La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita - $300,000 (G1)

Dave Bond
Updated: December 30, 2011 -- 3:55 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV -- The $300,000 La Brea Stakes comes our way on Saturday, December 31 at Santa Anita Park. 3-year-old fillies are featured in this 7-furlong race in the first of three legs in Santa Anita's "La Cañada Series". The race features a number of top contenders, the most exciting being Turbulent Decent who has a real shot at the Eclipse Award in the 3-year-old Filly category.

The field for Saturday's $300,000 Grade I La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

Post

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

Home Sweet Aspen

J. Rosario

J. Sadler

2

Turbulent Descent

D. Flores

M. Puype

3

May Day Rose

M. Garcia

B. Baffert

4

Include Me Out

J. Talamo

R. Ellis

5

Sarah's Secret

R. Bejarano

K. Walsh

6

Sugarinthemorning

G. Gomez

R. McAnally

7

Great Hot

C. Sutherland

A. Avila

8

California Nectar

H. Berrios

D. O'Neill

9

Teddy's Promise

V. Espinoza

R. Ellis

The Contenders:

Turbulent Decent - Turbulent Decent is the most seasoned and most highly decorated of the Phillies going on Saturday. She has two Grade 1 wins (Santa Anita Oaks and Test Stakes at Saratoga Race Course) and up until November she hadn't finished worse than second in any race she had entered. The Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint put an end to that streak in a race that Turbulent Decent was heavily favored. Still, with $858,350 in career earnings, the Mike Puype trained, David Flores ridden Turbulent Decent is the class of this field.

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Home Sweet Aspen - La Brea will act as a Grade 1 debut for Home Sweet Aspen. This John Sadler trained Philly most recently won the Louis Rowan Stakes here in October and has finished no worse than second in any of her six races except for a race on turf at Hollywood Park a month or so ago (a disappointing last-place finish). Home Sweet Aspen is quick out of the gate and could realistically contend on Saturday.

Sugarinthemorning - is the winner of two minor stakes but has not raced in 2 months. She is racing on dirt for the first time after switching from turf. She is coming off a pedestrian fifth-place effort in the John Deere California Cup Distaff Stakes at the end of October but does hold victories at The Manhattan Beach Stakes at Hollywood Park on June 18 and the Fleet Treat Stakes on July 30 at Del Mar.

Great Hot - the winner of the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland in October, she finished a disappointing 11th after a bad start in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint last month. Great Hot's starting position from post 7 is beneficial according to trainer A.C. Avila.

The Others:

Sarah's Secret - won the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap on turf last June and starts from post 5. Sarah's Secret has had a difficult time of late finishing out of the money in two of her last three races - the other being a third place finish in the Grade 2 Las Palmas Stakes in a race that featured a field of 5.

May Day Rose - a four-time stakes winner, was fifth behind Turbulent Descent in the Santa Anita Oaks. She is coming off an almost two month layoff and may not have the speed to compete.

Include Me Out - just may be outclassed in this race - a Grade 1 race may leave her out of her element. She does hold a victory at the optional claimer at Santa Anita against lesser talent.

Teddy's Promise - Like Include Me Out, Teddy's Promise is outclassed in this one. She holds recent victories at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita but is in tough against far better competition in the La Brea Stakes.

California Nectar - She has shown that she can win over 7-furlongs with back-to-back wins at this distance at Santa Anita. But California Nectar is in totally different company at the La Brea Stakes. She does have some experience against the more prominent horses in the field - a fifth place finish in the Las Virgenes Stakes last February, in a race in which Turbulent Descent was second.

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