California-bred House of Fortune proved a popular winner of the $182,875 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II), shaking loose in the stretch for three-length gate-to-wire triumph over four rivals.
The 6-5 choice ridden by Alex Solis, House of Fortune atoned for her poor eighth-place showing in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) in her last start at Churchill Downs April 30.
Elusive Diva, who headed House of Fortune at the head of the stretch with Tyler Baze aboard, could not match strides with the winner in the run to the wire, settling for second, three lengths in front of Hollywood Story and Mike Smith, the 17-10 second choice.
House of Fortune finished under a steady hand ride from Solis.
"The other filly (Elusive Diva) moved very strong around the turn," Solis said. "But when my filly saw her, she took off. She has done that in the past where she switches leads back to the right foot, and takes off. Well, she did it again. I figured she would do that. She always does. She is such a warrior."
Baze said he thought Elusive Diva was in charge.
"I thought I was going to win by five around the turn. I figured I had House of Fortune beat. I looked back to the outside and thought, Okay, I'll swing a little wide and give her enough room to switch leads and go on with it. That's when the other filly found another gear. I just couldn't believe it. I thought I had her beat all the way. I just hope I can ride this filly back. She is an awesome filly."
The winning time for the 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-old fillies was 1:41.55, a stakes record.
House of Fortune, a daughter of Free House
, clicked off fractional times of :23, :46 and 1:10 after getting the lead on the inside.
Her sixth win in 10 lifetime starts for owner Arnold Zetcher and trainer Ron McAnally was worth $109,725, pushing her earnings total to $500,819. She won the Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oklawn Park prior to her lackluster Kentucky Oaks effort.
McAnally, who won his first race of the current Hollywood Park meeting, said he wasn't worried about the threat from Elusive Diva.
"(Elusive Diva) set much of the pace in Arkansas (when they met in the Fantasy) and she stopped. So I figured she'd do the same thing and she did."
McAnally said he may consider a start on grass next for House of Fortune.
John Treasure bred House of Fortune, who is out of the Garthorn mare So Fortunate.
She paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.10. Elusive Diva, the longest shot in the field at odds of 9-1, returned $7 and $2.80. Hollywood Story was $2.40 to show. The $2 exacta was worth $28.
M.A. Fox and Class Above completed the order of finish. Boasting was scratched.