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.
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.