Mizz Money Possible for Fair Grounds Oaks

Mizz Money Possible for Fair Grounds Oaks
Photo: Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire

L. T. B., Inc., and Hillerich Racing’s Mizz Money has exited her determined win in Saturday’s $60,000 Allen Lacombe Memorial at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in good shape, according to veteran trainer Bernie Flint. The daughter of Mizzen Mast ran down rival Divine Dawn in the closing stages of the 7 ½-furlong grass event for sophomore fillies in the final yards to win in a swift time of 1:29.82 – just .56 off the track record.

Perfect in three starts this year – all on grass – the Kentucky-bred may return to the main track in the Grade II $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on Mar. 28 – the elite race for sophomore fillies at Fair Grounds. If the athletic gray filly does so, it will be the first time since finishing third in an Indiana Grand maiden special weight event in July and commencing her career one race prior in a June Churchill Downs maiden that she has raced on the dirt.

“She came out good – really good,” Flint said. “She’s a very kind filly. She’ll go either way – the lead or rate like she did. I’ve nominated her for the Fair Grounds Oaks and may try her on the dirt. She worked really good on the (Fair Grounds) dirt.”

If able to prove herself as surface-versatile, Mizz Money could emulate her sire’s prowess. Mizzen Mast was second in the Group I Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on the grass before winning the Grade I Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park six months later in 2001. 

“She’s a lot of fun to watch and a lot of fun to win with,” Flint concluded. “She’ll go to Keeneland after Fair Grounds.”


Stabled side-by-side like a young upstart and her more accomplished mentor for the last 10 months in the Armando De La Cerda barn – whether at Fair Grounds Race Course this winter or warm months at Arlington International Racecourse – have been Raul Bahena’s stakes-winning filly Happy to Go and Salvador Hernandez’s Grade I-winning mare La Tia. The former, a surly sophomore who pins her ears and snaps at anything that approaches, stands in great contrast to her statuesque 6-year-old stablemate, whose alpha presence is often blared vocally throughout the barn. There is no doubt when you see them – La Tia is the queen and Happy to Go is the mischievous princess. 

De La Cerda will now try to plot spring and summer paths for his humble, royal court. La Tia will look to stay in Grade I/II grass and synthetic races at or around a mile in what will likely be her last year of training. She has a series of graded stakes wins on both surfaces to substantiate that plan and her conditioner hopes to keep her happy and moving forward. Last out, the daughter of City Place was a good second in the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita in February after being hounded through a hot pace. 
“She’s happy and doing really good,” De La Cerda said. “In her last work, she was really strong and she got a lot out of that race. We may run her in the (Grade II $300,000) Honey Fox at Gulfstream (Park on Mar. 28). We also are looking at the (Grade I $300,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes) at Keeneland (on Apr. 11). After that we may try the (Grade II $300,000 Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile) on Kentucky Derby Day (at Churchill Downs on May 2).” The Jenny Wiley, unlike the other two mile races, is at 1 1/16-miles. All three are grass events.
Happy to Go has raced seven times and in six stakes races since winning on debut at Arlington last May. Impressively, she has placed in five of those stakes – ranging from five to 7½ furlongs on grass and synthetic courses – with her only off-the-board finish coming in a five-horse blanket finish where she got the tail end of the proverbial stick. On Saturday, in her grass and two-turn debut, the daughter of Saint Anddan was third, by 2 ¼ lengths, in the $60,000 Allen Lacombe Memorial. 

“She was a little tired, being her first time on the grass and going two turns, but she’ll be okay,” De La Cerda reported. “She’s very happy today and sound. I would like to try her on the grass one more time, then maybe go to Arlington and Woodbine to go back to the synthetic. I may run her at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. There’s a race (the Grade III $150,000 Edgewood Stakes) on Kentucky Derby (weekend).”

Source: Fair Grounds Barn Notes

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