Fresh off a lifetime-best victory versus males in the Grade I
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 3, Mizdirection
will attempt to run
her record at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s Camino Real Turf Course to
a perfect four for four as she defends her title in Sunday’s Grade II
Monrovia Stakes for older fillies and mares.
Owned in-part by sports-talk superstar Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing
and trained by Mike Puype, Mizdirection drew the outside post in a field
of six. The 5-year-old mare by Mizzen Mast has had four works since
her Breeders’ Cup triumph, with her most recent drill on Jan. 1, going
five furlongs on turf in a bullet 1:00.20.
A winner of last year’s Monrovia under Garrett Gomez,
Mizdirection will be ridden Sunday by Mike Smith, who was aboard for the
Breeders’ Cup win and who has never been beaten on her in three tries.
In addition to Rome, Mizdirection is also owned by Strauss,
Grohs and partners. Her overall record stands at 12-7-4-1, with
earnings of $914,621.
Although Mizdirection will be favored on Sunday, the Monrovia is
certainly no walkover. Trainer Gary Mandella will send out the speedy
Kindle, who was an impressive gate to wire winner of the Cool Air Stakes
going six furlongs on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 23,
finishing 2 ¾ lengths in front of Broken Dreams, who will also suit up
In her only try down the hill, Kindle opened up early by 5 ½
lengths in the Grade III Senator Ken Maddy Stakes on Oct. 20, finishing
second, beaten a half-length by Broken Dreams. Kindle’s earnings stand
at $143,370, from a record of 8-4-2-0.
Trainer Tom Proctor will send out the afore-mentioned Broken
Dreams, a Glen Hill Farm homebred who sports a 4-2-2-0 mark over the
course. A 7-year-old Florida-bred mare by Broken Vow, Broken Dreams
could be making her final start on Sunday, as she is due to be bred this
Broken Dreams has earnings of $391,072 from a record 23-7-6-1.
Trainer Simon Callaghan has the highly regarded Byrama primed and
ready for the Monrovia. Originally scheduled to face males in this
past Saturday’s Grade III Daytona Stakes, Byrama was scratched in favor
of the Monrovia.
A winner down the hill of the Unzip Me Stakes on Sept. 29, Byrama
was a fast finishing third, beaten three-quarters of a length as the
2-1 favorite in the Maddy on Oct. 20. Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred
Partners, she’ll again be ridden by Rafael Bejarano. She has a 3-2-0-1
mark down the hill and her overall record stands at 13-4-3-4. She has
$234,634 in career earnings.
The complete field for the Monrovia Stakes, to be run as the
eighth on a nine-race program Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post
position order: Curvy Cat, Corey Nakatani, 118; Byrama, Rafael
Bejarano, 118; Kindle, Edwin Maldonado, 118; Givine, Tyler Baze, 118;
Broken Dreams, Garrett Gomez, 118, and Mizdirection, Mike Smith, 123.