MIKE SMITH, MIZDIRECTION, WINNER: “When I saw Kindle get away as well as she did and relax as well as she did, the game plan turned into me thinking that I needed to be closer to run her down. If (Kindle) would have come out of there really running, I might have set back a little bit, but she was cool, calm and collected. So I thought I had better be closer, because when she crosses that dirt, she’s going to kick. And she did.

She (Kindle) actually made me idle for a sixteenth of a mile there, where I wondered if I was going to get there. But she gave me another surge and a nice late kick, and galloped out really well. Hopefully that’s an indication that she’ll at least get a mile. I certainly believe so. Hopefully I prove myself right.”

EDWIN MALDONADO, KINDLE, SECOND: “She did perfect, she did everything right. I was hoping for Mike Smith to be farther back. When I looked to my right before we even hit the 3/8 (pole) he was almost a length behind me, that surprised me.

(Would you have done anything differently?)

“No, no. I’m happy with her, I can’t complain.”


MIKE PUYPE, MIZDIRECTION: “You had to be (closer) under the pace conditions. There was no speed in the race (besides Kindle). If no one was going to go, so if we don’t, I couldn’t count on Gomez (on Broken Dreams) pushing it. I knew we’d have to be the one that would be closest to her. His ride won the race. Any other rider doesn’t win that race today, no way, because that mare (Kindle) ran great at Hollywood (winning the Cool Air) when she was the lone speed and she’s gotten better. She’s a runner. Of course (he was concerned that Mizdirection might not get up). But she threw it down.”

GARY MANDELLA, KINDLE, SECOND: “She did (have a favorable pace scenario) until Mike (Smith) went to her . . . I thought that’s exactly what Mike would do. His filly has tactical speed and he was the only one that was going to put pressure on her.” OWNER QUOTES

JIM ROME, MIZDIRECTION, WINNER: “Right when you think maybe she’s beat, she just digs deep and finds a way to do it. And as I always say in this moment, I could not be more proud of her. She’s got another gear. She does not like to lose. When she’s got a good target to shoot for, she usually turns out pretty well.”

NOTES: Puype said he plans to run Mizdirection next in the Grade II, $150,000 Buena Vista Stakes at one mile on turf Feb. 18. With the $90,000 winner’s share, Mizdirection became a millionaire in earnings at $1,004,621.

The winning owners are Jim Rome, who races as Jungle Racing LLC; William Strauss, Daniel Grohs, Kevin Nish, Michael Kramek and Boris Beljak.