ARCADIA, CA – Bran Jam Stable and David Clark’s Fahan Mura finally broke through for her first career graded score on Saturday, taking the lead at the break and never relenting in the Grade 3, $150,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita.
Breaking quickly from post 4 under Edwin Maldonado as the 8/5 favorite, Fahan Mura took command early and crossed over to the rail before posting fractions of :23.48, :47.43, and 1:11.15. Still in hand as she strode through the far turn, Maldonado gave the Vladimir Cerin traineethe cue at the top of the stretch, and from there, the race was won. Excellent Sunset made a late charge to draw within 3/4 length of the winner, but Fahan Mura was too good, crossing the wire in a final time of 1:46.85 for the 9-furlong event over the firm turf course.
“She’s a really fun horse to ride,” Maldonado said. “She’s become so much more professional. She used to pull quite a bit, but now, she relaxes so nice. I want to thank Vladimir and the owners for putting me on her. Today, she made the lead easy, and then she did all the work.”
After tracking in second for much of the race, Quebec was unable to hold off Excellent Sunset in deep stretch and settled for third late. Escape Clause, whose nine-race win streak ended last out when she finished third in the Grade 3 Red Carpet Handicap, was unable to close from the rear quickly enough after encountering traffic troulb eand settled for fourth over Amboseli by a 1/2-length. Lucy De, Gliding By, and Sweet Charity completed the order of finish.
Fahan Mura’s win was her seventh in 10 starts this year and improved her overall record to 23-9-2-4. The 4-year-old daughter of English Channel’s lifetime bankroll now stands at $431,815.
“The fractions were good for her, but they were good for her last time, too,” Cerin said about Fahan Mura’s disappointing 12th last out in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar. “For some reason, she just didn’t fire (that day). I leave it in Edwin’s hands. He’s improved her by letting her be herself. He never interferes with her. He’s a big reason why she’s doing well.”
Fahan Mura returned $5.40 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. Excellent Sunset brought back $3.60 to place and $2.80 to show, while Quebec paid $3.40 to show.