La Brea Stakes 2023 Picks

CA-bred filly Big Pond tries to make the grade in the La Brea (Benoit Photo)

By Jarrod Horak

The La Brea Stakes is one of three Grade 1 events on the 11-race opening day program at Santa Anita Park on Tuesday, December 26, 2023. The La Brea is for 3-year-old fillies traveling seven panels on the main track, and the purse is $300,000. It goes as 10th race on Dec. 26 and the ten entrants will break from the gate at approximately 3:30 PM PT.

La Brea Stakes 2023 Picks & Final Time Ratings

Daddysruby returned to dirt and easily wired the field in a local six panel optional-claiming affair on Oct. 27. She is 2-for-2 at Santa Anita and should be all over the pace under Juan Hernandez. She does not need the early lead to succeed. 

Howl pressed and romped as the favorite from post 12 in her dirt sprint bow at Keeneland on Oct. 28, and the runner-up was a next-out winner. She was the overwhelming favorite in the Safely Kept Stakes at Laurel on Nov. 25, and she stalked, opened up by 2 1/2 lengths, and lugged in and scored by a length. 

Big Pond won her first two dirt sprints vs. California-breds including the Fleet Treat at this distance on July 27. She chased fast fractions before retreating in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Aug. 19, and turned back, returned to dirt, and was clearly second best as the even money favorite on Nov. 25. She owned competitive numbers and figures to stalk the pace under Frankie Dettori. 

Royal Spa is 3-for-3 in dirt sprints and the Kentucky shipper shows a trio of local works for this. Irad Ortiz Jr. is her new pilot and she figures to stalk and pounce at a hint of a price.  

Ice Dancing smartly captured the Grade 3 Santa Ynez at this course/distance on Jan. 8. She disappeared for more than nine months and returned with a runner-up finish as the strong favorite on Oct. 28. Richard Mandella’s Frosted filly still has upside. 

Clearly Unhinged owns early-pressing versatility and she drew outside the other speed horses. She won two local dirt sprints earlier this year. She landed the place in two of four stakes starts and Umberto Rispoli guided her to a win in June.

The La Brea field also includes Blessed Touch, Fast and Shiny, Bangs, and Satin Doll. 

La Brea Stakes 2023 Picks

Check out my La Brea Stakes 2023 picks video below.