Mizz Money holds off Return to Grace to win the Pucker Up.

Mizz Money holds off Return to Grace to win the Pucker Up.

Four Footed Fotos

Mizz Money Makes Grade in Pucker Up Upset

Mizz Money edged Return to Grace for a narrow victory in Pucker Up Stakes.

After winning or placing in five of her first six career turf starts, consistent Mizz Money secured the first graded stakes victory of her career Aug. 15 with a narrow upset victory in the $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Arlington International Racecourse turf.

Earlier this year L. T. B. Inc. and Ron Hillerich homebred Mizz Money won the Allen LaCombe Memorial Stakes on the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots turf for her first stakes win. The daughter of Mizzen Mast  placed second in turf stakes at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in May and Canterbury Park in June.

She entered the Pucker Up off an off-the-board finish in the Tawee Stakes at Indiana Grand, but that race was moved from turf to dirt. Back on her favored surface for Saturday's 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, Mizz Money and rider Robby Albarado tracked early leader Unbridled Courage through a half-mile in ;49.56, forged a half-length advantage in the stretch, and held off Return to Grace by a nose.

Return to Grace edged third-place Prado's Sweet Ride by that same margin in the thrilling finish. Trained by Patti Miller, who won her first stakes, Mizz Money finished the race in 1:49.80 on firm turf.

"At the wire it was pretty close but I had the advantage inside," Albarado said. "She was game today."

A pair of post-race rider objections not involving the winner, one againt the runner-up and one against fourth-place America Mon Amie, were not allowed and the order was not changed.

Mizz Money paid $30 to win, $14.60 to place, and $7 to show. Return to Grace returned $9 and $5 while Prado's Sweet Ride paid $4.60 to show. Even-money favorite Miss Chatelaine moved belatedly and never threatened, finishing sixth.

Bred in Kentucky by the owners and Bernie Flint, Mizz Money is the first stakes winner out of the unraced Grand Slam mare Abbeyville Miss, who has produced three starters, all winners.