64-1 Lost Bus finds her way to Santa Monica winner’s circle

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Jen Caldwell

January 24th, 2016

Terry C. Lovingier’s Lost Bus had little luck in finding her way to the winner’s circle before Saturday, boasting only two victories from 10 starts.

However, that all changed when the four-year-old miss battled to score at 64-1 in the $201,000 Santa Monica S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park with jockey Fernando Perez aboard.

Claimed in mid-November to be bred at a future date, the Bring the Heat filly was given a shot in this graded contest and prevailed for trainer Gary Sherlock.

Lost Bus battled the entire race after going straight to the front when the gates opened. She was joined on the outside by 3-1 favorite Tara’s Tango and Finest City, and the trio entered the backstretch together. Tara’s Tango finally settled out of the upfront duel but was just in behind the top two through splits of :22.42., :44:93 and 1:09.08.

Living the Life joined the fray rounding the turn but couldn’t keep up as Lost Bus continued tussling with Finest City. The two traded fought all the way the wire, with Lost Bus just inching forward enough to get her head in front for the win.

Lost Bus came out slightly during the stretch drive, but never made contact with Finest City. Nonetheless, Finest City’s jockey, Corey Nakatani, lodged a claim of foul with the stewards for the incident. It was disallowed and Lost Bus’ win was declared official.

Paying $131.20 as the 64-1 longest shot on the board, Lost Bus ran seven furlongs over the fast main track in 1:21.78. The posted two other starts for her new connections since being claimed, finishing second against allowance/optional claiming rivals on December 13 at Los Alamitos then returning just 17 days later to close out 2015 with a third-placing in the Kalookan Queen S. at Santa Anita.

Lost Bus’ shows two other tries against stakes rivals, placing in both the Generous Portion S. and California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association S. as a juvenile. With the Santa Monica added to her resume the California-bred filly improved her career record to read 11-3-2-2 and nearly doubled her lifetime earnings to $256,018.

Lost Bus is out of the Stravinsky mare Frysland, making her a half-sister to stakes runner-up Hockeythehayman and from the same female family as multiple Grade 2 winner and 1994 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) third-placer Unfinished Symph.


Fernando Perez, jockey Lost Bus, winner: “She ran well last time but even I didn’t know she was going to run this well in here. I got a clean break, I took her to the lead and she was comfortable the whole time and at the end, she was still trying.

“Corey (Nakatani on Finest City) was pushing me. We were bumping a little bit down the stretch, but not much to be honest. He just had to take the shot to see if he could get the disqualification.

“I didn’t even see Mike (Smith on favored Tara’s Tango) at the wire. I was too busy fighting with Corey and trying to beat him. I needed to get that done first.”

Mike Smith, jockey Tara’s Tango, third: “I tried to get her out of there quickly today and we did much better (than usual) but we couldn’t quite keep up with that forty-four pace. I was having to really, really pedal to stay head and head with them and that’s a long way to be on her, that hard, the whole time. I couldn’t keep her in a hard drive.

“I thought I could let them go, give her a bit of a breather and then go at them again on the outside and it worked, but, I just didn’t get there in time.

“You just try and do the right thing and sometimes when it works, you’re the hero. Sometimes though, if you don’t win, you don’t look so good.”

Gary Sherlock, trainer Lost Bus, winner: “This race was a Grade 1 when I won it last time (with Intangaroo in 2008). Lost Bus was pretty much going to run before I learned Sunday Rules wouldn’t be entered, but I was running for third, and it turned out better than that.

“There wasn’t a lot of speed in the race, and I told Fernando to go to the front.”

Asked about her next race: “She’s a Cal-bred, so there are plenty of options.”

Terry Lovingier, owner Lost Bus, winner: “I’m kinda lost for words. I didn’t expect this and not too many others did either; she was 60-1. We claimed her (for $32,000 three starts back on November 19) because she battled quite a few times with My Fiona (stakes-winning filly owned by Lovingier) when they were both two-year-olds. I don’t claim that often anymore, but I did claim quite a few horses before I started breeding them.”