Thanks to a perfectly-timed ride by Laurel Park’s leading rider, Jaime Rodriguez, Mavilus mowed down her competition late and won the Conniver Stakes for Maryland-bred or Maryland-sired fillies and mares at Laurel Park on Saturday, March 18 in a 25-1 upset.
The 5-year-old daughter of former Northview stallion Orientate enjoyed success against starter allowance types last year. She sported a record of 4-1-7 from 13 starts in 2022, including a come-from-behind victory in the Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap. In her first start this year, she finished in a dead-heat for third against first-level allowance company. Stepping up the class ladder to stakes company, she was considered an outsider in the eight-horse, seven-furlong Conniver.
Mavlius was pinched back at the start and quickly dropped well off the early pace, as many as 15 lengths back. Odds-on favorite Response Time set honest fractions, going through a first quarter of :23.44 and an opening half-mile of :46.39, with two-time Maryland-bred champion Street Lute stalking her from the outside. As they turned for home, Mavlius remained well off the pace, and Rodriguez began to urge her on.
In the stretch, Rodriguez angled Mavlius to the center of the track, and the mare began to respond to urging. She gobbled up ground in the last eighth, struck the front with a few yards to go and got up for a half-length victory. Street Lute held second, while Award Wanted, winner of the Geisha Stakes in January, was third. The final time was 1:25.16.
The win improved Mavilus’ career record to 9-6-10 from 37 starts, with earnings of $257,233. Bred by Kevin P. Morgan, she was purchased for $5,500 by Anthony Pecoraro at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale. She broke her maiden on debut at Delaware Park in July 2020 and won twice for Pecoraro before being claimed for $25,000 by Bird Mobberley LLC and trainer John Salzman Jr. at Laurel in February 2021. After winning twice more for Mobberley and Salzman, she was claimed by her current owner Michael Scheffres and trainer Carlos Mancilla for $5,000 at Laurel in January 2022. She’s since earned $154,191.
Mavilus is a member of the final crop of Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Orientate, who stood in Maryland for five years, from 2013 to 2017, before being pensioned. She is one of two foals, and only starter, out of the unraced Rock Slide mare Mavia. Mavilus descends from Robert Meyerhoff’s Maryland Broodmare of the Year Dynamic Star (her fourth dam) through stakes-placed Dynamic Broad, who was a full or half-sister to four stakes performers including Maryland-bred champion Star Minister and graded winner Stellar Brush. In addition to producing Mavilus’ granddam Grinamic (by Grindstone), Dynamic Broad is also the dam of stakes winners Amanecer de Oro and Dynamic Time and stakes-placed Tactical Brush.