawk of War after Maker claimed the gelding for $50,000 in November 2021 at Churchill Downs. Hui and Maker also campaigned millionaire turf standout Hogy, an $80,000 claim in August 2017 at Saratoga.

“It’s kind of a running joke when he looks at a horse,” Hui, 60, said. “I’ll say: ‘Can you get me out?’ ”

Hui retired in 2015 after co-founding Transportation Insight, a Hickory, N.C.-based logistics cost management consulting firm in January 2000. He also bred Grade 1 winner Nickname.