ARCADIA, CA – Fault featured her fantastic turn of foot when she flew down the stretch to win Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Adoration Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Fault is now a perfect three for three at Santa Anita for her owners, Agave Racing Stable and Little Red Feather Racing, and picked up her third consecutive graded stakes win.
In a race that was slated to be a face-off between Fault, who won the G1 Santa Margarita her last time out, and the impressive Vale Dori, who was making her first start since July of last year, neither horse seemed concerned with getting the early lead. Instead, the pair of Mended and Shenandoah Queen took to the front to set the early pace with comfortable fractions of :24.16 and :48.40. Vale Dori sat off the pace in third and was joined by Demigoddess just inside of her on the rail. Meanwhile, Fault was content to sit back at the rear about 1 1/2 lengths off of La Force in fifth. Into the second turn, Mended looked to tire as Shenandoah Queen began to pass her on her inside and Vale Dori drew up alongside her three wide. Mended quickly picked up the pace and kept even with the other two as all three came out of the final turn together.
When they hit the top of the stretch, Vale Dori drew back and ducked inside to split horses, yet, it was clear that she was out of gas as she quickly faded to the rear. Fault, on the other hand, proved that she had plenty left in the tank when she flew past the pair of Mended and Shenandoah Queen on the lead to hit the wire just about a half-length ahead of Mended in second. Shenadoah Queen finished third and La Force got up in time to finish fourth.
“I knew the pace was slow and the filly wanted to be closer, but I decided to wait,” said jockey Geovanni Franco, who has been aboard for all three of her wins this year. “I wanted to try and do what we did last time, which was to swing out and let her make her run. That’s what she really loves to do and she made the same run she did last time. She’s really special.”
“She did her thing today,” said Billy Koch of Little Red Feather Racing. “It’s really incredible and impressive with those fractions to be able to close like that, especially after losing all that ground.”
When Questioned on where we might see Fault her next time out, owner Billy Koch failed to commit to anything specific but suggested that she might be shipping out to the East Coast for a big Grade 1 in the future. “We’re looking at maybe a trip to Belmont for her next race, we might take on Big Sandy.”
The 1-2 post time favorite Fault returned $3.20 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.10 to show. Shenandoah Queen brought back $15.00 to place and $7.60 to show, while Mended paid $3.40 to show.