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.
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.
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 when the race was a Grade I. “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.
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.