04/22/2017 8:35PM

Paquita Coqueta nose in front at Mizdirection finish

Benoit & Associates
Paquita Coqueta (9), under Gary Stevens barely outfinishes Coniah in the Mizdirection.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Paquita Coqueta won the first stakes of her career in the United States in Saturday’s Mizdirection Stakes for fillies and mares on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita, finishing a nose in front of 35-1 Coniah.

Paquita Coqueta ($20.20) ran about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:12.80 under jockey Gary Stevens, edging Coniah, who was ridden by Kent Desormeaux. The two ran as a team through the final quarter-mile, reaching the finish almost simultaneously.

Smoove It finished third. The stewards inquired whether Smoove It caused interference in the stretch, but did not change the order of finish.

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Paquita Coqueta, a 6-year-old Chilean-bred mare by Scat Daddy, races for Paquita LLC and is trained by Richard Mandella. Paquita Coqueta began her career in Chile, where she won a Group 2 stakes and several minor stakes.

The Mizdirection was her sixth start in the United States since arriving at Mandella’s stable last year. Paquita Coqueta was second In the Las Cienegas Stakes on dirt in January but only fifth in the Wishing Well Stakes on the hillside turf course on March 10.