03/06/2004 12:00AM

House of Fortune romps


ALBANY, Calif. - House of Fortune ($2.40) was unchallenged in the stretch, winning the $77,025 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields by 17 lengths on Saturday.

A 3-year-old filly, House of Fortune faced three overmatched rivals in the 1 1/16-mile race. Although never asked to run, she clocked a final time of 1:41.71.

"It was like a glorified workout," winning jockey Ron Warren Jr. said. "I was shocked at how fast she ran. It didn't seem like she was even running."

House of Fortune was content to let Te Cuira Mucho set the pace. She sat outside the pacesetter and moved to the lead easily on the second turn. She was clear by three at the quarter pole and continued to stretch her advantage from there.

Church Editor, last early, was second, two lengths in front of Secret Corsage, who was rank on the first turn. Te Cuira Mucho faded to last.

Warren was impressed by House of Fortune's performance.

"She's got quality," he said. "She'll do whatever you want. She'll rate and then go. Only the good ones do that."

House of Fortune did duck a bit as she approached tire tracks in the lane, but Warren showed her the whip on the left side, and there was no serious problem.

House of Fortune earned $45,150 for her third stakes victory. A California-bred filly, owned by Arnold Zetcher LLC and trained by Ron McAnally, House of Fortunewas a $125,000 Barretts purchase last March. She now has career earnings of $267,094 with four wins in seven starts.