Fun House, who has made a habit of collecting minor chunks during a consistent 22-race career, put it all together Saturday for her first graded stakes win in the $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens at 116 pounds, Fun House ran one mile in 1:36 on a turf course labeled good, winning by 2 3/4 lengths. Ron McAnally is the trainer for Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC. Verne Winchell bred her.
In fourth place on the backstretch, Fun House accelerated on the last turn, swung wide into the stretch, quickly collared Fudge Fatale and Maiden Tower, and poured it on late.
"She loved that stuff (wet grass)," Stevens said. "It's really soft out there and she was having fun. The other horses were struggling. She's a nice, nice filly."
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred by Prized mare, Fun House has a 22-5-8-5 record. The $90,000 winner's share bumped her bankroll to $370,668. She paid $24, $8.60 and $5.She's out of the dam Bistra (by Classic Go Go).
Katdogawn, Mike Smith riding at 117 pounds, closed sharply from last to finish second and returned $5.40 and $3.40. It was a half-length back to Fudge Fatale, Jose Valdivia Jr. riding at 116 pounds, who held on to finish third and paid $6.20 for show.
Personal Legend finished fourth and was followed by 7-5 favorite Maiden Tower, Southern Oasis and Drew Away.
It was McAnally's first the Buena Vista victory since the 1992 running when Appealing Missy won the race under Chris McCarron.
"(Fun House) has always given her best although I know she's run a lot of seconds throughout her career," McAnally said. "But today she got the job done."
In the seventh race, Unfurl the Flag ($10) ran seven furlongs in 1:20.11 to equal the track record set by the great Spectacular Bid in 1980. Smith was aboard the 4-year-old California-bred gelding for trainer David Bernstein.
In the Pick Six, the one ticket with six correct returned a whopping $150,088. The winning ticket was sold through the Nevada hub in Las Vegas.(Chart, Equibase)