Fault wins the Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Fault wins the Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Benoit Photo

Fault Takes California Debut in Buena Vista

Blame filly earned grade 2 victory in first start for trainer Phil D'Amato.

New connections and some new surroundings suited Fault just fined Feb. 17 in the $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes (G2T) at Santa Anita Park.

In her first start in Southern California for trainer Phil D'Amato and new co-owner Little Red Feather Racing, the 4-year-old Blame  filly got a rail-skimming ride from jockey Geovanni Franco in the final turn and in the stretch, and surged to the wire to win by a length.

A $50,000 claim out of a race at Churchill Downs in May of 2017 by Agave Racing Stable, Fault earned her first graded stakes win in the Aug. 12 Pucker Up (G3T) at Arlington International Racecourse for trainer Michelle Lovell. Little Red Feather bought into the filly, suggested a move out to the West Coast, and found immediate success.

"We've really liked this filly for a long time," said Little Red Feather's Gary Fenton. "We had been watching her run, and when we contacted Mark Martinez (of Agave Racing Stable), he was agreeable to bringing her out here with Phil."

In sixth early in the Buena Vista, well behind runaway leader Juno, Fault made progress in the final turn but saved her best kick for the stretch and hit the front with a sixteenth to run.

"I knew she was a nice filly," said Franco, who secured his second graded stakes win. "She's been running in some nice stakes and placing in them. She just changed coasts and I guess she's liking it, because she seemed to today. She felt very good—just came out and took care of business."

Thundering Sky, who went off at 12-1 like Fault, completed the exacta. Juno, a multiple group 1 winner in Brazil who has gone winless in 11 starts since relocating to the U.S., held for third after she set fractions of :23.01, :45.75, and 1:09.77 through six furlongs. Fault finished off the mile in 1:33.49.

"I knew she was a very consistent filly and was only getting better back East ... 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,'" D'Amato said. "She's shown me a lot in the mornings and she trained like she belonged in here. You never know until you run against these girls in her and she showed she fits."

A half-length behind Juno came Sassy Little Lila, favored Madam Dancealot, Insta Erma, Madame Stripes, Sweet Charity, and Pricedtoperfection, to complete the order of finish.

Bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm out of the Horse Chestnut mare Charming N Lovable, Fault has a 4-3-2 record from 14 starts and $318,795 in earnings.

Video: Buena Vista S. (G2T)