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Mystic Love upsets the boys in Dania Beach

Mystic Love powered home a nice winner against the boys in the Dania Beach (Courtney Heeney/Adam Coglianese Photography)

John Davison's Mystic Love pulled off a 16-1 upset in Saturday's $100,000 Dania Beach at Gulfstream Park, holding off the game late run of even-money favorite Charming Kitten to score by a half-length on the wire. With jockey Elvis Trujillo in the saddle, the daughter of Not for Love was worth $34, $11.40 and $6.80 to her faithful backers.

"It was a perfect trip," Trujillo said. "I saw in the program there was one horse with speed, so I sat behind. At the three-eighths pole we had a little room and it was time for us to go. This is a very nice horse."

The two-year-old Maryland-bred filly proved superior to the boys in the one-mile turf stakes because trainer Jessica Campitelli didn't want to stretch her out as far as 1 1/16 miles in an upcoming filly stakes and because jockey Trujillo never left the rail during a well-executed ride.

"We believed in her. It was more that we really didn't want to go a mile and a sixteenth for her first time going two turns," said Campitelli, who had the option to wait until January 1 to run Mystic Love against fillies in the $100,000 Ginger Brew at 1 1/16 miles. "So we chose to run against the boys."

Mystic Love broke alertly from her inside post position to settle in third along the inside as Tate's Landing, stalked by Reporting Star, set the pace around the first turn and along the backstretch through splits of :24 1/5 and :49 2/5. When an opening appeared inside a tiring Tate's Landing on the turn into the homestretch, Trujillo alertly sent his filly through the seam to take the lead at the top of the stretch.

Mystic Love opened up a two-length lead in midstretch and had enough in reserve from her ground-saving trip to hold off a Charming Kitten in a final time of 1:38 4/5 over the good turf.

"It was excellent," Campitelli said of Trujillo's ride. "He saved ground. He waited and saved ground. He rode an excellent race."

Charming Kitten (outside) couldn't charm his way past Mystic Love (Kenny Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Charming Kitten was a length clear of Newfound Zapper on the line, while 7-2 second choice Itsmyluckyday finished out the top four. Reporting Star, Squall King, Thunder Calls, Tate's Lancing, Hard to Name and All Keyed Up completed the order of finish after main-track only entrant Sr. Quisqueyano was withdrawn.

"It was a perfect trip until I got to the quarter-pole, when two horses bolted in front of me, Mystic Love got through and the race was over," said John Velazquez, who had piloting duties aboard Charming Kitten.

Until Saturday, Mystic Love had only ever competed at Laurel Park in Maryland, where she took her maiden debut, ran fifth in the Maryland Million Lassie and captured the Selima, all from September 14 to October 27. The juvenile miss is now perfect in three starts on the turf, as her only loss in the Maryland Million Lassie came on the dirt, and she's banked $174,760 lifetime.

"She's always trained like: the longer the better, really," said Francis Campitelli, who joined his wife in the winner's circle. "Her getting the distance wasn't a great surprise. I was more surprised she was able to win at 5 1/2 (furlongs in her two Laurel victories)."

Mystic Love, who was bred in Maryland by Dark Hollow Farm, will face off against fillies for her next start, which will also take place over Gulfstream's turf in the January 27 Sweetest Chant going a mile.

Out of the winning Dixie Union mare Memories of Mystic, Mystic Love was purchased for $21,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Eastern Fall yearling. Her fifth dam is multiple stakes queen Obeah, who would go on in the breeding shed to produce dual champion Go for Wand, Grade 2 hero Dance Spell and Mystic Love's fourth dam, Grade 2 victress Discorama.

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