07/17/2008 11:00PM

Mistical Plan gives breeder a thrill


DEL MAR, Calif. - As Mistical Plan was roaring down the Calder stretch last weekend, en route to winning the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap, breeder Carol Anderson was doing everything she could in Gilroy, Calif., to see that the filly finished the job.

"Here, all by myself, I was jumping up and down, screaming," she recalled on Thursday. "That was the most nervous I've ever been of all the horses I've raced - ever."

Anderson, who operates a 16-acre farm with her husband, Jerry, reached a personal goal with Mistical Plan's win: her first Grade 1 as a breeder. Carol Anderson owned Mistical Plan for her career debut, a maiden race at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, Calif., in August 2006, but sold her to Paul Reddam later that month.

By the end of 2006, Mistical Plan had won a stakes, the Cover Gal, by 7 1/4 lengths. Last year, Mistical Plan won two stakes - the Sunshine Millions Oaks and Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. The Princess Rooney is the race that defines Mistical Plan's 14-race career so far.

"She's quite a little horse," Anderson said.

Anderson's voice reveals no hesitation in the decision to sell Mistical Plan, although her trainer, Gloria Buckridge, was not too thrilled about the idea.

"Normally, we don't sell," Anderson said. "I knew my trainer was mad at me. She said, 'Don't sell her.' I said, 'There'll be more.' "

Anderson has set out to prove that. Mistical Plan is by Game Plan out of the Bel Bolide mare Mistical Bel. Since producing Mistical Plan, she has produced three more foals.

Mistical Bel is part of a six-horse broodmare band at the Andersons' ranch in Gilroy.

"The garlic capital of the world," Carol Anderson said. "That's what Gilroy is known for."

Mistical Plan's 3-year-old half-sister, Mistisized, was entered in the Fairfield Stakes at the Solano County Fair in Vallejo, Calif., on Saturday. A 2-year-old half-brother, Really Surprised, is in training with Buckridge, and a suckling full sister, nicknamed Mini Plan, is on the Andersons' property. Mistical Bel was bred to Bertrando earlier this year.

"The little brother shows promise, too," Anderson said. "It's looking good for the little ranch in Gilroy."

The Andersons bought the ranch in 2004 after living on a one-acre home on the San Francisco peninsula, not far from Bay Meadows. The couple operates a string of convenience stores, gas stations, and car washes in that area. Carol Anderson wanted more space for horses and found 16 acres in Gilroy.

"I've wanted to do this all my life," she said. "We were strapped to a one-acre property. I found this 16-acre place and it had a house on it.

"We built a paddock and barns. It took me a good year to put everything on it."

The first resident was the ex-racehorse Just Envious, known around the ranch as Blaze. He has been with the Andersons for 18 years, since his career ended.

"We had to set him up first," she said. "We threw up fences and he didn't have a barn for the first three or four months, but he didn't care.

"He's the king of everybody. He lets me know if a horse gets out. He runs around like a crazy man. I just grab the halters and run out. Somebody's left a gate open."

Anderson is happiest at home, and said she seldom travels.

"I don't like to go anywhere," she said. "When the babies leave here, they love people. We have a good time with them. It's been a learning experience and fun."

She does not plan to fly to Saratoga for Mistical Plan's next start in the Grade 1 Ballerina Breeders' Cup Stakes on Aug. 24. She will be at home, watching on television.

"I hear that's a nice track up there," she said.