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Santa Anita: Miss Radiance Wins for Jim Rome

Owned by renowned sports talk radio and television commentator Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing, Miss Radiance determinedly drove between horses under jockey David Flores Thursday to score as the 3-2 favorite in Santa Anita’s $59,048 Bug Brush Purse for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

 

Rome and trainer Mike Puype opted to run Miss Radiance in the Bug Brush after scratching from Sunday’s Grade II La Canada Stakes, and the decision proved prudent. The 4-year-old Yes It’s True filly overtook pacesetter Bwana Babe to win by one-half length in 1:43.22.

 

Although Rome’s romance with horse racing ownership had brought some immediate success, “It wasn’t until I got punched in the face a couple of times that I realized just how tough this is,” he said in the winner’s circle Thursday. “That’s why I can be so appreciative of something like this.”

 

In her previous start, Miss Radiance had been victimized by racing luck. She stumbled badly and fell 11 lengths behind an allowance field going one mile on Dec. 30 at Santa Anita before closing strongly to finish second, 3 ¼ lengths behind Spirit Seeker.

 

She broke smoothly in the Bug Brush as Flores placed her fifth in a field of seven. “There wasn’t much pace,” said Flores, “but I was very comfortable where I was. She responded when I asked her, and she did it easily.”

 

Miss Radiance paid $5, $3 and $2.20. Bwana Babe, who finished a neck ahead of Heidi Maria while ridden by Corey Nakatani, paid $3.60 and $2.80. The show price on Heidi Maria, with Joel Rosario aboard, was $3.60.

 

The victory by Miss Radiance ended a succession of four double-digit longshot winners that resulted in a Pick Six carryover of $55,584 into Friday’s nine-race program that gets underway at 1 p.m.

 

It was the second win in six starts for the bay filly who returned to the races in October following a year’s absence. “She’s still learning,” said Puype, “and she’s getting a little better with each race. This was only her second time routing, so she’s got a chance to improve.”

 

The winning purse of $34,800 increased the earnings of Miss Radiance to $82,680 from a 2-1-1 record in six career starts.

 

 

 

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