Queen of Bermuda ready to rule in Sunday's Mizdirection
by Najja Thompson
Set to make her first start of the year since finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint last November, Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing Limited's Queen of Bermuda will headline a field of nine in Sunday's $100,000 Mizdirection for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the outer turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.
An Irish-bred daughter of Australian sire Exceed And Excel, Queen of Bermuda began her career in England last May for conditioner William Haggas, where she posted four wins and three second-place finishes in her first 10 starts, including a victory in the Group 3 William Hill Firth of Clyde on September 23 at Ayr Racecourse.
Following a second in the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte in France, she made her North American debut in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf where, off at odds of 23-1, she rallied from tenth to finish fourth. Taking over training duties following that race, new conditioner Graham Motion said he is excited for her prospects for a productive 2019 campaign.
"She came to us after the Breeder's Cup, and we gave her about a month off following that race," said Motion. "Since she's been with us, she's done everything I've really asked her to do. Her last two breezes where very good and although she might not be fully cranked for this race, she certainly has the class and back form to compete.
"Considering how things go on Sunday we'll certainly look to the Grade 3 Soaring Softly [May 18] at Belmont Park," continued Motion. "We had a number of options on where to make her debut, but we liked our chances in New York so here we are."
Queen of Bermuda will leave from post 9 with Junior Alvarado aboard.
Arnaud Delacour will saddle Fashion Faux Pas for owners Denlea Park and Kent Spellman.
The Flatter filly has made each of her four previous starts on the dirt including a stakes win in the Sandpiper on December 15 at Tampa Bay Downs. In her most recent start, the Grade 3 Forward Gal at Gulfstream Park, she led early before fading to finish ninth on February 2.
"Her last start was disappointing, but she came out of that race well and has been training forwardly since," said Delacour. "I think she just didn't take to the track that day. I've always wanted to try her on the turf and I think this is a good race to gauge her ability on the surface."
With Daniel Centeno in the irons, Fashion Faux Pas will break from post 6.
Turning back in distance and looking to improve off a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride at 1 1/16 miles on March 2 at Gulfstream, conditioner Chad Brown will saddle Golconda for owners Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables.
The French-bred filly began her career in her native country, making her first four career starts sprinting on the turf, with two wins and a pair of second-place finishes before being transferred to Brown.
"I probably made an error of judgement in starting her off going that long," said Brown, who conditioned her for the first time in the Herecomesthebride. "We've gone back to the drawing board and brought her back shortening her up in distance."
With Irad Ortiz, Jr. named to ride, Golconda will leave from post 3.
Wesley Ward entered a trio of runners led by Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint runner-up Chelsea Cloisters for Hat Creek Racing; Moonlight Romance, winner of the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint, for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey; and Mae Never No, who won the Colleen last August at Monmouth, for Breeze Easy, LLC.
Completing the field are Eyeinthesky, for trainer Mark Casse and owner Gary Barber, who enters the Mizdirection off a second-place finish in the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies on March 31 at Tampa Bay; Ujjayi, who captured the Ruthless in January at the Big A for trainer Erin McClellan and owner Tyler Conner; and Fangirl for trainer John Terranova and Curragh Stables.
The Mizdirection, carded as Race 8 with a post time of 5:15 p.m., is the co-feature on Sunday's nine-race card along with the $100,000 Plenty of Grace for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward at one mile on the turf carded as Race 3. First post is 1:30 p.m.