• Mike Puype

Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint: Mizdirection does it again

ARCADIA, Calif. - Some things never change with Mizdirection. She’s unbeatable on Santa Anita’s turf course, especially in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on the track’s hillside course. Barbara D. Livingston Mizdirection (second from left) comes down the middle of the course to repeat in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Mizdirection won the 2012 Turf Sprint in a 6-1 upset after a layoff of more than five months.

Saturday, Mizdirection did it again, winning the $1 million BC Turf Sprint in her first start since early June. This time, her backers were ready. Sent off as the 5-2 favorite, Mizdirection rallied wide through the stretch under jockey Mike Smith to win by a half-length over Reneesgotzip and Tightend Touchdown, who finished in a dead heat for second in the field of 13. [BREEDERS' CUP SATURDAY: Video replays and race results]

“Mike Smith gave her a perfect ride,” said winning trainer Mike Puype. “Any other ride and she may not get there.” Mizdirection ($7.40) ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf in 1:12.25. The BC Turf Sprint may have been Mizdirection’s final start. She is scheduled to be sold at Monday’s November sale at Fasig-Tipton in Lexington, Ky. She sells as a racing or broodmare prospect. Mizdirection leaves Puype’s stable undefeated in seven starts on turf at Santa Anita, and with a career record of 11 wins in 17 starts and earnings of $1,719,621. Five of the seven wins at Santa Anita were on the hillside turf course. “I think it’d be a shame if they don’t name a graded stakes for her,” Puype said. Reneesgotzip set a fast early pace of 21.47 and 43.36 seconds, leading by as many as two lengths on the hillside turf course. Reneesgotzip, third behind Mizdirection in the 2012 BC Turf Sprint, was in front by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining.

Tightend Touchdown, a stakes winner at Penn National earlier this year, was second on the hillside and moved closer to Reneesgotzip in the final furlong. Meanwhile, Mizdirection closed from fourth to reach contention. Smith had Mizdirection racing wide through the stretch. She took the lead in the final sixteenth, going past Tightend Touchdown and then Reneesgotzip. “My concern was that I was too close to them, but it turned out to be right,” Smith said. “The horses (in front) didn’t stop.” The loss frustrated Peter Miller, who trains Reneesgotzip. She broke from post 4, while Mizdirection started from post 12. “She ran a winning race,” Miller said. “If we switch post positions with Mizdirection, we win. That’s horse racing.”

Mizdirection races for a partnership that includes sports television commentator Jim Rome. A 5-year-old mare by Mizzen Mast, Mizdirection had not raced since finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes over a mile at Belmont Park in June, her second career start outside of California. Mizdirection was rested in early summer before preparation began for Saturday’s race. Along the way, everything went right, Puype said. “We said, we’ll put her best effort to get her ready,” Puype said. “We were on a tight schedule.” Mizdirection handled the return to racing after a layoff. She proved that with an historic win on her favorite course on Saturday.