La Brea Stakes Betting Guide

The calendar year of racing for three-year-old fillies in the United States comes to a close with the Grade 1 La Brea. The race is typically staged in December annually, and below, we will go through the history of the event and the trends that could help identify the winner in 2021.

La Brea Event Details

The Le Brea Stakes is the final Grade 1 race of the calendar year for fillies in the United States. Fillies that are three are able to enter the prestigious race, which covers a distance of seven furlongs. The race takes place at Santa Anita, and there is a purse of $300,000 available.

La Brea Preview

The Le Brea is the final Grade 1 of the year for fillies that are aged three. The event takes place in December, which means that entries for the race will not be made until the middle of December at the earliest. However, we can assess the recent winners of the race to help pinpoint the trends that gamblers should be keeping an eye on for the 2021 renewal.

  • Fair Maiden (2020)

  • Hard Not To Love (2019)

  • Spiced Perfection (2018)

  • Unique Bella (2017)

  • Constellation (2016)

  • Birdatthewire (2015)

The La Brea Stakes has enjoyed a range of winning trainers over recent years, with Jerry Hollendorfer being the most successful of those. The trainer has won three of the previous seven races, with his most recent winner coming in 2017 with Unique Bella. Eoin Harty was the most recent winning trainer of the Grade 1, as he won with Fair Maiden in 2020.

It is important to consider the route that the most recent winner took to reach the La Brea Stakes. The 2020 winner of the race has started seven races before lining up for the La Brea. However, her record wasn’t littered with victories, as she was well beaten in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf before the start of 2020. In the same calendar year as she won the race, she made just two appearances before winning the La Brea.

Her only victory came in an allowance race at Churchill Downs. She was beaten by five and a half lengths on her last start before the La Brea in the Qatar Fort Springs Stakes.

Hard Not To Love, who won the race in 2019, only lined up on one start before the La Brea, as she narrowly won an allowance race at Santa Anita. Much of her strong form has come since the La Brea, as she used the Grade 1 as a stepping stone to Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes success in the following year.

The jockey could be the biggest indicator as to who could win the La Brea, as Mike Smith has an excellent recent record in the race. He has ridden the winner on two occasions in the past four years and is tied for the most victories in this race with five. His most recent victory came in 2019 with Hard Not To Love. Flavien Prat also has a good record in the race, as he has won the La Brea twice in the past five years, with his most recent victory coming in 2018 with Spiced Perfection.

La Brea Event Information

The La Brea Stakes was introduced onto the American racing calendar in 1974 and has always taken place at Santa Anita. The race forms part of the La Canada Series, which attracts fillies that have recently turned four that are looking to race over longer distances.

This race kickstarts the series before it is followed by the G-II El Encino Stakes and then the G-II La Canada Stakes, with the distance being increased with every passing race. Only three fillies have been able to win all races in the same series, with the most recent being Got Koko in 2003.

During the early years of the race, it was open to three-year-olds and was run over 1 1/16 miles. It has taken place on dirt throughout much of its history, with the only exceptions coming between 2007 and 2011, where it was run on a synthetic surface.

It was during this period that the speed record was set, as Switch won the race in 2010 in a time of 1:20.33. Mike Smith is the joint-most successful jockey in this race. He is tied for five wins alongside Chris McCarron and Gary Stevens. Bob Baffert has achieved the most wins as a trainer, as he has won this race on seven occasions.

La Brea Betting Information

The La Brea closes the Grade 1 action for the year for three-year-old fillies, and therefore is an exceptionally popular betting race. Some of the markets that you can bet online on the race can be found below.

  • Win: Betting on the winner of the La Brea is the most popular way to place a wager.

  • Place: Place bets can also be made on the La Brea, with selections needing to finish in the top two to get returns.

  • Exacta: Gamblers can predict the first two horses in the finishing order in the La Brea. However, selections must be accurate to get returns.