LAS CIENEGAS STAKES QUOTES

JOCKEY QUOTES

DAVID FLORES, MIZDIRECTION, WINNER: “She broke well. I was concerned about the break but she broke clean. I looked over and Talamo had a lot of horse (on Schiaparelli) so I let him cruise. There was no other pressure from anyone else so I just kind of waited to see how far he was going to go. She’s unbelievable. She knew exactly when she was going to do the job. “After we crossed the dirt, I got after her a bit and I let her know it was time to get there, but the last sixteenth I knew it was over. She is very smart, she knows what she’s doing. She knows the command, and she responds to it. Anytime I get a horse like this, it’s a privilege. Thank you so much to Jim Rome, and Strauss, Mike Puype, Grohs, everyone!”

JOE TALAMO, SCHIAPARELLI, SECOND: “The trip was good but I lost a lot of momentum at the eighth pole. She saw something and kind of propped with me a little bit and lost a lot of momentum. I think that might have made the difference between a close finish today.”

TRAINER QUOTES

MIKE PUYPE, MIZDIRECTION, 2-5 FAVORITE, FIRST, AND SCHIAPARELLI, SECOND: Told this might be her most impressive win yet: “Yeah, she had to throw it down again. She broke real sharp and she ran perfect. She did everything she needed to do today and the other filly (Schiaparelli) ran lights out. What are you going to say when they run that good together?

“I felt at a point in the stretch that she (Mizdirection) wasn’t going to get there. The other filly was running and she made it hard on her and she barely got there as it was. She always shows up. She’s a very live horse. We’ll wait for the Just a Game (at Belmont Park on June 8), a flat mile (on grass), a Grade I. “No, she never ceases to surprise me. She’s so hard-trying, very honest. David (Flores) rode a perfect race but Mike (Smith) goes back up. Mike’s five-for-five on her and I felt in my heart it was the right thing to release him to have a chance at the (Kentucky) Derby (by riding War Academy in today’s Arkansas Derby), and that’s just the way it was going to go. But David did a great job today.

“We had two strong fillies coming off two strong efforts and they both ran good. It was very hard to separate them at the wire and I couldn’t be happier.”

JIM ROME OF JUNGLE RACING, PART-OWNER OF MIZDIRECTION: “I’ll say to you what I said two races ago . . . right when you think she’s beat, she finds another gear, she digs deep, and finds a way to get it done. She’s so tough. She does not want to lose. That’s a real good filly she ran down. That horse looked like she freaked and ‘Miz’ just knew it was go time. She’s great.”

WILLIAM STRAUSS, PART-OWNER OF MIZDIRECTION, WINNER: “My thoughts were that this was going to be a set up race for the mile at Belmont which Mike (Puype) has talked about going into June 8. It worked out well, we didn’t have to ship, we know she likes the course, and she loves the distance. So we said we’re gonna run her down the hill. It’s a great prep, and she gets almost eight weeks until the next race.

“So everything set up well, except everything almost didn’t set up well as they came home. You’re sitting there like, ‘we’re gonna lose, we’re gonna lose,’ and it’s a whew! Three of the last four have been like that, where we thought we were losers in deep stretch then she gets it in the last jump. It’s not good for the heart, and David (Flores) came back and was so confident, asked me if I was confident and I said ‘No!’ It was good, she did a great job, and that horse Schiaparelli, that’s a real horse, too.”

NOTES: Mizdirection won the Las Cienegas as the 3-10 favorite last year when it was taken off the turf and run on the main track due to inclement weather.

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