BIRDLOVER CUTS BACK IN DISTANCE & TAKES $75,000 MIZDIRECTION STAKES OVER DOWNHILL TURF
© Benoit Photo
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 22, 2015)–English-bred Birdlover shortened up out of two consecutive one mile turf routes to take Friday's $75,000 Mizdirection Stakes by a head going 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course. Ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Doug O'Neill, Birdlover pressed favored Home Journey early and exacted a narrow victory following a head and head battle through the lane, getting the distance in 1:13.56.
"I pushed Rafael (Bejarano, aboard eventual runner-up Home Journey) pretty good the first part and then we were able to ease back some," said Smith. "I've ridden Birdlover before and she tends to wait when she gets to the front. She gave me that 'locked-on' feeling today though She wasn’t going to let her go by."