02/18/2013 9:25PM

Santa Anita: Mizdirection has no problem getting the mile in Buena Vista

Benoit & Associates
Mike Smith and Mizdirection cruise to a front-running win in the Grade 2 Buena Vista on Monday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Mizdirection, the star female turf sprinter of 2012, was up to her old ways in Monday’s $150,750 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita. She won a one-mile turf race in her first start at the distance since the summer of 2011.

Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Mizdirection ($3.20) led throughout the Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes, pulling away in the stretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths over In the Stars. Mizdirection ran a mile in 1:33.50 and won despite grabbing her left front quarter, most likely at the start.

“She stumbled leaving there a little bit, but after that she settled really well,” Smith said. “She’s a more mature horse and ran really well.”

The winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint against males here in November, Mizdirection won her third consecutive stakes in the Buena Vista Stakes. She began her 2013 campaign with a win in the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes for fillies and mares over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course.

In the Buena Vista, Mizdirection set an early pace of 23.78 and 47 seconds, leading by at least a length through the first half-mile. In the Stars overcame traffic around the turn to reach contention in the stretch, but could not close the margin on Mizdirection in the final furlong.

Byrama finished third, followed by Charm the Maker, Long Face, Trois Aureole, A Jealous Woman, and Byrony in the field of eight fillies and mares. Byrama finished third in the Wishing Well Stakes on the hillside turf course on Feb. 10 and was supplemented to the Buena Vista for $3,000 last Friday. She earned $18,000.

The win was worth $90,000 for Mizdirection, a 5-year-old mare by Mizzen Mast who races for a partnership that includes television sports commentator Jim Rome. Mizdirection has won 9 of 14 starts and $1,094,621.

The win left Smith excited about Mizdirection’s prospects in turf sprints and miles through 2013.

“She can definitely get the mile,” he said. “If someone would have come to her, I think she would have dug back in. I don’t know how much farther she wants to go, but she can get a mile.”

The Buena Vista was Mizdirection’s first start at a mile since a win in the Sandy Blue Handicap on turf at Del Mar in August 2011. She was second in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap over a mile on turf at Del Mar in July 2011.

After Monday’s race, trainer Mike Puype was concerned about a bit of blood on Mizdirection’s front left foot.

“She’ll have a few extra days off,” he said. “Hopefully it won’t be too deep.”

Puype thought that Mizdirection had one of her finer performances on Monday.

“She was training beautifully going into the race,” Puype said. “She ran great.”