Mia’s Crusade Runs Away with Eleven North Handicap

Mia’s Crusade, who won the Spruce Fir Handicap in the slop to start her 4-year-old campaign, won for the fifth time in 15 career starts for trainer Chuck Spina. Jomar Torres rode the daughter of Greenpointcrusader, who sat a stalking trip in fourth behind the early speed and drew off when asked coming out of the final turn.

The winning time for the six furlongs was 1:10.76. Beach Daze finished second, 1¼ lengths ahead of Roselba. 

Mia’s Crusade, owned by Joseph and Gayle Ioia and Spina, paid $3.60 to win in the field of nine fillies and maries, 3 years old and up.  She was bred by Joseph and Gayle Ioia.

“Every race she seems to get better and better and this has been her best year yet,” said Torres, who has ridden her in her last 12 starts. “She can run on any surface – fast dirt, slop, turf. She does love the slop but the track was fast today and she ran a great race.

“I just asked her once around the turn and she responded. We got a nice set-up behind the speed. She broke well and she settled and she was ready when I asked. This was one of her better performances.”

Spina said consistency continues to be Mia’s Crusade’s greatest strength. She has a 5-2-2 line from her 15 lifetime starts.

“She tries every time,” he said. “Six furlongs is her best distance. But going a mile on the dirt two races ago she was only beaten a length. She’s just so honest. She hardly has any breeding but she gives her all every time. Is she better in the slop? Probably. But she couldn’t have done much better than she did today on a fast track.

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