HUGE LONGSHOT LOST BUS FINDS WAY IN GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA MONICA STAKES; TRAINED BY SHERLOCK, CALIFORNIA-BRED FILLY WINS BY A HEAD UNDER PEREZ IN 1:21.78

 

ONE WINNING PICK SIX TICKET PURCHASED THROUGH KENTUCKY HUB PAYS $1,132,476.80; SANTA ANITA HAS SUPER HIGH FIVE CARRYOVER OF $24,917 INTO SUNDAY

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2016)–Longshot Lost Bus proved ultra game in winning Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita by a head under Fernando Perez. Trained by Gary Sherlock, the 4-year-old California-bred filly was tested the length of the stretch and just prevailed over Finest City while covering seven furlongs in 1:21.78.

Sent from her number four post position in a field of nine older fillies and mares, Lost Bus, who was claimed three starts back for $32,000 on Nov. 19, was pressed throughout at the rail through splits of 22.42, 44.93 and 1:09.08.

“Lost Bus was pretty much going to run before I learned (probable favorite) Sunday Rules wouldn’t be entered, but I was running for third, and it turned out better than that,” said Sherlock, who won the Santa Monica in 2008 with Intangaroo. “There wasn’t a lot of speed in the race, and I told Fernando to go to the front.”

One of only two Cal-breds in the lineup, Lost Bus was the longest shot in the field at 60-1 and following a claim of foul lodged by Finest City’s jockey, Corey Nakatani, she paid $131.20, $42.20 and $14.80.

Owned by Terry Lovingier, Lost Bus, who is by the In Excess stallion Bring the Heat, notched her first-ever stakes win and improved her overall mark to 11-3-2-2. With the winner’s share of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $256,018.

“I got a clean break, I took her to the lead and she was comfortable the whole time,” said Perez. “At the end, she was still trying. Corey was pushing me. We were bumping a little bit down the stretch, but not much to be honest. He just had to take a shot (by claiming foul) to see if he could get the disqualification.”

Breaking from the far outside, Finest City broke sharply and pressed the winner gate to wire while just holding off the late charge of favored Tara’s Tango by a neck. Off at 8-1, Finest City paid $10.60 and $6.80.

Tara’s Tango, who was ridden by Mike Smith, broke alertly but was taken in hand heading into the far turn, then angled out turning for home and just missed, finishing third, 2 ¼ lengths in front of Living The Life. Off at 3-1, Tara’s Tango paid $4.60 to show.

“I couldn’t keep her in a hard drive,” said Smith in reference to his decision to reserve his mount for the stretch run. “I thought I could let them go, give her a breather and then go at them again on the outside and it worked, but I just didn’t get there in time.”

With a two-day Pick Six carryover contributing to a massive total Pick Six pool of $1,852,098, there was just one winning ticket, worth $1,132,476.80. Purchased for an as-yet undisclosed amount, the ticket was generated through a Kentucky-based wagering hub.

There is a carryover into Sunday’s one dollar Super High Five of $24,917.

First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.