Updated on 09/17/2011 9:51AM

House Party from last to first in the Old Hat

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
House Party ($5.60) rallies from the outside to a 1 1/2-length victory in the the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - House Party unexpectedly lost contact with her field during the early stages of Sunday's $100,000 then finished full of run to post a 1 1-2 length victory over even money favorite Chimichurri in the six furlong dash for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park.

House Party dropped nearly 10 lengths off the contested pace of Eternal Cup and Follow Me Home who disputed fractions of :21.47 seconds and 44.64 for the opening quarter and half mile of the Old Hat. House Party commenced her rally leaving the backstretch, swung to the extreme outside to continue the bid entering the stretch then easily wore down and pulled away from Chimichurri in the final sixteenth.

Chimichurri was forced four wide when sent up to challenge the dueling leaders entering the stretch, gained a short advantage between calls inside the eighth pole but proved no match for the winner. Glorious Miss was third followed by the tiring Follow Me Home and Eternal Cup in a field that scratched down from seven to only five starters due to the defections of Ebony Breeze and Kitty Knight.

House Party paid $5.60 as the second choice. Her final time was a rather disappointing 1:10.81 over a fast track.

"She has a lot of speed and I was surprised to see her so far back although I was glad she was back there when I looked at those fractions," said Allen Jerkens who trains House Party for her owner-breeder Joseph Shields Jr. "I was also surprised at the time of the race. Maidens ran faster earlier in the day but we'll take it. Maybe the track got slower as the day got longer."

Jose Santos rode House Party to victory, replacing the injured Jorge Chavez.

"I was planning to be in the last part of the group but I didn't think I'd be absolutely last," said Santos. "By the time she started picking it up about the five sixteenths pole she really started running."

Harlan's Holiday rallied to a popular 1 3-4 length victory over Bonus Pack in Sunday's co-feature, a $46,000 allowance race which serves as a prep for the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on Feb. 22.