Trainer Mike Puype, center, holds up the trophy in the winner’s circle as owner Jim Rome, left, and jockey Mike Smith, right, look on after Mizdirection won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint horse race Saturday at Santa Anita. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
ARCADIA — Talk about rendering a talk-show host speechless.
Jim Rome, with a glass of champagne in his right hand while clutching a giant bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin in the other, went from a photo op with actress Elizabeth Banks to array of backslaps in the
Champions Terrace at Santa Anita on Saturday afternoon, all in a bit
of a daze.
Had he been misdirected to this place of Great Race Place royalty by accident?
“Weird, man, weird,” was about the best he could come up with – aside from a few cliché statements that he may go back later and call
himself out for.
“I’m numb. I’m having a hard time believing that just happened. Ask
me tomorrow. This is an awesome, awesome day.”
His Jungle Racing LLC investment, guided by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, came the 11th spot in the 14-horse field at the halfway point of the 6 ½ furlongs, navigated into fifth at the stretch and won it
by a half length over betting favorite Unbridled’s Note.
Huge. Incredible. Phenomenal. Reset that take, and you get the same
result. Now head to the ticket window and collect your cash.