08/17/2011 3:10PM

Del Mar: Mizdirection finds better fit in Sandy Blue Handicap

Benoit & Associates
Mizdirection (right) duels with Up In Time on her way to a second-place finish in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap over a mile of turf at Del Mar on July 24.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Mizdirection finished a game second in her first start around two turns in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar on July 24, a result that has led trainer Mike Puype to take a realistic approach to her late summer campaign.

Saturday’s $250,000 Del Mar Oaks over 1 1/8 miles on turf is considered too steep. The $85,000 Sandy Blue Handicap over a mile on turf Friday, the same distance as the San Clemente, is considered a better fit.

“I know I wouldn’t look for more distance after the last race,” Puype said.

At a mile, Mizdirection can be competitive, Puype said. In the San Clemente, she led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining and was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Up in Time, who is entered for the Del Mar Oaks.

“They came at her again and again,” he said. “You wonder how many more yards she wants.”

Owned by a partnership that includes the sports talk-show host Jim Rome, Mizdirection has yet to win a stakes. She was a troubled second in the Manhattan Beach Stakes over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park in June, her first start after a shockingly easy maiden win by 11 1/2 lengths over six furlongs on turf on May 8.

Mizdirection has drawn post 2 in a field of nine and is likely to be near the front, Puype said. She will be ridden by Garrett Gomez, who has been aboard for her last two starts.

“With the inside post, I have to think she’ll come out of there,” Puype said. “If someone goes, I’m fine with that.”

Mizdirection is the quickest filly in the field, which includes the stakes-placed runners Dos Lunas, So Belle, and Wallstreeter. Rosehill Dew and Great Hot, fourth and fifth in the San Clemente, are entered.

Dos Lunas won an allowance race over a mile on turf at Churchill Downs on July 2, her final start before being shipped to trainer Jay Robbins at Del Mar.

The lightly raced Bauble Queen makes her stakes debut having won twice since early June. Trained by Eric Kruljac, Bauble Queen won a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park on June 12 and won her turf debut in an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles on turf here July 29.