ARCADIA, Calif. — Miss Southern Miss rallied five-wide turning for home to win the $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes for 2-year-olds by 2 ½ lengths Monday at Santa Anita for jockey Kent Desormeaux and his brother-trainer Keith Desormeaux.
The filly ran a mile on turf in 1:35.08 and paid $11.60, $6 and $4.80 at 9-2 odds. It was Miss Southern Miss’ first time on turf.
Happy Mesa returned $5.40 and $4.60 as the 7-2 second choice. La Force returned $10.40 to show at 20-1 odds in her U.S. debut.
The victory, worth $60,000, increased Miss Southern Miss’ career earnings to $164,600, with two wins in five starts.
Keith Desormeaux credited his brother for getting his filly to relax.
“The key was Kent,” he said. “If you watch her other races, it was a struggle for him to get her to relax. I had a lot of confidence that she’d continue her run home. She had them beat at the eighth pole. She’s going to be a really good horse on this turf.”
Miss Southern Miss finished fifth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 3.
“She’s very talented and I guess she just needed a little grass under her feet,” Kent Desormeaux said. “I hope she’s going to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf because I’d love to ride her there.”
In the $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes, Big Score won by 3 ¼ lengths to establish himself as a leading contender for the BC Juvenile Turf next month at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Big Score ran one mile on turf in 1:33.56 and paid $11.60, $4.80 and $3.80.
Sonic Boom returned $6.20 and $5.40, while Ventry Bay was another half-length back in third and paid $7.40 to show.
Trained by Tim Yakteen, Big Score overcame his outside post position. He was three-wide around the clubhouse turn and took the lead three-sixteenths from the finish.
“I took my time and put him right there, even though the pace was pretty fast,” Prat said. “I wanted him right there and he always shows a good turn of foot. The Breeders’ Cup is what we’re looking for.”
The victory, worth $60,000, increased Big Score’s career earnings to $117,800, with two wins in three starts.