, the marvelous 5-year-old mare by Mizzen Mast who
defeated males in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 3, and
followed that up with another win down Santa Anita’s hillside turf
course in the Grade II Monrovia Stakes on Jan. 6, looms the horse to
beat as she tries to stretch her speed to a mile on grass in Monday’s
Grade II, $150,000 Buena Vista Stakes for older fillies and mares.
Up in the nick of time to win the Monrovia by what most
observers thought was at most a neck, Mizdirection’s official margin of
victory was a half length.
“Right when you think maybe she’s beat, she just digs deep and
finds a way to do it,” said majority owner, sports talk superstar Jim
Rome, who races under the nom de course of Jungle Racing. “…She does
not like to lose. When she’s got a good target to shoot for, she
usually turns out pretty well.”
Mizdirection, who has sprinted in her last eight races, hasn’t
routed since winning the one-mile, Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar on
Aug. 19, 2011. She has a win and a second-place finish in two tries at
Trained by Mike Puype, Mizdirection has been ridden in her last two starts by Mike Smith.
“Mike and I both feel she’ll get a mile now and we’re planning
on running in the Buena Vista,” said Puype following her Monrovia
A winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint from well off the pace, Mizdirection sat much closer in the Monrovia.
In her Sandy Blue win at a mile, she went gate to wire and she
finished second when employing similar tactics in the Grade II San
Clemente Handicap that summer.
In addition to Jungle Racing, Mizdirection is owned by William
Strauss, or Danny Grohs and partners. Her overall record stands at
13-8-4-1, with earnings of $1,004,621.
Hard knocking A Jealous Woman comes off a game win over the
course in the Megahertz Stakes on Jan. 19 and is at the top of her game
at age seven. Sent to the sidelines in the spring of 2010 with a bowed
tendon, trainer Francis Meza has done a miraculous job with the
California-bred daughter of Muqtarib.
“Right now, she’s at her peak,” said Meza on Thursday morning.
“She’s at her best. Last Thursday (Feb. 7) she worked five furlongs on
the grass in a bullet 59 flat with Brice (regular rider, Blanc) up. He
always works her.”
Blessed with an abundance of speed, Blanc can place his mount
close to, or on the lead. Owned by a pair of retired mailmen, Richard
Reid and Nick Tamborrino, who race as the Three Cent Stable, A Jealous
Woman has now banked $443,856 from a mark of 19-8-3-3.
Byrony and In the Stars, the two-three finishers, beaten a neck
and a head respectively, by A Jealous Woman in the Megahertz, both rate
big chances in the Buena Vista.
Irish-bred Byrony, a 5-year-old mare, is a dedicated middle
distance type in search of her first graded stakes win. Ridden by
Garrett Gomez for the first time in the Megahertz, she battled gamely
from off the pace and it’s likely she’ll be ridden in similar fashion by
Gomez on Monday.
Trained by John Sadler, Byrony won her stateside debut at
Betfair Hollywood Park going 1 1/16 miles on turf on May 20, and her
subsequent outing on July 1, at 1 1/8 miles on grass.
Winless in her last six starts, Byrony has an overall mark of
26-7-2-5 and earnings of $152,110. She is owned by the Batchelor Family
Trust or J. Partridge.
Brazilian-bred In the Stars, the 9-5 favorite in the Megahertz,
will be ridden for the first time by Gary Stevens on Monday, as he
replaces Corey Nakatani, who had been aboard in all five of her
stateside starts, two of them victories.
Trained by Richard Mandella and owned by Alessandro Arcangeli,
In the Stars has been favored in four of her five Southern California
starts. Multiple Group I stakes- placed in Brazil, she just missed
going gate to wire in the Megahertz and ran well for Nakatani from off
the pace in her previous four tries. Her record stands at 11-3-3-4,
with earnings of $148,539.
Off as the 5-2 favorite in last Sunday’s Wishing Well Stakes,
English-bred Byrama disappointed, running third, beaten 4 ½ lengths. A
winner of the Unzip Me Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s
hillside turf course on Sept. 29, she is winless in her last three
outings—all of them down the hill. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano in her
last four starts, she’ll be handled by Victor Espinoza in the Buena
Winless in five tries at a mile, Byrama has an overall mark of
15-4-3-5. With A Jealous Woman or In the Stars likely laying claim to
the early lead, Byrama should be in close attendance stretching out.
Trained by Simon Callaghan and owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners,
Byrama has lifetime earnings of $253,294.
Multiple Grade I stakes-placed Charm the Maker will get back to
what may be her preferred surface in the Buena Vista. She comes off an
abysmal effort going 1 1/16 miles on dirt in the Paseana Stakes on Jan.
13, finishing sixth, beaten 21 ¾ lengths.
With a bullet five furlong move of 1:00.60 on turf Feb. 14,
Charm the Maker could be primed to step forward on Monday. She’ll be
ridden for the first time by Joe Talamo and like many in the field,
could lay close or be taken back off the pace.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Empire Maker, she is trained
by Ron McAnally, Charm the Maker is owned by his wife, Debbie, and was
bred by the husband and wife team. She has earnings of $262,290 and an
overall mark of 11-2-2-2.
John Sadler will also send out the comebacking Trois Aureole,
who went to the sidelines following a win in the Le Cle Stakes at one
mile turf July 8 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Ridden by Talamo in her last two starts, she’ll be handled for
the first time on Monday by Martin Garcia. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred
filly by English Channel, Trois Aureole’s record stands at 6-3-1-0, with
earnings of $112,116. She is owned by J.W. Singer LLC.
The complete field for the Buena Vista, which will be run as the
ninth on a 10-race program Monday, with jockeys and weights in post
position order: Byrony, Garrett Gomez, 118; Mizdirection, Mike Smith,
118; Byrama, Victor Espinoza, 118; Long Face, Julien Leparoux, 118;
Trois Aureole, Martin Garcia, 118; A Jealous Woman, Brice Blanc, 118;
Charm the Maker, Joe Talamo, 118, and In the Stars, Gary Stevens, 118.