By winning the 7F G1 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Saratoga, Practical Joke became one of the most attractive stallion prospects from the 3-year-old crop. Attractive is a key word because he’s an outstanding looker to begin with. That was obvious to his breeders, Keith and Allen Crupper of Whispering Oaks, who sold him as a short yearling at Keeneland for $135,000, and it was glaring to the buyer, Brian Graves, director of public sales at Gainesway, who told Keeneland, “He was a standout physically — he would catch the eye immediately. He had a long neck, deep in his girth and a very big hip and hindquarter. He was taller than most, very good size. The best part was his walk, an effortless, unhinged way of moving, and he walked like that the entire time at the sale, and the entire time that we owned him for that matter.”
Graves and his partners resold the colt for $240,000 eight months later at the Keeneland September sale through the Gainesway consignment.
By Into Mischief from the Distorted Humor mare Halo Humor, Practical Joke has run to his looks for owners Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence and trainer Chad Brown. A winner of half his 10 starts to date with four placings, Practical Joke has earned $1,670,800. More importantly, he’s now a G1 winner at 2 and 3 — terrific credentials for a stallion prospect. Last year, he won the 7F G1 Hopeful at Saratoga and the 8F G1 Champagne at Belmont. There are only two other dirt 3-year-old colts who can claim to be winners at the highest level the last two seasons like Practical Joke. One is Classic Empire, the champion juvenile colt who won the BC Juvenile and the Breeders’ Futurity last year and the Arkansas Derby this year; and the other is Gormley, winner of the FrontRunner at 2 and the Santa Anita Derby at 3. Both Classic Empire and Gormley are tied up for stud duty. The former will go to Coolmore’s Ashford and the latter will join Into Mischief at Spendthrift.
It’s a certainty that a deal for Practical Joke’s breeding rights will be completed soon, and it doesn’t take much to imagine that the biggest players in the business will be after him.
Practical Joke has the right sire, too. Beholder’s half-brother by Harlan’s Holiday, G1 winner Into Mischief is one of the hottest commercial sires at the moment and is scheduled to stand for $100,000 in 2018. That’s a long way up from the $12,500 he stood for in his first season at stud in 2009 and even more than the $7,500 to which he had dropped in his fourth year in 2012. A success from the start despite small crops his first four years at stud, Into Mischief has become a favorite of breeders and buyers. Last year Into Mischief was booked full early at $75,000. He’s been a money maker for his early supporters as well. He was originally a “Share the Upside” horse at Spendthrift: that is, breeders who patronized him in his first two years at stud at $12,500 and $10,000 were given a free lifetime breeding right, and those folks are now enjoying a windfall bet.
Out of the stakes-placed Distorted Humor mare Halo Humor, Practical Joke doesn’t have the strongest family up close but his broodmare sire is top class and his dam had some quality form. She won her debut in a maiden special at Saratoga at 2 by 7 1/4 lengths for Steve Asmussen and followed up with another win at the Spa a month later in an allowance race. Two-for-two, she was fourth next out in the 7F G1 Matron. Later stakes-placed (she lost by a nose), Halo Humor retired with two wins from five starts. The Cruppers purchased her for $130,000 at the 2008 Keeneland January sale, in foal to Fusaichi Pegasus. Practical Joke is her first black-type winner. This is the family of Graded winners Moment of Hope, Aggressive Bid, and Dunham’s Gift.