Mizdirection Stretching Out for Buena Vista

Mizdirection Stretching Out for Buena Vista
Photo: Benoit Photo
2012 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Mizdirection goes a mile in the Buena Vista Stakes.

Marvelous on the hillside course at Santa Anita Park, Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. I) champion Mizdirection will attempt to stretch out in the one-mile Buena Vista Stakes (gr. IT) Feb. 18.

Mike Puype, who trains the gritty 5-year-old gray mare for radio and TV sports talk star Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing and partners, is confident she can handle the added real estate.

"I don’t see why she won’t do a mile the way she’s been running and galloping out past the field each time, so I’m not worried about it at all," he said.

The $150,000 Buena Vista attracted a field of eight older fillies and mares, each assigned 118 pounds. The race is the ninth of 10 on the Presidents' Day Monday card with a 4:37 p.m. PST scheduled post.

Before becoming a hillside specialist at about 6 1/2 furlongs, defeating males from off the pace last fall in the BC Turf Sprint, Mizdirection raced at the Buena Vista distance twice as a 3-year-old at Del Mar. She was second to Up In Time after setting the pace in the San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT), then went gate-to-wire in capturing the Sandy Blue Handicap. She was favored each time.

Mizdirection opened her 2013 season by capturing the Monrovia Stakes (gr. IIT) on the hillside Jan. 6, getting up just before the wire. She has had three works since then, including a half-mile drill in a handy :47 flat on the Santa Anita turf Feb. 14. The daughter of Mizzen Mast brings a lifetime record of 8-4-1 in 13 starts with earnings of $1,004,621 into the race.

Mike Smith, who was aboard Mizdirection in her past two races, retains the mount. They leave from gate 2.

The first three finishers in one-mile Megahertz Stakes over the course Jan. 19A Jealous Woman, Byrony, and In the Starswere separated by just a neck and a head. All three return for the Buena Vista.

Three Cent Stable's A Jealous Woman will look for her fourth win in the past six outings as the 7-year-old mare continues her tremendous comeback from a bowed tendon suffered in March 2010. Trained by Francis Meza, the California-bred daughter of Muqtarib will be ridden by Brice Blanc.

"Right now, she's at her peak. She's at her best," Meza said. "Last Thursday (Feb. 7) she worked five furlongs on the grass in a bullet 59 flat with Brice up. He always works her."

Irish-bred 5-year-old Byrony turned in her best effort since last July at Del Mar in the Megahertz, gamely battling to the wire for trainer John Sadler and owners the Batchelor Family Trust and Judi Partridge.

In the Stars, a Brazilian-bred 5-year-old trained by Richard Mandella for Alessandro Arcangeli, seeks her first stakes win while being favored in four of her five U.S. races. In the Stars has finished in the money in 10 of 11 lifetime starts, winning three. Gary Stevens will ride her for the first time.

"She came last year and we spent three or four months getting her ready," Mandella said. "She's been pretty good so far, and maybe even continuing to improve."

Multiple stakes winner Byrama makes a quick turnaround eight days after finishing third as the favorite in the Wishing Well Stakes on the hillside Feb. 10. She was supplemented to the Buena Vista for $3,000. Trained by Simon Callaghan for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, the 4-year-old Byron filly overcame a slow start to get the show spot in the Wishing Well. Byrama was fourth in the Monrovia prior to that.

J.W. Singer's Trois Aureole, a three-time winner from five starts last year, makes her first appearance since taking the July 8 Le Cle Stakes at one mile on the Betfair Hollywood Park turf for Sadler.

Charm the Maker and Long Face complete the field.

$150,000 Buena Vista Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 9, 4:37 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf) 
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Byrony (IRE), G K Gomez, J W Sadler
2. Mizdirection (KY), M E Smith, M Puype
3. Byrama (GB), V Espinoza, S Callaghan
4. Long Face (KY), J R Leparoux, P L Biancone
5. Trois Aureole (KY), M Garcia, J W Sadler
6. A Jealous Woman (CA), B Blanc, F Meza
7. Charm the Maker (KY), J Talamo, R L McAnally
8. In the Stars (BRZ), G L Stevens, R E Mandella
All assigned 118 pounds.

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