Private Mission heads into Santa Maria Stakes freshened

June 15, 2022

ARCADIA, Calif.–Idle since March 13, two-time graded stakes winner Private Mission heads a field of six fillies and mares going a mile and one sixteenth in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita.

A handy 6 ½ length winner of the Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes at one mile on Aug. 21 at Del Mar, Private Mission came back to roll to a 2 ¼ length win in the Grade II Zenyatta Stakes going 1 1/16 miles four starts back her on Oct. 3.  Distanced after leading early in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Distaff Nov.  6, she cut back to seven furlongs in the Grade I La Brea Stakes Dec. 26 and ran a disappointing sixth as the 3-5 favorite.

Subsequently second, beaten seven lengths in the Grade III Las Flores Stakes going six furlongs on March 13, Private Mission has again been freshened and has a solid work tab for her return in what will be her first start for trainer Sean McCarthy, who is pinch hitting for the currently suspended Bob Baffert.

A $750,000 purchase as a yearling, Private Mission, who is by Into Mischief out of the Unbridled mare Private Gift, is owned by Baoma Corp.  With four wins from eight starts, she has earnings of $277,300 and will be ridden for the second time in a row by Juan Hernandez.

Trainer Marcelo Polanco’s Argentine-bred Blue Stripe comes off a sharp recent win in the Grade II Santa Margarita here on April 30 and she’ll no doubt vie for favoritism with Tyler Baze riding back.  A Group I winner in Argentina, 5-year-old Blue Stripe was never a factor in her U.S. debut, the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 6, but she was most impressive in taking the Santa Margarita in her second stateside appearance.

Owned by Pozo de Luna, Inc., Blue Stripe, who is by the Candy Stripes stallion Equal Stripes and is out of the Not for Sale mare Blues for Sale, is 8-5-0-2 with earnings of $181,882.

Peter Eurton’s speedy Lady Mystify returns to Santa Anita following four out of town appearances, the most recent a close third going 1 1/16 miles in the Grade III Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland April 22.

A dazzling 18-length one mile maiden winner in her third start at age three here on Feb. 21 of last year, she can be expected to go to the front with Edwin Maldonado taking over for the first time on Saturday.  A $325,000 Florida 2-year-old in training sale purchase Lady Mystify is owned by Exline-Border Racing, LLC, SAF Racing and Richard Hausman.  A 4-year-old filly by Bernardini out of the Unbridled’s Song mare J. Quirk, her last win came four starts back in the Grade III Remington Park Oaks on Sept. 26.  With an overall mark of 9-3-2-2, she has earnings of $283,239.

Baoma Corp and Sean McCarthy will also be represented by another Baffert alum, Varda, who was third, beaten 7 ½ lengths by Blue Stripe at odds of 9-1 in the Grade II Santa Margarita April 30.  A winner of the Grade I Starlet Stakes three races back at Los Alamitos on Dec. 5, 2020, Varda, in her first start in 14 months, was a well beaten third in the Grade I Beholder Mile two starts back on March 5.

Rank early in the Santa Margarita, she may be allowed to keep Blue Stripe company on Saturday with Drayden Van Dyke back aboard.  A 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor out of the Sky Mesa mare She’ll Be Right, Varda is 5-2-1-2 with earnings of $338,500.

THE GRADE II SANTA MARIA WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 7 of 12                                                                                                                  Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT

  1. Lady Mystify–Edwin Maldonado–124
  2. Bye Bye Bertie–Victor Espinoza–122
  3. Blue Stripe–Tyler Baze–126
  4. Private Mission–Juan Hernandez–124
  5. Midnight Jamboree–Kyle Frey–122
  6. Varda–Drayden Van Dyke–122

First post time for a 12-race card on Saturday, penultimate day of Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring Meet, is at 1 p.m.

Santa Anita Press Release\

Photo: Private Mission (Benoit Photo)

@jonathanstettin @bbopjz Fantastic writing, thoroughly enjoyable read.

Jon Bercher (@JBercher) View testimonials

Facebook