ARCADIA Two Breeders' Cup champions defended their sprint titles Saturday. Next stop after the winner's circle will be the sales ring.
Favorite Mizdirection ($7.40), co-owned by radio personality Jim Rome, blazed down the Santa Anita hillside turf course to win the $1 million Turf Sprint and give jockey Mike Smith his 20th Cup victory. In the final strides, she caught pace-setters Reneesgotzip and Tightend Touchdown, who finished in a dead heat for second.
Trained by Mike Puype, the 5-year-old mare retires a perfect 7 for 7 on Santa Anita's turf. She's scheduled to be sold Monday at auction in Lexington, Ky., as a broodmare prospect.
"I want her to have a good life as a mama," Rome said. "It's gut-wrenching, but from a business standpoint, it's something we need to do."
Another 5-year-old mare, Groupie Doll ($8), also made an impressive rally to repeat as Filly & Mare Sprint champion. She's scheduled to be sold in a Kentucky auction Tuesday, trainer Buff Bradley said.
"(Saturday) was going to be emotional no matter what," Bradley said. "I'm just so happy she's going out a winner."
Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Sweet Lulu, owned by Steve Beneto of Sacramento, set a blistering early pace and faded to fifth in the seven-furlong stakes.
Rare DQ For only the second time in Breeders' Cup history, a first-place finisher was disqualified. In the $2 million Juvenile Fillies, Jeff Bonde's She's A Tiger finished first but was disqualified for brushing with 32-1 long shot Ria Antonia nearing the wire.
The stewards awarded Ria Antonia the victory and owners Loosh Racing and Chris Dunn a $1.1 million check.
The DQ denied Gary Stevens another Cup victory.
"I was really disappointed for the filly," Stevens said. "It was a tough call."
Coincidentally, the only other Cup DQ from first also came in the Juvenile Fillies in the inaugural Breeders' Cup in 1984. Back then, 75-1 Fran's Valentine was disqualified for interference and Outstandingly made the winner.