Private Mission One to Beat in Desi Arnaz Stakes
Charles Chu, a highly successful businessman from Massachusetts who manufactures global positioning systems (GPS), watched his wife Susan have great fun dabbling in the racing game a few years back. So he thought he'd give it a try, too. The first horse he bought was named Drefrong and all he did was win the Breeders' Cup Sprint in 2016.
||Drayden Van Dyke
||Miss Costa Rica
Since then the Chus, who originally hail from Taiwan and who race under the name Baoma Corporation, have gone in with both feet and by all reports are loving it. They now run their own breeding operation and have had fine success with that, too. But they also continue to buy and race horses, like a filly named Private Mission who'll carry their colors Saturday, November 14 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in the featured Desi Arnaz Stakes.
Private Mission was a $750,000 yearling purchase in 2019 who got off on the right foot with a win in her initial start at Santa Anita on October 12 for trainer Bob Baffert. That was a six and one-half furlong straight maiden test with Drayden Van Dyke up. For the Arnaz, the daughter of Into Mischief will step up and stretch out to seven furlongs and has been made the 9/5 morning line favorite to successfully do so with Van Dyke in the boot once again.
The Chus also will have another well-bred and high-priced ($700,000) runner in the line-up - Varda, a first-out winner who then was stakes-placed behind star Princess Noor at Santa Anita most recently in the Chandlier Stakes on September 26. She, too, runs out of the Bob Baffert barn and the daughter of Distorted Humor will go postward at 6-1 in the morning line with Abel Cedillo riding.
The pair of bay fillies will take on six rivals in the sixth edition of the stakes, named for the band leader, actor and huge racing fan-owner-breeder who most famously teamed with his wife, Lucille Ball, to give us one of early television's most popular shows - "I Love Lucy."
Here's the full field for the extended dash from the rail out with riders and odds:
C T R Stables and Wonderland Racing's Plum Sexy (Heriberto Figuero, 12-1); Private Mission; B-4 Farms' Canoodling (Umberto Rispoli, 12-1); Varda; Saragol Stable Corp or Viana's Queengol (Juan Hernandez, 4-1); McClanahan, Carrol Boys Racing or Say's Miss Costa Rica (Flavien Prat, 10-1), LNJ Foxwoods' Astute (Mike Smith, 3-1), and Pegram, Watson and Weitman's Heels Up (Victor Espinoza, 8-1).
Astute, a $425,000 yearling by Speightstown, scored in her debut on October 12, a sprint on the grass against straight maidens at Santa Anita. She's conditioned by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella and has Hall of Famer Smith as her partner again.
Saturday's nine-race card is off and running at 12:30 p.m. The Arnaz goes as the 8th race on the program with an approximate off time of 4 p.m.
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