Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) champion Miss Houdini came out of Saturday's stakes race in fine shape after posting an 11-1 upset, trainer Warren Stute said Sunday. "She's just fine," he said. "She came out of the race in great shape."With a maiden win behind her in her only other career start, Miss Houdini was indeed magical as she flew past the leaders and held off a hard-closing Santa Catarina for the win under Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens.The Stute filly had been off since her July 13 debut at Hollywood Park because of an infection in a back leg that required treatment by penicillin.Because of post-race testing considerations, the filly had to miss the Sorrento Stakes and wait for the Debutante.The Debutante score was the fourth stakes victory of the meet for Stute, the first time that the 80-year-old conditioner has won that many stakes in one seaside season. He's ahead of such high-profile trainers as Bob Baffert, Robert Frankel and Ron McAnally in stakes victories this summer.In the next barn from Warren Stute, younger brother Mel, 76, was taking the loss by his Debutante prospect, dual graded-stakes winner Buffythecenterfold, in stride.
He acknowledged, "I'm getting tired of getting beat by my brother. But at least I know if I need any money there's some in the family."Missing 11 days of training following "Buffy's" victory in the Sorrento Stakes could have compromised her fitness, Mel Stute's son and assistant, Gary, said.