07/04/2016 6:04PM

Lost Bus scores convincingly in Spring Fever Handicap

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Benoit & Associates
Lost Bus and jockey Fernando Perez win the Spring Fever Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths Monday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Lost Bus is proving to be a tough filly on the racetrack and in the Santa Anita stable area in recent days.

On Monday, Lost Bus won the $98,000 Spring Fever Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares for her second stakes win of the year. A few days earlier, Lost Bus showed owner Terry Lovingier her cantankerous side. Lovingier was showing the filly to friends when he sidled up next to her outsider her stall.

“She got real friendly, and then she head-butted me and knocked me to the ground,” he said. “She’s got a bit of a nasty temper.”

In the Spring Fever Handicap at six furlongs, Lost Bus was nearly pushed around by her rivals but recovered to score a convincing win. Ridden by Fernando Perez, Lost Bus ($7) was checked on the backstretch, falling a few lengths behind 3-10 favorite Sunday Rules and 9-1 Codacious, who were dueling for the lead.

Perez had Lost Bus in third on the turn and urged her aggressively toward the leaders with a wide move. Entering the stretch, Lost Bus quickened noticeably and took the lead before the eighth pole.

“When she checked, I thought she might have trouble making up the difference,” Lovingier said.

Lost Bus finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of 15-1 Harlington’s Rose, who was 1 1/2 lengths in front of Codacious. Sunday Rules faded in the final furlong and finished fourth, 5 1/2 lengths behind Lost Bus.

Only four started after Sidepocket Run was scratched.

Lost Bus has been a bargain claim for Lovingier and trainer Gary Sherlock. Taken for $32,000 at Del Mar last November, Lost Bus has since won 3 of 7 starts and earned $298,748. She won the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes in a 64-1 upset in January for her first stakes win.

More recently, Lost Bus was third in the Grade 2 Great Lady M. Stakes at Los Alamitos in April and fourth in the Grade 1 Vanity Mile here on June 4 behind the champions Beholder and Stellar Wind.

“I think she’s coming into her own now,” Lovingier said.

Lost Bus, a 4-year-old filly by Bring the Heat, has won 5 of 15 starts and earned $410,818. She could return in the $100,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap, a Grade 3 at 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 17.