Santa Anita will get just one chance to make a first impression this
winter, so in addition to the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes on Sunday, there are
three other stakes on the opening-day card, including the Grade 1 La
Brea, the female equivalent of the Malibu, a $250,000 race, for
3-year-old fillies going seven furlongs on dirt.
The La Brea will share the opening-day spotlight, and even with
divisional leaders Blind Luck and Evening Jewel bypassing the race, it
came up with an exceptional field, highlighted by Switch and Champagne
d’Oro, the second- and fourth-place finishers in the Breeders’ Cup Filly
and Mare Sprint, and the fleet Pica Slew, who is making her first start
on this circuit and for trainer John Shirreffs.
The La Brea is the first leg of the three-race La Canada series.
Switch won the Hollywood Oaks earlier this year, then most recently
gave Zenyatta a scare when second in the Lady’s Secret at Hollywood Park
before rallying to finish second to Dubai Majesty in the Breeders’ Cup.