26th of December to Remember: La Brea Stakes Mount Rushmore

December 26 promises to be one of the most important days in the history of 1/ST Racing. It’s opening day of the Classic Meet at Santa Anita, opening day of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park and host date of the Christmastide Day stakes card at Laurel Park. All month, 1/ST BET will prepare you for a 26th of December to Remember with special content.

Since 1974, the La Brea Stakes has been a winter fixture at Santa Anita for the fillies and mares. It’s been offered at 7 furlongs since 1978. 1/ST handicapper and historian Jeremy Plonk provides his Mount Rushmore of the 4 top performers to win this race.

Very Subtle (1988): Best known for beating the boys in the 1987 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, her next start came in January of 1988 in the La Brea and she furthered her reputation with a record 9-length margin of victory. She won 12 of 29 lifetime for $1.6 million, which included Grade 1 route victories at ages 2 and 3 before developing into a world-class sprinter. Mel Stute trained Very Subtle.

Spain (2000): Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner was able to cut back in trip and post a last-to-first La Brea Stakes rally over a field that included the star sprinter Chilukki. In a 105-day period late in 2000, she won the Turfway Breeders’ Cup, Breeders’ Cup Distaff and La Brea, while finishing second in the Spinster and Falls City in-between. Spain earned $3.5 million while winning major graded stakes at ages 3, 4 and 5 – and finished second in her BC Distaff title defense in 2001. D. Wayne Lukas trained Spain.

Indian Blessing (2008) {pictured above}: Odds-on La Brea winner was a multiple Grade 1 winner at ages 2 and 3, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies of 2007. Finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint as well as the Dubai Golden Shaheen vs. the boys at age 4. She won 10 times with 5 runner-up finishes from 16 starts and earned just shy of $3 million. Bob Baffert trained Indian Blessing.

Terlingua (1980): The final spot came down to a pair of D. Wayne Lukas trainees, Terlingua and Family Style. The racing resume for Family Style shined brighter, a 10-time winner of $1.5 million including 3 Grade 1s during her rookie season in 1985. But Terlingua gets the edge because of a lasting impact. Her La Brea score was her final of 7 career stakes victories, but the daughter of Secretariat would go on as a broodmare to produce the legendary Storm Cat, one of the most influential stallions in modern Thoroughbred history.

La Brea honorable mention: Family Style (1987), Unique Bella (2017), Switch (2010)


The 26th of December to Remember Stakes Lineup

Gulfstream Park | Championship Meet | Opening Day
$100K Tropical Park Derby
$100K Tropical Park Oaks

Santa Anita | Classic Meet | Opening Day
$300K G1 Malibu
$300K G1 American Oaks
$300K G1 La Brea
$200K G2 Mathis Mile
$200K G2 San Antonio
$200K G2 San Gabriel

Laurel Park | Christmastide Day Stakes
$100K Carousel
$100K Dave’s Friend
$100K Gin Talking
$100K Heft
$100K Robert Manfuso
$100K Willa On the Move

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