Eyeinthesky well clear in foggy Mizdirection
by Keith McCalmont
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Gary Barber's Eyeinthesky provided jockey Manny Franco his fourth win on the card with a dominant front-running effort in a foggy renewal of the $100,000 Mizdirection for sophomore fillies on Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Mark Casse, the Sky Mesa bay arrived at the six-furlong sprint over an outer turf course rated 'good' off a runner-up effort on the Tampa Bay Downs dirt on March 31 in the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies.
A return to turf, the scene of her last win in an allowance sprint on the Gulfstream green, worked a charm for Eyeinthesky on Sunday. Dismissed at odds of 8-1, Franco sent Eyeinthesky to the lead and never looked back through splits of 23.14 seconds, 46.02 and 57.60, with Fashion Faux Pas pressing.
Even-money favorite Queen of Bermuda and second-choice Golconda tracked from mid-pack but failed to make up any ground as Eyeinthesky skipped away to a 1 1/2 length advantage at the top of the lane and stayed on strong to secure a three-quarter length win in a final running time of 1:09.92.
"We ran her two weeks ago on Florida-bred Day at Tampa and turning for home, she looked like she was going to win that race. She moves well on the dirt but when she gets tired, she starts going more up than across. Mark saw that and thought we should sprint on the grass," said Casse assistant Jamie Begg.
Franco finished the day in a tie with Jose Lezcano for leading rider at the spring meet [13 wins], which concludes next Saturday. The veteran rider said he felt confident throughout aboard Eyeinthesky.
"It wasn't our plan to go to the front coming in, but the way she broke, I just took advantage and went to the lead. She responded very well. At the quarter-pole, when I got at her, she responded and was there. I felt good we were going to hit the wire first," said Franco.
Fashion Faux Pas completed the exacta, 1 1/4 lengths in front of Mae Never No. Golconda, Fangirl, Queen of Bermuda and Ujjayi completed the order of finish. Chelsea Cloisters and Moonlight Romance were scratched.
Bred in Florida by Rusty Kindratiw, Eyeinthesky banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to 3-1-2 from 10 starts. She paid $18 for a $2 win ticket.
Live racing returns at the Big A on Wednesday with a nine-race card highlighted by a single-day Pick Six carryover of $25,479 beginning in Race 4.
Wednesday's card will also feature the first 2-year-old maiden race of 2019 and the debut of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah's first two starters in North America when Lady Delaware and Tesorina are unveiled. First post is 1:30 p.m.