Jerry Hollendorfer was hoping for a three-peat at the 2016 Santa Monica Stakes, but was upended in one of the biggest upsets of the year so far. Lost Bus came across the wire first as a staggering 64/1 longshot. The four-year old filly paid an astounding $131.20, $42.20 and $14.80 across the board.
Head trainer Gary Sherlock was obviously thrilled with the result of the 2016 Santa Monica Stakes. It represents the first stakes victory since 2008 for the trainer. “I was running for third and it turned out better than that. There wasn’t a lot of speed in the race and I told Fernando [Perez] to go to the front.”
Jockey Fernando Perez was also impressed by Lost Bus’s efforts as well. “I got a clean break, I took her to the lead, and she was comfortable the whole time—and at the end, she was still trying.”
Lost Bus finished with a time of 1:21.78 after duelling with Finest City the entire way during the 7-furlong chase. It was a strong finish for the second-place Finest City, who was coming off a disappointing 10th place finish at the La Brea in late December. Also a four-year old filly, Finest City had gone 2-1-0 in three optional claiming races, including her maiden victory.
Tara’s Tango finished in third at the 2016 Santa Monica Stakes during an up-and-down effort. She started strong, faded, then upped her pace to barely miss closing the gap behind Finest City and Lost Bus. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who had won the 2014 and 2015 Santa Monica Stakes, was still able to make the podium at the very least.
Living The Life, Kiss At Midnight, Room For Me, Prize Exhibit, Kryiaki and Ben’s Duchess rounded out the order. It was most certainly a heavy finish for Ben’s Duchess, who had gone 5-1-4 over 11 previous races and entered the fray as the favourite. It might be back to the drawing board for John Sadler’s trainee, or we could just chalk the 2016 Santa Monica Stakes up to what they were – a phenomenal upset.