Heavily Favored Fun To Dream Splits Horses Turning For Home And Takes Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes
HEAVILY FAVORED FUN TO DREAM SPLITS HORSES TURNING FOR HOME AND TAKES GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA MONICA STAKES BY 2 ½ LENGTHS
CALIFORNIA-BRED FILLY BY ARROGATE GETS SEVEN FURLONGS IN 1:22.75
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2023)—Ridden with supreme confidence by Juan Hernandez, California-bred Fun to Dream made short work of five rivals as she rallied from off the pace to take Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes by 2 ½ lengths. Owned and bred in-part and trained by Bob Baffert, the 4-year-old daughter of Arrogate got seven furlongs in 1:22.75.
Unhurried out of the gate, Fun to Dream, the 1-2 favorite in a field of six older fillies and mares, was fifth, about two lengths off the lead at the three furlong pole and in very tight quarters. Hernandez played it cool though and split horses while three-deep at the top of the lane and easily inhaled a well-meant Awake At Midnyte inside the furlong pole.
“Juan rides her with so much confidence,” said Baffert, who got his second stakes win on the afternoon. “He has gotten a chance to ride these good horses and that’s what he does—Is ride them with such confidence hoping they have something at the end. I was worried about the three eighths, but she was looking good today and doing the best I’ve seen her do. It just goes to show that she’s ready to (run) a mile or two turns.”
A winner of the Grade I La Brea Stakes at the same distance versus sophomore fillies on Dec. 26, Fun to Dream notched her fourth consecutive win and paid $3.00, $2.10 and $2.10.
Co-owned and bred by Connie Pageler and Bob Baffert, Fun to Dream, who is out of the Maria’s Mon mare Lutess, notched her fourth overall stakes win and her sixth victory from seven overall starts. With the winner’s share of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $546,590.
“She broke pretty good, but I couldn’t keep (up) with the pace in front of me, so she relaxed well behind horses,” said Hernandez, who doubled on the day and picked up his meet-leading ninth stakes win. “This filly is getting really good and I felt like she was on the bridle. Around the three eighths, I felt like I had a lot of horse. Last time turning for home, she exploded and passed everybody and today she did the exact same thing.”
Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Awake At Midnyte, who was also second to the winner in the opening day La Brea, was the second choice at 5-2 and paid $2.80 and $2.10 while finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of Samurai Charm.
Off at 12-1 with Flavien Prat, Samurai Charm, who forced the early pace along with Anacapa and Angel Nadeshiko, paid $3.40 to show.
Fractions on the Santa Monica were 22.81, 45.74 and 1:10.37.