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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• BC WINNER MIZDIRECTION FIRES BULLET FOR LAS CIENEGAS
• DANCINGTOTHESTARS EYES IRISH O’BRIEN WINNER’S CIRCLE
• FANS TOSS HATS IN A RING FOR A MILLION BUCKS ON SUNDAY
‘AMAZING’ MIZDIRECTION IN SHARP DRILL FOR LAS CIENEGAS
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mizdirection worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course in 48.40 on a Saturday morning that quickly went from fog-shrouded to sunny.
The gray Mizzen Mast mare, owned in part by TV and radio sports talk icon Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing, is scheduled to make her next start in the Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes on April 13 before going east for the Grade I Just a Game Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day, June 8.
“She went real good,” said Mike Puype, who also trains the 5-year-old for William Strauss, Daniel Grohs, Kevin Nish, Michael Kramek and Boris Beljak. “I got her in 47 and four. It was her first work (since winning the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes at one mile on grass Feb. 18). She’ll have three more and we’re on for the 13th. Everything’s good. She’s an amazing horse. She never misses a beat.”
In 14 career starts, Mizdirection has nine wins, four seconds, one third and earnings of $1,094,621. “You can’t pound on these horses all year,” Puype continued. “I’m fortunate that the owners are real good in doing what’s right for her, and it’s paid off.”
DANCINGTOTHESTARS IN STEP FOR SUNDAY’S IRISH O’BRIEN
Doug O’Neill hopes Dancingtothestars overcomes her brief case of seconditis when she runs in Sunday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes for older California-bred fillies and mares at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
A 5-year-old daughter of Good Journey owned and bred by Marjorie Lambert’s Ren-Mar Thoroughbreds LLC, Dancingtothestars was second last two outs, in the Valentine Dancer and the Wishing Well.
“She’s very honest and tries hard every time,” O’Neill said of the mare that has a 4-3-2 record from 11 starts, with earnings of $223,056. “The O’Brien is not an easy race, but I think she’s got a real big chance in there.”
Bill Spawr on running Ismene on the grass for the first time in the Irish O’Brien: “There’s no place else to run her.”
The field for the Irish O’Brien: Secret Cove, Garrett Gomez, 12-1; Miss Becca, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Dancingtothestars, Mario Gutierrez, 7-2; Quizzical, Gary Stevens, 10-1; Ismene, Mike Smith, 3-1; Bench Glory, Brice Blanc, 8-1; Curvy Cat, Joe Talamo, 5-2; and Miss Well Molded, Rafael Bejarano, 9-2.
FANS VIE FOR $1 MILLION IN ST. PAT’S HORSESHOE PITCH SUNDAY
Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day at Santa Anita and that means all on-track fans at Santa Anita will again have an opportunity to sign up for the track’s $1 million St. Pat’s Horseshoe Pitch, to be held between races.
History was made five years ago, when a lucky fan tossed a perfect ringer, touching off a wild scene that was captured live on HRTV.
Five names will be drawn randomly and all contestants will convene on the racetrack as they’ll get one shot at an unforgettable pot of gold.
“This is one of the most popular promotions we’ve ever had here at Santa Anita,” said George Haines, Santa Anita President. “People associate St. Patrick’s Day with coming here to have a great time and a lot of them fill out entry cards and try to get lucky. It’s always a lot of fun.”
Fans are encouraged to enter the St. Pat’s Horseshoe Contest, free of charge, when they arrive. Entries must be submitted by fifth race post time and a list of 20 prospective contestants will be posted throughout the facility. Further instructions and contest information will be available on designated television monitors.
First post time on Sunday is 12:30 p.m. For more information or to make dining and seating reservations, fans can visit www.santaanita.com, or to call (626) 574-RACE.
FINISH LINES: Bob Baffert plans to run two-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic on April 20 . . . Big Cap runner-up Clubhouse Ride, also ticketed for the Charles Town race, worked four furlongs Friday on Santa Anita’s fast main track in 47.20 for trainer Craig Lewis . . . Malibu Stakes runner-up Private Zone and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up He’s Had Enough worked in company from the gate Saturday, going in a bullet 1:12.40 and 1:13, respectively, for Doug O’Neill. They are scheduled to run in the Golden Shaheen and the UAE Derby in Dubai on March 30. Martin Pedroza rides Private Zone, while Mario Gutierrez pilots He’s Had Enough. “They both worked solid, real straight and steady,” O’Neill said. “We were just looking for maintenance moves before they get on the plane to head over there.” Best Pal winner Know More also worked Saturday for O’Neill, going three furlongs in 39 flat . . . This Wednesday, March 20, marks the first in HRTV’s two-part Across the Board series with trainer Larry Jones, who has Joyful Victory in today’s Santa Margarita Stakes. HRTV’s Peter Lurie and Becky Witzman host the show, which starts at 5 p.m. Pacific Time . . . Trainer Hector Palma has been fined $1,000 for failing to report the gelding of Indian Classic, winner of the sixth race on March 1 as the 2-1 favorite . . . Thanks in large part to 33 players selecting victorious War Academy to finish at least third in yesterday’s second race, 75 remain alive in ShowVivor II going into Saturday’s card . . . Tyler Baze keeps the mount on Richard’s Kid in next Saturday’s Tokyo City Cup at a mile and a half. Baze finished sixth in the Santa Anita Handicap last out on Richard’s Kid, a multimillionaire who was making his 41st start . . . Asked if he planned to run Sky Kingdom in the mile and a half Tokyo City Cup, Baffert said, “I’ve only trained one winner at a mile and a half.” That would be Horse of the Year Point Given, in the 2001 Belmont Stakes.