Cindy's Horse Racing Website Index

Santa Anita Stakes Results

Date: 02/22/2004

Fun House wins over Katdogawn in the Buena Vists Handicap.
Santa Anita Park hosted two graded stakes over the weekend. First up on Saturday was the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap, a 1 mile turf event for older fillies and mares for a total purse of $150,000. Seven faced the starter, including 7-5 favorite Maiden Tower The favorite was loose on the lead early, leading the field through fractions of 23.50, 47.75, and 1:12.07, with 17-1 shot Fudge Fatale stalking her the whole way. At the top of the stretch, Fudge Fatale got her head in front and put away the favorite with a furlong to go. But late-closing Fun House, an 11-1 longshot, rallied from fourth, got the lead at the 1/16 pole and drew away to win by 2 3/4 lengths over deep closing 4-1 shot Katdogawn, who trailed early, came on strong in the stretch, but was no match for the winner. It was just a 1/2 length back from her to favorite and pacesetter Fudge Fatale. The final time was 1:36.13 over the good turf course. Results Chart

Gary Stevens aboard Fun House in the winner's circle.
Winning jockey Gary Stevens said, "She loved that stuff (the wet grass). It's really soft out there. When you get one that handles it like she just did it's fun, because you know the rest of the horses are struggling, and she was skipping through it. Nice, nice filly."

Trainer Ron McAnally said, "The race worked out well for her. She got a good position. She got up there and hung the last time (third to Fudge Fatale in the Tuzla Handicap on Jan. 28). Anyway, everything went well. She's a filly that's always given her best although I know she's run a lot of seconds (eight) throughout her career. But today she got the job done."

Mike Smith, aboard runner-up Katdogawn, said, "She ran really good, the ground was just a little soft for her. She didn't get over as good as she normally would. She had a little bit of a cough before the race. That probably contributed to it, too. I thought she ran dynamite to get second."

On Sunday, older fillies and mares kept the spotlight, but this time it was the sprinters going 6 furlongs on the main track in the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap, for a total purse of $107,300. Just six of the seven entries drawn went to post, with one scratch.

Ema Bovary with Roberto Gonzalez up in the winner's circle after the Las Flores Handicap.
8-1 longshot Icantgoforthat was quickest out of the gate and set a brisk early pace of 21.29 and 43.81 over the wet-fast track, while 6-5 favorite Buffythecenterfold and 11-1 shot Coconut Girl kept in close contact. Turning for home, 7-2 second choice Ema Bovary, who had stalked the pace back in fifth earlier, came out four wide to get the lead by mid stretch and pulled away to win by 3 1/4 lengths in a stakes record 1:08.02 over Buffythecenterfold. It was a length back to Coconut Girl in third and five more lengths back to the pacesetter Icantgoforthat who weakened in the lane after going too fast early. The win was the first graded stakes victory and the eight consecutive win for Chilean-bred Ema Bovary who has 11 wins in 16 starts lifetime. She lost her first American start a year ago, but hasn't missed the winner's circle since. Results Chart

Winning jockey Roberto Gonzalez said, "The only problem we had was leaving the gate we kind of bumped the outside horse. But then I just sat behind the speed, I found the spot, and from then on I said. ''I'll see how much horse I got.' The owner and trainer have been so patient with her, and with her rider. They've been giving enough time for her to run. I think she could probably make a Grade I. She won easier today than she has before."

Winning trainer Larry Ross said, "This is her biggest win. I guess they're all the best. It was a good win. [Buffythecenterfold] is a pretty nice horse, but Ema loves the mud, too. I was surprised that she won as easy as she did, carrying that much weight (121 pounds). I haven't thought about it (her next race). We'll look, pick her a good spot, hopefully."

Jockey Matt Garcia, aboard runner-up and beaten favorite Buffythecenterfold, said, "She wasn't really handling the surface as good as I've felt her on different surfaces, but she handled it all right, she handles all different kinds. The winner, she was just the best horse today. She (Buffythecenterfold) ran her eyeballs out, did everything proper, switched leads, and gave it all she had. What are you going to do? You've got a horse that had a little bit more dash."

Photos courtesy of Tina Hines.

Back to Horse-Races.Net main page

Want to keep up with what's new on this site?
Sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

On the Forum: