LOST BUS FINDS A WAY HOME AND WINS $58,000 DIXIE PEARL PURSE; HEAP-TRAINED FILLY OVERCOMES SIX MONTH LAYOFF TO WIN BY THREE QUARTERS OF A LENGTH UNDER SMITH

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 6, 2015)–Although she was wide throughout, combacking Lost Bus was an impressive three quarters of a length winner of Friday’s $58,000 Dixie Pearl allowance feature as she covered six furlongs in 1:10.67 under Mike Smith.

Trained by Blake Heap, Lost Bus had been idle since Aug. 27 at Del Mar. Breaking from the outside post in a field of 10 sophomore fillies, the 3-year-old California-bred daughter of Bring the Heat had two horses beat going to the three eighths pole, but was full of run while about eight-wide around the turn and into the stretch.

“Given the trip she had, this race is a lot more impressive than the winning margin was,” said Smith. “I was really wide, really wide. I went into the turn wide and I stayed wide, I could never get in. It just worked out that Blake put me on a talented horse.

Owned by John R. Haagsma, Lost Bus was the second choice in the wagering and paid $7.40, $5.20 and $3.60. A first-out maiden winner at Santa Anita on May 26, she notched her second win from her fourth start and with the winner’s cut of $34,800, increased her earnings to $105,400.

“She’s been in Florida all winter,” said Heap. “After her last race at Del Mar, we took her to Kentucky for three weeks, we turned her out and just let her run around on grass…She was battling shins at Del Mar. She didn’t like that track…I think she’s going to be a mile on the grass type of horse, maybe a stakes horse.”

Runner-up Easter Fever, who was a close second going into the far turn behind early pacesetter Grand Yodeler, took command three off the fence midway around the turn but was no match for the winner late, finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of Alwazabridesmaid. Off at 13-1, Easter Fever paid $11.20 and $5.80.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Alwaszabridesmaid saved ground while sixth at the quarter pole and ran gamely for third money, paying $4.40 to show.

Jockey Martin Garcia, who broke from the number six post position aboard Sheer Pleasure, was unseated shortly after the break, but was uninjured. Sheer Pleasure, who stumbled badly leaving the gate, rallied extremely wide to go under the wire by about four lengths clear of the winner.

Fractions on the race were 22.10, 45.17 and 57.71.

Special first post time for an 11-race card on Saturday, Santa Anita Handicap Day, is at 12 noon. Admission gates will open at 10 a.m.

 

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