ARCADIA, Calif.—Relegated to sprinting in her last 21 starts, trainer Phil D’Amato’s Charmaine’s Mia handled a stretch-out to one mile on turf with aplomb on Saturday at Santa Anita, as she pressed the early pace en route to a one length score in the Grade II, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes. Ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, she got the distance in 1:33.93.
With longshot Bohemian Bourbon fully committed to a front-running trip, Charmaine’s Mia, who was an impressive 2 ½ length winner of the Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes at six furlongs on turf Jan. 9, sat a close second to the quarter pole, where she took command and then held multiple graded stakes winning Mucho Unusual safe in the final sixteenth of a mile.
“She broke sharp,” said Prat, who collected his third win on the afternoon. “She’s really fast out of the gate and I wanted to be on the lead, but the inside horse (Bohemian Bourbon) was pulling very hard, so were second, which was as good place to be. When we made the lead at the quarter pole, she got a good breather and from there, she finished really well.”
Formerly based in Toronto at Woodbine Racecourse, Charmaine’s Mia was off at 16-1 in the Las Cienegas, which was her Southern California debut and first start for D’Amato. Heavily backed today at 6-5 in a field of nine older fillies and mares, she paid $4.60, $3.00 and $2.40.
“It’s huge, Flavien said there’s more in the tank,” said D’Amato. “She rated nice. If she needed to go a little further, it wasn’t a problem. So that definitely broadens her horizons and maybe has us starting to look at Grade I’s.”
Owned by Agave Racing Stable and Rockin Robin Racing Stables, Charmaine’s Mia, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by The Factor out of the Bernstein mare Charming Vixen, notched her second graded stakes victory and improved her overall mark to 27-6-4-2. With the winner’s take of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $352,976.
Trainer Tim Yakteen’s Mucho Unusual, who was mid-pack early, put in a solid late run but ran out of real estate while finishing three quarters of a length in front of Warren’s Showtime. A winner of two consecutive graded stakes at the current meeting, she was the second choice at 7-2 and paid $4.20 and $3.00 with Abel Cedillo up.
Consistent Warren’s Showtime, who had three horses beat heading into the far turn, put in a solid late bid as well, but was third best on the day under Juan Hernandez. Off at 5-1, she paid $3.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.65, 45.93, 1:09.75 and 1:21.75.
Buena Vista Replay
Photo: Charmaine’s Mia (Benoit)