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Surface Switch No Problem for Mizdirection

Her showdown with Unzip Me having succumbed to track conditions, Mizdirection, the soaring 4-year-old filly co-owned by noted sports commentator Jim Rome, expanded her accomplishments Saturday by gaining her fourth straight victory in Santa Anita’s $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap.

 

With the 6 1/2-furlong, Grade III stakes race switched from turf to Santa Anita’s main track following a pounding rainstorm on Friday, only four starters went to the post, and Mizdirection made good on her 3-10 favoritism with a one-half length win over 5-2 second choice Teroda.

 

Timed in 1:16.50 over a track labeled “fast,” the victory served as the first for Mizdirection over a dirt surface after her previous five victories had been achieved on grass.

 

Two races back, the gray daughter of Mizzen Mast had dramatically displayed her mastery of Santa Anita’s hillside turf course with a commanding 1 ¾-length triumph over the layout’s reigning queen, Unzip Me, in the Grade III Monrovia Stakes. Unzip Me is a seven-time winner over the course.

 

Their compelling rematch done in by the weather, Mizdirection, with a 5-2-0 record in seven turf competitions, carried on over the main track with David Flores in the saddle.

 

The win may not have been as flashy as her three previous wins on turf, but the filly trained by Mike Puype did what she was supposed to do, and that was to win.

 

Mizdirection broke alertly, but Flores took her back to eventually settle behind the other three runners down the backside. Teroda won the duel for the early lead as the field raced through fractions of 22.28, 45.45 and 1:10. Flores turned the winner loose rounding the far turn and she steadily wore down Teroda, ridden by Martin Garcia, in the late stages. La Nez finished third, 3 ½ lengths behind Teroda and a head in front of Saanneen.

 

“I had confidence today,” said Flores, “but I was expecting her to have the same turn of foot that she does on grass, and it was not like that. The dirt is getting heavier, so it was a bit tiring.

 

“When I moved outside, I had her chase the leader,” Flores continued. “She accelerated slowly, but she got on it. After the wire, she was very happy. It’s good to ride a horse like this. She showed her class today.”

 

Puype agreed with the surface assessment. “She quite obviously is not the same horse on the dirt, but it didn’t matter,” he said. “That’s why we ran today, with the horses we were running with. We got the job done, and that’s all that counts. She’ll be back on the turf for her next race. I have no specific race in mind. A win’s a win, and we’ll take it.”

 

The win brought Mizdirection’s overall record to 6-3-1 in 10 starts. The winning purse of $60,000 increased her career earnings to $360,111 for Rome’s Jungle Racing and partners Joshua Grohs and William Strauss. She was purchased at auction for $50,000 in May of 2010. For her win in the Las Cienegas, Mizdirection paid $2.60 and $2.10. There was no show wagering. Teroda paid $2.40 to place.

 

 

 

 

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