2022 TVG La Brea Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

Three-year-old dirt fillies get one last chance to compete at the top level against their own age and sex in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (G1), which runs Monday, December 26 at Santa Anita!

Three-year-old dirt fillies get one last chance to compete at the top level against their own age and sex in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (G1), which runs Monday, December 26 at Santa Anita! The race drew a field of eight, four of whom are already graded winners and four who seek those honors for the first time in their career.

The field is led by Hot Peppers, a New York shipper who is a Grade 3 winner at six and a half furlongs and Grade 1-placed at the same specialist seven-furlong trip as the La Brea. Under the Stars is a graded stakes winner at this course and distance, as she won the Santa Ynez (G2) back in January. Though the other graded winners in the field have shown quality, their classiest form has come at two turns, meaning the La Brea may require an adjustment. Keep reading to meet the whole field, find out recent trends, and find out how to watch and wager on the race online!

La Brea Stakes 2022 Information

Race Date: Monday, December 26, 2022
Track: Del Mar
Post Time: 2:30 p.m. Pacific time
Distance: seven furlongs on the dirt
Age/Sex: three-year-old fillies
Where to Watch: FanDuel TV
Where to Bet: and FanDuel Racing

La Brea Stakes Odds

With the upcoming holiday, Santa Anita drew the 2022 La Brea stakes well in advance, on Wednesday, December 21. Morning lines were released the next day, and they may provide some clues about what the odds will look like come post time. However, the true odds will fluctuate all the way until post time, so make sure to keep watching FanDuel TV for updated odds and information.

These are the contenders in the 2022 La Brea Stakes in order of post position, along with their trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds.

Post Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Under the Stars Bob Baffert Flavien Prat 7-2
2 Hot Peppers Rudy Rodriguez Tyler Gaffalione 8-1
3 Ganadora Bob Baffert John Velazquez 4-1
4 Midnight Memories Bob Baffert Ramon Vazquez 5-2
5 Ain't Easy Phil D'Amato Joel Rosario 6-1
6 Fun to Dream Bob Baffert Juan Hernandez 5-1
7 Kirstenbosch John Sadler Keith Abrahams 15-1
8 Awake at Midnyte Doug O'Neill Mario Gutierrez 8-1

Keep in mind that the more information you have, the better decisions you can make about who to bet and what odds to take on them. FanDuel TV gives you up-to-the-minute updates on race day odds, as well as the latest news about horses as race day gets closer. That information can help you get the right value and make the smartest wagers.

La Brea Stakes Prep Results

As is often the case for the final race of the year for three-year-olds, horses come into the La Brea from a wide range of different races; in fact, no two horses started in the same race last out.

Only one La Brea horse was last seen in the Breeders’ Cup: after running second to Midnight Memories in the Zenyatta (G2), she pressed on to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) but had some trip trouble and finished a long-looking last. She will have to turn the tables on Midnight Memories, who skipped Keeneland. Midnight Memories has not raced since her 3 ¼-length victory over Awake at Midnyte in the Zenyatta.

Under the Stars also comes out of graded company against older; she ran second to champion Ce Ce in the Chillingworth on October 22. Ganadora, yet another stablemate in the Bob Baffert barn, has not won in graded company yet but wired the Dark Mirage, a dirt mile against older at Los Alamitos, when she was last seen September 18.

Hot Peppers comes out of graded company last out, but has not faced older. She last ran fourth in the Prioress (G2) on September 2. Kirstenbosch last ran in a three-year-old stakes as well, running second as the favorite in the Zia Park Oaks on November 22. Fun to Dream also comes out of stakes company; she beat older in the Betty Grable last out, going seven furlongs at Del Mar, but all those foes were bred in the Sunshine State.

Ain’t Easy is the only one coming from allowance company; she tried turf and finished third in a second-level race against older horses on November 19 at Del Mar.

La Brea Stakes Contenders

Under the Stars: One of four entrants for trainer Bob Baffert, Under the Stars has shown class at both sprint and route distances. Her most recent graded win came at two turns, but she won the Santa Ynez over this course and distance, and she ran a credible second behind older champion Ce Ce going 6 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita last out. With tactical versatility, good Santa Anita form, and good extended-sprint form, she should be a major contender.

Hot Peppers: She has rested since a disappointing fourth as the favorite in the Prioress in September. But, she ran very well off of her last break, romping in the Jersey Girl at Belmont before taking down the Victory Ride (G3). She has not yet traveled west, but trainer Rudy Rodriguez does well with his shippers, and she has the crackling early speed to be a good fit for Santa Anita.

Ganadora: The second of the Baffert brigade, Ganadora has raced just four times. She was well beaten in her only graded outing, though that came over a two-turn trip. She defeated older foes in her last start despite a poor beginning, and even though she loses regular rider Juan Hernandez to Fun to Dream, she gets a strong replacement in John Velazquez. She will have to improve from a speed figure perspective, but with so few starts so far that is a possibility. She also won her first two starts at 6 ½ furlongs, boding well for handling seven.

Midnight Memories: This Bob Baffert trainee has been consistent, winning four of her five starts, with her only bobble coming when running third after acting out in the paddock before an allowance in July. She is already a graded winner against older company, romping in the Zenyatta (G2) in her last start, though that field was not the strongest. The biggest question is how she will cut back against some more proven sprinters at a short price, as all of her graded form came in two-turn races. Her first two victories going 6 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita bode well, though, and her fast maiden win at that trip suggests she could be a classy sprinter.

Ain’t Easy: This Phil D’Amato trainee looked a rising star last year, winning both of her races, including the Chandelier (G2). However, in five starts at age three, she has finished no better than third. She has tried routes and sprints, dirt and turf, and the jury is still out about whether she really trained on with the better horses in her class. She comes second off the layoff and has a solid enough record at Santa Anita, but needs a big step forward to have more than a minor exotics chance.

Fun to Dream: This California-bred Bob Baffert trainee has won four of her five races, with the only loss coming in an open first-level allowance in September, where she veered out, crossed the wire second, and was disqualified to ninth. Three of her four wins have come at one turn, including a California-bred stakes race in July going seven furlongs at Del Mar. She has a good stalking style and the distance suits, though she will have to dredge up one of her best efforts in her first open stakes try.

Kirstenbosch: She has been a solid-enough second-tier California horse this year, winning a maiden special on the grass and a first-level allowance on dirt at Del Mar, and picking up a few stakes placings along the way. However, most of her form has come at two turns. Her only one-turn try came at this course and distance back in May, when she finished second in the Angel’s Flight after starting slowly. Starting slowly is a continuing pattern for this John Sadler trainee, whose best hope looks like a piece underneath.

Awake at Midnyte: The Breeders’ Cup was a bridge too far, but she has been plucky in stakes company at ages two and three, snagging graded placings in three California races, plus a third in the Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds. Most of this form has come over two turns, but she was a good second to Under the Stars in the Santa Ynez this year and also won a first-level allowance going 6 ½ furlongs in September. Perhaps her best outing ever was that Santa Ynez, her only try at the course and distance, suggesting she could provide good exotic value.

La Brea Stakes Past Winners Past Performances

Looking through the race’s recent history, there is no individual key race that produces La Brea winners. In the last ten years, winners have come out of seven different stakes races, with the three other winners coming out of either second- or third-level allowances. Last-out performance is just as much of a varied picture: four of the last ten winners won their last race before the La Brea, but the other six ran off the board.

Horses who are not yet graded stakes winners often win the La Brea. Seven of the last ten winners of the La Brea won it as their first graded stakes victory, and three of those counted the La Brea as their first stakes victory of any kind. Among those ten only Sam’s Sister (2014) was making her stakes debut, though both Spiced Perfection (2018) and Hard Not to Love (2019) won it in their first graded try.

Only one of those last ten winners has come straight out of a Breeders’ Cup race; Unique Bella (2017) won it after finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Fair Maiden (2020) won it after finishing fourth in a three-year-old fillies’ sprint stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard

La Brea Stakes Undercard

The La Brea is the eighth of ten races on the Santa Anita Saturday card. It is one of six graded races on the card, which also includes the Malibu (G1), American Oaks (G1), San Antonio (G2), San Gabriel (G2), and Santa Anita Mathis Mile (G2). With so many classy horses kicking off their winter campaigns Saturday at the Great Race Place, make plans to watch and wager all day long with FanDuel and TVG!

Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park began as a part of Rancho Santa Anita. After a series of owners, it was acquired by horse breeder Lucky Baldwin, who built the original Santa Anita Park in 1904. That facility closed in 1909 after a California law banning racetrack gambling, and burned down in 1912. Horse racing became legal again in California in 1933, after which the Los Angeles Turf Club formed. They built a new track, the present Santa Anita, which opened on Christmas Day in 1934.

Santa Anita's main track is a one-mile dirt oval. The turf track inside of it is a 0.9-mile grass oval. A unique feature of that Santa Anita turf track is the downhill course, which juts out to the northwest over the far turn, crosses over the dirt, and then joins the turf oval. Santa Anita runs 6 ½-furlong turf sprints over that course, and also uses it as a start for some of its longer turf routes.

La Brea Stakes FAQ

Q: When is the La Brea Stakes?
A: Monday, December 26 at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Q: Where is the La Brea Stakes?
A: It takes place at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.

Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the La Brea Stakes?
A: Trainer Bob Baffert has the most wins in the La Brea Stakes. He has won the race eight times during his career. His first victory came in 1992, though he most recently won it in 2021 with Kalypso.

Q: Who is the favorite for the La Brea Stakes?
A: Midnight Memories, trained by Bob Baffert, is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the La Brea. She should be the actual favorite come post time, given that Baffert horses take money, and her local form is good.

Q: Who is the best La Brea Stakes jockey?
A: Three jockeys have five wins in the La Brea: Chris McCarron, Mike Smith, and Gary Stevens. However, none of these riders are entered in this year’s event. Among jockeys riding in 2022, three have won this race twice: Flavien Prat (who rides Under the Stars), John Velazquez (who rides Ganadora), and Joel Rosario (who rides Ain’t Easy).

Q: Who won the La Brea Stakes in 2021?
A: Kalypso won the 2021 La Brea Stakes for trainer Bob Baffert and jockey John Velazquez. Baffert has entered four in the race this year, and Velazquez joins Baffert again this year to ride Ganadora.