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ARCADIA, CA – Keith Abrahams homebred Constantia rallied from off the pace to post an upset in Saturday’s $75,000 Mizdirection Stakes at Santa Anita as she won going away by 1 1/2 lengths.
Trained by John Sadler and ridden by Umberto Rispoli, who also teamed for victory two weeks ago with Rock Your World in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1), Constantia got 6 furlongs on turf in 1:08.36.
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Last out of Santa Anita’s recently-constructed turf chute early, Constantia was ridden confidently by Rispoli as Annangel and Superstition battled on the lead for early supremacy.
Into the bridle while about 7 lengths off the lead heading into the far turn, Constantia appeared to idle a bit a 1/4-mile from home as Rispoli awaited room between horses.
At the top of the lane, Constantia bulled her way between Biddy Duke and favored Leggs Galore while three-deep and easily overhauled second choice Superstition inside the 1/16 pole for an impressive win in what was her second stakes assignment.
“She’s like that, sits in the back and you forget about her at the 3/8-pole, and she starts to warm up,” said Rispoli, who has now won 4 out of his 5 engagements aboard the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Munnings. “Down the stretch, just be careful to find a spot and she does the rest.”
Third, beaten 3 1/4 lengths by Superstition in the restricted Wishing Well Stakes going 6 1/2 furlongs on turf here February 15, Constantia was off at 9/1 in a field of six older fillies and mares and paid $21.40, $7.00 and $4.20.
“She’s turned into a bit of a specialist,” said Sadler. “She’s really benefitted from this new turf chute, this is her third win coming out of the chute here at this meet. The pace helped, no question.”
Out of the Belong to Me mare Llandudno, Contantia, in notching her first stakes win, improved her overall mark to 12-4-1-3. With the winner’s share of $47,880, she increased her earnings to $149,752.
Superstition, who was head and head in the early wagering with California-bred Leggs Galore, was off at 7/5 with Flavien Prat up and paid $3.40 and $2.60 while finishing 2 1/2 lengths in front of Biddy Duke.
Third turning for home, Biddy Duke stayed gamely through the lane and finished third, 1 3/4 lengths in front of She’s So Special. Ridden by apprentice Alexis Centeno, Biddy Duke was off at 15/1 and paid $5.80 to show.
Leggs Galore, who was seeking her sixth straight win, couldn’t make the early lead and flattened out through the drive to finish last as the 6/5 favorite.
Fractions on the race were 21.06, 44.13, and 56.28.
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