By Brian DiDonato
Lightly raced Private Mission handled older foes with aplomb Sunday, earning a guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff in the process. A debut winner sprinting here nearly a year ago, the bay was a speed-and-fade fourth at odds-on in the following month's Desi Arnaz S. at Del Mar and subsequently went missing. She reappeared to annex a local optional claimer in June, and took to two turns emphatically when romping by 6 1/2 lengths in Del Mar's GIII Torrey Pines S. Aug. 21.
Keeping longshot Samurai Charm (First Samurai) in her sights early, the bay took a clear advantage entering the home bend and looked like the winner every step of the way after that. As Time Goes By completed the exacta and a big weekend for Bob Baffert that also included victories in the GI Awesome Again S. and GI American Pharoah S.
“I'm happy to run one-two,” Baffert said. “Private Mission, I'm glad I stayed home with her. I decided this would be best for her with the Breeders' Cup in mind, we didn't want to stress her. She's on the improve, getting better and better. I'm really happy with the way both fillies ran.”
Private Mission was scratched out of last Saturday's GI Cotillion S. at Parx.
“She broke well and got herself into the race,” jockey Flavien Prat said of his winning trip. “She relaxed well and took a nice breather going to the three eighths pole and ran good when I asked her to make her move. I thought this race was better than last time, for sure.”
Sunday, Santa Anita
ZENYATTA S.-GII, $201,500, Santa Anita, 10-3, 3yo/up, f/m,
1 1/16m, 1:43.77, ft.
1–PRIVATE MISSION, 120, f, 3, by Into Mischief
1st Dam: Private Gift (SW, $212,248), by Unbridled
2nd Dam: Private Status, by Alydar
3rd Dam: Miss Eva (Arg), by Con Brio II
($750,000 Ylg '19 FTSAUG). O-Baoma Corporation; B-Mt.
Brilliant Broodmares I LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Flavien Prat.
$120,000. Lifetime Record: 5-4-0-0, $256,800. *1/2 to Secret
Someone (A.P. Indy), MSW & GSP, $409,301. Werk Nick
Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–As Time Goes By, 124, f, 4, American Pharoah–Take Charge
Lady, by Dehere. O-Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier &
Derrick Smith; B-Orpendale & Chelston (KY); T-Bob Baffert.
3–Miss Bigly, 122, m, 5, Gemologist–Miss Puzzle (Aus), by
Citidancer (Ire). ($120,000 Wlg '16 KEENOV; $20,000 Ylg '17
KEESEP). O-Agave Racing Stable & Rockin Robin Racing Stables;
B-SF Bloodstock LLC (KY); T-Philip D'Amato. $24,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, 2 1/4, 6HF. Odds: 1.10, 1.70, 17.80.
Also Ran: Stellar Sound, Lady Kate, Samurai Charm, Miss Stormy D, California Kook. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
Private Mission is one of 45 graded stakes winners for leading sire Into Mischief–three of which have been out of Unbridled mares, led by champion female sprinter Covfefe. Important broodmare sire Unbridled is responsible for the dams of 43 graded winners, including the likes of Tapit, Orb and Shackleford.
The winner's dam was a two-turn stakes winner on the dirt at Louisiana Downs. A half-sister to 2000 GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Secret Status (A.P. Indy), she sold to Greg Goodman's Mt. Brilliant for $2.3 million while in foal to A.P. Indy at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton November sale. Another A.P. Indy daughter of Private Gift, MSW and GSP Secret Someone, was represented by a $1-million Into Mischief colt that sold to Mike Ryan at the recent Keeneland September sale. Private Gift's daughter Gift List (Bernardini) is the dam of GISW Dunbar Road (Quality Road), who is expected to contest next Saturday's GI Juddmonte Spinster S., another prep for the Distaff.
Private Gift's 2-year-old filly Batik (Honor Code), a $240,000 KEESEP grad, has been working regularly at Monmouth Park. The 19-year-old mare was given a year off after foaling Batik, but produced a Candy Ride (Arg) colt Apr. 1 and was bred back to Uncle Mo.