Baffert Homebred Fun To Dream Rallies to Victory in GI La Brea

December 27, 2022

Benoit Photo

Jockey Hernandez Gets The Hat Trick

Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.—A California bred daughter of 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate, Bob Baffert’s Fun to Dream, in her first graded stakes assignment, demonstrated her immense talent on Monday at Santa Anita, as she rallied to take the Grade I, $300,000 La Brea Stakes under Juan Hernandez, giving Baffert his fourth overall win on the day and a homebred victory in North America’s final Grade I test for 3-year-old fillies.

Out of the Maria’s Mon mare Lutess, Fun to Dream got seven furlongs in 1:21.99 and provided both Hernandez (who notched his third overall win) and Baffert with two stakes wins each on the day with a pair of Grade I events, the Runhappy Malibu and the American Oaks remaining on the opening day card.

Breaking sharply from her number five post position, Fun to Dream was just a half-length off dueling leaders Ganadora and Ain’t Easy three furlongs from home.  With stablemate Ganadora dropping back at the rail leaving the quarter pole, Fun to Dream loomed three-deep turning for home, opened up about two lengths leaving the eighth pole and was fully extended to prevail late over a hard-trying Awake At Midnyte.

“This horse is getting really, really good. She’s improving a lot, and she’s shown up in her last couple of starts. Today, she was traveling very smoothly on the back side, and she broke sharp. Then after that, I felt like I had a ton of control. Turning for home I asked her to switch leads and pick it up, and she did the rest,” said Hernandrz.

Bred and owned in California by Bob Baffert and Connie Pageler, Fun to Dream, who came off a head victory in the statebred Betty Grable Stakes going the same distance at Del Mar Nov. 13, had won two races in a row coming into the La Brea and was off as the second choice at 5-2 in a field of six and paid $7.40, $4.00 and $3.40.

“All the fillies, they were doing so well, and I was hoping that one of them would get there and she just got the perfect trip, outside. Juan just sat there, and you could tell he was loving it, turning for home. I’m sitting next to my wife Jill, and she can’t believe what she’s seeing,” said Baffert.

“You breed these horses, hoping for this moment. Arrogate (sire), I had to breed a mare (Lutess) to him and now, she is a Grade I winner. It looks like she’s just getting better and better. She doesn’t know she’s a Cal-bred.” 

With the La Brea winner’s share of $180,000, Fun to Dream increased her earnings to $426,590 as she secured her fifth win from six career starts.

Ridden patiently by Mario Gutierrez, Awake At Midnyte, fourth at the half mile, leveled late in a big effort to finish second, 3 ¼ lengths in front of longshot Kirtenbosch.  Off at 7-1, Awake At Midnyte paid $6.60 and $4.40.

Ridden by 2019 Eclipse Champion Apprentice Kazushi Ka

Fractions on the race were 22.05, 44.80 and 1:09.27.

@jonathanstettin Your article re reading when a horse dead on board made me some $ just now. Untapable was, IMO, odds-on, but dead. TY!

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