Free Santa Anita Picks LaBrea Stakes

by Horstradamus

posted on December 29, 2011 in Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, News, | No Comments >>

As we get ready to turn a new page and welcome the year 2012 the last Grade 1 race of 2011 will be run at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, December 31st.  The LaBrea Stakes at 7 furlongs for 3-year-old fillies features a cast of 9 including stand out horses Turbulent Descent who is looking for her third Grade 1 victory of the year and a chance to secure the title of Champion Female Sprinter at this year’s Eclipse Awards.

An important handicapping note for those betting on the LaBrea Stakes is that there has been a notable early speed bias at Santa Anita with 46% percent of races at 7 furlongs being won wire to wire.  Over the previous week the bias has been even stronger with all three 7 furlong dirt races being won on the front end.Santa Anita Park Logo

Here is a closer look at the entire field.

1. Home Sweet Aspen

This runner for top trainer John Sadler hasn’t finished worse than second in her six previous starts except for a failed experiment over the turf at Hollywood Park 4 weeks ago.  Home Sweet Aspen got up for place by a nose in the Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes on derby day at Churchill Downs in May her only start at 7 furlongs.  Her early speed running style will give her an advantage over the main track at Santa Anita.

2. Turbulent Descent

The class of the field and proven at Santa Anita after a win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks back in March.  While Turbulent Descent didn’t come through as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare sprint after being roughed up out of the starting gate.  Only real caveat is that her running style is strictly off the pace but with her speed she should be able to win with a clean trip.  Recent workouts suggest she is still at the top of her game.

3. May Day Rose

A Grade 3 winner who is coming off of a 50+ day layoff after finishing second in the Grade 2 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs.  May Day Rose likes to go for the lead right out of the starting gate but doesn’t seem to have the same speed as others in this race.

4. Include Me Out

Include Me Out is taking a huge step up in class with only her only victory against winners coming in an optional claimer at Santa Anita as the odds-on favorite.  Doesn’t fit based on class.

5. Sarah’s Secret

This Grade 2 winner has been in a bit of a funk lately finishing off the board in two of her last 3 starts and only holding on for the show position by less than a length in the Grade 2 Las Palmas which had a short field of 5 runners.  The cutback to 7 furlongs may help Sarah’s Secret and a surface switch to dirt may be just what the doctor ordered.  Though this will be her first start on conventional dirt she does have two wins on the synthetic at Del Mar and Oak Tree at Hollywood Meet from 2010.

6. Sugarinthemorning

Hasn’t raced in more than 2 months, and is hard to place in this group after running in overnight stakes restricted to state bred horses.  Sugarinthemorning is also making a switch from turf to dirt after performing well on the synthetic surface at Del Mar earlier in the summer.

7. Great Hot

Great Hot is looking for a comeback after finishing second to last in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf back in November.  She did manage to finish third in the Lady’s Secret Stakes – also a Grade 1 at Santa Anita but will need to step it up to be a threat here.  A recent blow-out at 3 furlongs suggests she’s on the muscle.

8. California Nectar

Another listed stakes type horse who doesn’t figure as a threat against the better competition based on class.  Only ray of light is that California Nectar has back to back wins over 7 furlongs at Santa Anita albeit against lesser competition.

9. Teddy’s Promise

Teddy’s Promise comes out of back to back wins at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita but is outclassed by the other more likely winners.  This filly has run at all three Southern California tracks over every single surface except the Hollywood Turf.

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