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By Tom Ferrall
Staff Writer 

Belvoir Bay makes triumphant 2018 debut


Last updated 4/16/2018 at 6:52pm

Benoit Photo photos

Belvoir Bay, on the inside, holds off Blame It On Alphie to win the Mizdirection Stakes by a head March 25 at Santa Anita.

Belvoir Bay, who collected one win in six starts last year, matched her 2017 win total in her first race of 2018 when she captured the $81,725 Mizdirection Stakes at Santa Anita March 25.

A 5-year-old mare, Belvoir Bay had been based at the San Luis Rey Training Center in Bonsall throughout her career. Things changed, of course, when the Dec. 7 Lilac fire ravaged a portion of San Luis Rey and closed the facility, which is scheduled to reopen this month.

Belvoir Bay and most of the other horses that had been stabled at San Luis Rey went to Del Mar, the seaside racetrack that conducts racing in the summer and the fall but has been serving as a training center since the Lilac fire.

Belvoir Bay, trained by Peter Miller, hadn't raced in four months when she went into the starting gate for the Mizdirection, a race contested at "about" 6 1/2 furlongs down Santa Anita's hillside turf course. She was plenty fit, however, having recorded a series of solid five-furlong workouts at Del Mar.

Ridden by Tyler Baze in the Mizdirection, Belvoir Bay sat just off the pace set by 6-5 favorite Coniah and then charged through the opening along the rail entering the stretch to take the lead. Stretch-runners Blame It On Alphie and Classy Tune both finished strong but Belvior Bay managed to hang on and win by a head.

"I knew she was ready," said Ruben Alvarado, assistant trainer for Miller, of Belvoir Bay.

"She was training great at Del Mar and she likes this course."

British-bred Belvoir Bay earned her second victory in three tries down the hillside course.

"I talked to Pete on the phone and he said to ride her with confidence," said Baze. "I watched her replays and I rode her like she was the best horse."

Baze said Belvoir Bay dug deep to fend off the closers, stating "she gave me everything she had."

Belvoir Bay clocked a time of 1:13.41 and paid $15.40 after going off at odds of 6-1 in the field of 10 fillies and mares. Blame It On Alphie, a 9-1 shot ridden by Flavien Prat, took second by a half-length over Classy Tune, a 51-1 long shot ridden by Evan Roman.

Belvoir Bay, owned by Team Valor International and Gary Barber, recorded her seventh career victory from 18 starts. The $48,000 payday boosted the mare's career earnings to $378,361.

Belvoir Bay has now won two of her last three races. Her lone win in 2017 came in November in the Senator Ken Maddy Stakes on the turf at Del Mar.

Benoit Photo photos

Jockey Tyler Baze brings Belvoir Bay back to be unsaddled in the winner's circle after the 5-year-old mare captured the Mizdirection Stakes at Santa Anita March 25.

Miller missed Belvior Bay's victory in the Mizdirection because he was preparing for a trip to Dubai, where he started four horses in the $30 million Dubai World Cup program at Meydan Racecourse March 31.

Miller sent out his champion sprinter Roy H in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen and bad racing luck likely cost the 6-year-old horse a very lucrative victory. After stumbling leaving the gate, Roy H rallied to finish third, beaten less than a length by winner Mind Your Biscuits.

"The start cost him the race, " said Miller to reporters after the race. "He got left at the start and if he doesn't get left, he wins. That's horse racing."

In the race before the Golden Shaheen, Miller saw his 6-year-old geldings Stormy Liberal, Conquest Tsunami, and Richard's Boy run second, third, and sixth, respectively, in the $1 Million Al Quoz Sprint. Jungle Cat won the Al Quoz Sprint by a half-length over Stormy Liberal, who finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Conquest Tsunami.


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