Mizdirection beat Kindle by a nose to win the $150,000 Monrovia Stakes on Sunday at Santa Anita for co-owner and sports talk host Jim Rome.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Mizdirection ran 6-1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course in 1 minute, 11.94 seconds and paid $3.80 to win as the 4-5 favorite.
The 5-year-old mare improved to 4-for-4 on the turf at the track where she beat the boys to win the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in November.
”Right when you think maybe she’s beat, she just digs deep and finds a way to do it,” said Rome, whose Jungle Racing owns a majority share of Mizdirection. ”As I always say in this moment, I could not be more proud of her. She’s got another gear. She does not like to lose. When she’s got a good target to shoot for, she usually turns out pretty well.”
Kindle finished second, and 29-1 shot Givine was another 1-3/4 lengths back in third.
”When I saw Kindle get away as well as she did and relax as well as she did, the game plan turned into me thinking that I needed to be closer to run her down,” Smith said. ”She (Kindle) actually made me idle for about a sixteenth of a mile there, where I wondered if I was going to get there. But she (Mizdirection) gave me another surge and a nice late kick, and galloped out really well.”
The victory, worth $90,000, increased Mizdirection’s career earnings to $1,004,621, with eight wins in 13 starts.
”Any other rider doesn’t win that race, no way,” trainer Mike Puype said.