ARCADIA, Calif. (April 10, 2013)—Mizdirection, winner of the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course Nov. 3, towers over five rivals in Saturday’s Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes down the hill as she shortens up from a solid one mile turf win in the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes on Feb. 18 and seeks her fourth consecutive win dating back to her Breeders’ Cup triumph versus males.
“She likes to play, that’s a great way to put it,” said part owner and sports talk superstar Jim Rome following Mizdirection’s 2 ¼ length score in the Buena Vista. “She’s so competitive. The way she dug in through the stretch was awesome. She’s amazing.”
Trained by Mike Puype, Mizdirection, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Mizzen Mast, is again being pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
With regular rider Mike Smith committed to ride War Academy in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby, Mizdirection will be handled by veteran David Flores, who guided Mizdirection to victory in last year’s Las Cienegas.
In addition to Rome’s Jungle Racing LLC, Mizdirection is owned by Strauss or Grohs and partners. Her overall record stands at 14-9-4-1, with earnings of $1,094,621.
In addition to Mizdirection, Puype will send out the up and coming Schiaparelli, a lightly raced 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Ghostzapper, who comes of a big 3 ½ length second condition allowance win down the hillside on March 14.
Bred to love the hillside turf course, Schiaparelli is out of the multiple graded stakes winning Cambiocorsa, who won the 2006 Las Cienegas and who was an amazing eight for nine over the course. Owned and bred by Ranjan Racing Inc., Schiaparelli has $120,864 in earnings from an overall mark of 6-3-0-2.
She’ll be ridden by Joe Talamo, who has been aboard for all six of her career starts—including two wins from three starts down the hill.
Trainer Tom Proctor will send out the hard-hitting Purim’s Dancer, who comes off a 3 ¼ length win down the hill in the restricted Wishing Well Stakes on Feb. 10. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by the Dynaformer stallion Purim, Purim’s Dancer was much the best in the 11-horse Wishing Well under Gary Stevens. With Stevens committed to ride Oxbow in the Arkansas Derby, she’ll be ridden for the first time by Tyler Baze on Saturday.
Owned by Donnelly, Johnson, Kohn and partners, Purim’s Dancer is undefeated in three starts down the hill and is 6-4-0-1 overall with earnings of $117,960.
Although a well beaten ninth in the Wishing Well, French-bred Givine was third, beaten just 2 ¼ lengths, by Mizdirection in the Grade II Monrovia Stakes down the hillside on Jan. 6.
Owned by Marsh Naify, the 6-year-old mare will get a new rider in Martin Pedroza. Winless in eight tries down the hill, she is 24-6-4-4 overall and has good tactical speed if required. Trained by Julio Canani, she has earnings of $253,530.
Trainer Sean McCarthy will send out Harris Farms’ homebred Bench Glory, who overcame a 50-week absence to win the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes down the hillside on March 17. A 6-year-old California-bred mare by Benchmark, she was a handy 1 ¼ length winner of the Irish O’Brien (for older fillies and mares bred in California) at odds of 15-1.
Ridden in all 10 of her lifetime starts by Brice Blanc, Bench Glory is 4-2-1-1 down the hill and will hope to employ her considerable stretch kick on Saturday. She has earnings of $209,272 from an overall mark of 10-4-1-2.
A 5-year-old mare by Good Journey, Dancingtothestars is the second California-bred in the Las Cienegas lineup and she ran an even third, beaten 2 ½ lengths by Bench Glory, in the statebred Irish O’Brien. Two starts back, she was second to Purim’s Dancer in the Wishing Well.
Owned by her breeder, Ren-Mar Thoroughbreds Inc., Dancingtothestars is trained by Doug O’Neill and will be ridden for the first time by Kevin Krigger, as the Santa Anita Derby-winning trainer/jockey combination shoots for graded stakes victories on consecutive Saturdays.
Winless in three tries down the hill, Dancingtothestars is 12-4-3-3 overall, with earnings of $235,056.
The complete field for the Las Cienegas Stakes, to be run as the eighth race on a nine-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Purim’s Dancer, Tyler Baze, 118; Schiaparelli, Joe Talamo, 118; Dancingtothestars, Kevin Krigger, 118; Givine, Martin Pedroza, 118; Bench Glory, Brice Blanc, 118, and Mizdirection, David Flores, 123.
First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. For additional racing information, visit http://www.santaanita.com.