ARCADIA, CA – Agave Racing Stable and Little Red Feather Racing’s Fault was blameless on Saturday, fighting along the rail down the stretch and gamely battling her way to victory in the Grade 2, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita.
Off well from post 7 under Geovanni Franco, Fault was able to settle in the two-path while running mid-pack into the first turn while Juno stormed off to an early 4-length lead and set blistering splits of :23.01, :45.75, and 1:09.77. As Juno began to weaken through the far turn, Fault found an opening along the rail at the top of the stretch and struck forward. With steady urging from Franco, Fault squeezed between the rail and Juno, then finished strongly to win by a length in a final time of 1:33.49 for the mile-long turf event.
“Well, I knew she is a nice filly,” said Franco, whose win was his third straight on the day. “She’s been running in some nice stakes and placing in them. She felt very good, just came out and took care of business. I was trying to get there first. I knew that if there was a little bit of room, she would do it. She’s a great filly and she had the run in her.”
Despite the fast fractions early on, Juno was able to hold on and was just caught at the wire by Thundering Sky, who snatched second from her by a head. Sassy Little Lila wasn’t able to gain much in the stretch after running second much of the race and faded to fourth. The 2/1 favorite Madam Dancealot took fifth by a neck over Insta Erma, while Madame Stripes, Sweet Charity, and Pricedtoperfection completed the order of finish.
Fault’s victory was her first since upsetting the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington last August and improved her record to 14-4-3-2 with career earnings of $318,795. The 4-year-old daughter of Blame was making her first start west of the Mississippi after spending much of her career running between Fair Grounds and Churchill Downs before Little Red Feather bought into her and transferred her to D’Amato.
“I knew she was a very consistent filly and was only getting better back east,” D’Amato said. “She had a bad luck trip at Fair Grounds (finishing fourth in her last start on December 30), but from the very first time I breezed her, I thought, ‘This is a horse I’ve been looking for in this category for quite a while.’”
Fault returned $26.20 to win, $13.80 to place, and $8.60 to show. Thundering Sky brought back $14.40 to place and $9.60 to show, while Juno paid $15 to show.