11/24/2012 8:20PM

Hollywood Park: Travesura takes advantage of early lead in Miesque Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Travesura, with Tyler Baze up, controlled the pace and held on for victory in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – When the maiden race winner Travesura made the lead in the first turn of Saturday’s $100,000 Miesque Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, jockey Tyler Baze was delightfully surprised.

“I wasn’t expecting to be on the lead,” he said. “They gave it to me, and I took it.”

Travesura set a slow pace under Baze – 24.61 and 49.24 seconds – and had enough in reserve to hold off a late threat from Pussycat Lips to score an upset win in the one-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies.

Travesura ($24.80) won by a half-length in 1:37.01. Pussycat Lips finished a neck in front of 5-2 Flashy Ways, winner of the Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita last month.

Premier Steps, the 4-5 favorite, finished sixth in her U.S. debut.  She was in traffic shortly after the start and was as far back as eighth in a field of nine for much of the race. Premier Steps placed in two Group 3 races in Europe during the summer.

Travesura led by as many as 1 1/2 lengths in the stretch and was fully extended to win. A filly by Limehouse, she races for Val-U-Chem Inc. and is trained by Jeff Mullins. Purchased for $60,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale of 2-year-olds in training in April, Travesura has won 2 of 4 starts and $95,600.

After finishing third and fifth in main-track sprints in June and July, she beat maidens in her turf debut on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita on Oct. 7. In that race, she closed from fifth in a field of 11 to win by 3 3/4 lengths under Baze.

The jockey thought he would employ the same tactics in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes, a game plan that changed to the filly’s benefit shortly after the start.