Mizdirection on the right road
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint Champ Mizdirection scored a stylish success in the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita.
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Mike Smith's mount hadn't been out since a comfortable win in the Grade Two Monrovia Stakes in January and hadn't run over a mile since winning at Del Mar in 2011.
After breaking from post position number two, Mizdirection was bumped sharply after the break, which resulted in the mare grabbing a quarter on her right front foot, which was visibly bleeding following the race.
However, none of this prevented her from recording an impressive two and a quarter length success in a fast time, having made every yard of the running.
"If anything good came out of it (bumping incident), she rated really well," said Smith. "...She's stronger, she's bigger, and she'll definitely get a mile. I thought if a horse was going to come to her she would have dug back in...I don't know how much further we want to go than this, but she can certainly get a mile."
Winning trainer Mike Puype added: "Mike said he kind of got her to settle, and (she) grabbed a pretty good-sized quarter off that foot, too, so we're going to have to go to work on that after the race.
"It's a testament to how tough she is. She was training beautiful going into this race...She's just a pleasure to have. She makes me look good.
"Let me tell you something. The filly chasing her is a good horse. I thought In the Stars was the horse to beat today. She came after (us) like she was going to make it a race, and Mike looked like he had a lot of horse. I'm very pleased."
Runner-up In the Stars, ridden by Gary Stevens, looked a threat turning for home but failed to match the winner's acceleration.
"Coming into the stretch I was wanting to get out and the way it turned out it didn't matter much anyway," said Stevens.
"Once I found room and got out, (Mizdirection) just sprinted away from me. I would have liked it better if I could have been parked on the outside and engaged Mizdirection from, like the three-furlong pole, but it turned into a sprint and Mizdirection has a helluva turn of foot and flew away from me."