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Ocean Fun Upsets Pfizer Starter Allowance Challenge

Former $5,000 claimer earns a big payday at Los Alamitos.

October 29, 2011

Ocean Fun, a former graded stakes performer, returned to the top of his game on Saturday night at Los Alamitos and scored a 12-1 upset in the $75,000 Pfizer Starter Allowance Challenge Championship. The 4-year-old Ocean Runaway gelding, who was ridden by Vicente Grajeda for trainer Rafael Orozco, prevailed by a half-length in :17.414 for 350 yards.

"It was a really tough field, but we were saving this horse for this race,” said owner Edilberto Estrada of Albuquerque. “Victor Rodriguez, who trained him in New Mexico, did a very good job with him."

Ocean Fun, who finished second in the Manor Downs Futurity (G1) and third in the Manor Downs Derby (G3), was claimed for $5,000 in March of this year at Remington Park and then acquired by Estrada. After being claimed, Ocean Fun won his trial and the final of the $27,090 Pfizer SunRay Park Starter Allowance Challenge in Farmington, New Mexico, to earn a trip to Los Alamitos.

"I rode him twice in Farmington,” said Grajeda. “The trials he won easily, but I had to ask him for a little more in the final. I was a little worried because he was calmer than usual, but he stood in the gates perfectly; the guy who was heading the horse did a great job."

Bred in Texas by Muller Racing LLC, Ocean Fun is the first starter out of the unraced Runaway Winner mare Runaway Fun. The gelding now has five wins in 24 career starts with a bankroll of $131,558.

Odds-on favorite Watch Out Bambino, a winner of four races this year, took second for owner Ruben Corral. Speedin Streak shipped in from Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma to grab third for owners Lynn and Betty Bettinger.

Corona With Lime, Eyes Movin, Chrome Version, Get It Right, Sweet Separations and Snow Patrol completed the field.