02/16/2013 1:50PM

Santa Anita: Buena Vista distance main question for Mizdirection

Shigeki Kikkawa
Mizdirection wins the 6 1/2-furlong Monrovia in her first start of the year.

ARCADIA, Calif. – More than a year before she won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint against males last November at Santa Anita, Mizdirection was considered a top prospect as a turf miler.

Mizdirection won a stakes over that distance and surface at Del Mar in 2011, but was so brilliant in turf sprints in 2012 that she rightfully was kept to those races.

The outlook has changed again. Mizdirection will start over a mile on turf in Monday’s $150,000 Buena Vista Stakes, her first attempt at that distance since she won the Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar in 2011.

The winner of the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course on Jan.  6, Mizdirection is primed for a top effort in the Buena Vista, trainer Mike Puype says.

“I have no doubt about it as sharp as she is,” he said. “She’s the best turf filly here. I’m comfortable at a mile. She just runs every time.”

Mizdirection, 5, has won 8 of 13 starts and $1,004,621. In the Monrovia, she closed from second to finish a half-length in front of Kindle. The Monrovia was her first start since the BC Turf Sprint, when she closed from 10th in a field of 14 to win by a half-length in her first start since May 2012.

“Her last two races have been strong,” Puype said. “She ran down Kindle in the stretch and ran down the Breeders’ Cup field.”

Race tactics for the Buena Vista are hard to predict.

Mizdirection led throughout the Sandy Blue and was on the lead in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap over a mile on turf at Del Mar in July 2011 before she was caught late by Up In Time.

Puype said jockey Mike Smith can do what he wants on Monday as the opening half-mile develops.

“I’ll let Mike do his own thing,” Puype said. “In a perfect world, I’d like to settle and come from off the pace.”

Mizdirection needs to be at her best. She races for the first time against A Jealous Woman, who has won two minor stakes over a mile on turf in her last three starts. Trained by Francis Meza, A Jealous Woman led throughout the Swingtime Stakes here in October and closed from third to win the Megahertz Stakes on Jan. 19.

“If they let her have an easy lead, she won’t [be tested] at the end,” said Eddie Meza, Francis Meza’s husband and assistant. “If someone goes, we can hold back and come on at the end.”

Eddie Meza said he hopes that A Jealous Woman can be near Mizdirection at the finish.

“I saw the replay of her and she’s a tough filly,” he said.

Byrama was third in the Wishing Well Stakes on Feb. 10, and was supplemented to the Buena Vista for $3,000 on Friday. A 4-year-old, Byrama was fourth in the 2012 San Clemente and Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar.

“This year, maybe she can win over a mile,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “She runs on at 6 1/2 furlongs and she looks like she needs a mile.”