Four Star grad Mizdirection wins Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-GI

Mizdirection provided a rumble in The Jungle at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, taking the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in a thrilling stretch drive in near-record time.

The 4-year-old gray daughter of Mizzen Mast, one of two fillies in the 14-horse field, is co-owned by TV and sports radio personality Jim Rome, whose program is known as The Jungle. She was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who notched his 17th victory in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. He became the leading rider by wins on Friday when he took the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic on Royal Delta.

Smith gave Mizdirection a patient ride in the 6½-furlong event, which unfolded with the hottest pace seen yet during Breeders’ Cup weekend at Santa Anita. Jerry Hollendorfer’s Chosen Miracle and Aidan O’Brien’s Starspangledbanner went a blistering opening quarter in :21.11 and the half in :42.39.

As the field crossed the dirt path off the hill and onto the main turf course, Smith swung Mizdirection out into the middle of the track and began a furious chase after Unbridled’s Note and Reneesgotzip, the other filly in the field.

Whipping and driving, Mizdirection caught Unbridled’s Note about 10 strides from the wire and prevailed by half a length. Reneesgotzip was 1¼ lengths back in third. Great Mills nabbed fourth.

The final time was 1:11.39, just off the track record of 1:11.

“It was absolutely awesome,” Rome said in a crowded winner’s circle. “Mike is a Hall of Fame rider, and he gave her a Hall of Fame ride.” The other co-owners include William Strauss, Danny Gohs, B. Beljak, KMN Racing.

Mizdirection, trained by Mike Puype, came into the race off a long layoff. She had not raced since May 27, when she finished second in the Great Lady M Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park. She has now won four of her five starts of the year and raised her career earnings to $914,621.

Joseph Perrotta bred Mizdirection in Kentucky. She is out of the Clever Trick mare Deceptive. She was sold for $85,000 to Litt Bloodstock at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale, then sold for $50,000 to Solis Bloodstock out of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale.

Mizdirection paid $15.80, $7.40, and $6. Unbridled’s Note paid $5.80 and $4.40, and Reneesgotzip paid $7. The $1 exacta paid $40.10, and the $1 trifecta paid $360.50.

The final order of finish was Great Attack, a head behind Great Mills, followed by Corporate Jungle, Next Question, Tale of a Champion, Upgrade, Starspangledbanner, Camp Victory, Chosen Miracle, California Flag, and Bridgetown.