La Brea Stakes Predictions, Betting Odds, Top Picks (Santa Anita)

La Brea Stakes Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
R Chirinos M Puype
M Gutierrez B Cecil
J Velazquez B Baffert
F Prat B Baffert
5 MISSY P. 5/1
M Smith R Mandella
J Ortiz D O’Neill
J J Hernandez J Sadler

Best Bets for the La Brea Stakes

Here are my plays ($45 in total)

$15 Win, Place & Show – Canoodling = $45

If you’re playing only to win, go with my upset pick Canoodling (8/1).

La Brea Stakes

The Bob Baffert-trained Private Mission looks to bounce back from a disappointing finish in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff when she headlines a field of seven sophomore fillies in Sunday’s Grade 1 La Brea Stakes on opening day at Santa Anita.

Cutting back to 7 furlongs, the daughter of Into Mischief looks to have found a more manageable spot in the $300,000 feature. Before fading badly out of contention in the Breeders’ Cup after setting a very fast pace, Private Mission had won the Grade 2 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita and the Grade 3 Torrey Pines at Del Mar in her previous two starts

Chief among her competition in the La Brea will be the streaking Livingmybestlife. Trained by John Sadler, the speedy daughter of The Big Beast will be making her graded stakes debut after a pair of front-running scores in listed stakes wins. Most recently she won the one-mile Seashell Stakes at Del Mar, and before that she won the 6 furlong Lucky Spell Stakes at Los Alamitos.

Baffert also trains another factor in the La Brea in Kalypso. She was a winner of the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita in her first start of the year but has not started in eight months, since finishing way back in the Grade 2 Eight Belles at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks day.

La Brea Stakes Analysis

Private Mission

The winner of two impressive graded stakes races before tackling the big mares in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, this Bob Baffert-trained filly is the one they will all have to beat on Sunday. The Distaff clearly did not go her way after facing early pressure from the likes of Letruska and Shedaresthedevil early, while running extremely fast fractions. It’s no wonder that she faded out of contention badly. If that effort did not take something out of her mentally, she will be tough to beat on Sunday. Having said that, it can be sometimes tough to bounce back after such a discouraging loss, and there is another speed in the race. She is the most likely winner, but probably still worth taking a shot against.


A winner of 4-of-7 lifetime, this daughter of The Big Beast comes in off two straight-stakes victories. This will be a step up in class, though, from those listed stakes at Los Alamitos and Del Mar. A true speed horse, she will also need to prove that she can handle serious pace pressure, with both of the Baffert fillies possessing plenty of early speed. She has clearly become a very nice filly since beginning her career in maiden claiming, but I am skeptical that she can keep her winning streak going against this group, with pace pressure, and at 7 furlongs.


The second from the Baffert barn, this filly has already won two sprint stakes at Santa Anita, including the Grade 2 Santa Ynez at 7 furlongs. That victory came way back on January 3, though. She ran decently to hit the board in a couple of graded stakes going a mile or farther after the win, but bled and was eased in the Grade 2 Eight Belles in Kentucky on April 30. Now away from the races for eight months, she returns in a Grade 1 race. It’s not an easy place to come back, but given her proven ability in stakes racing over the track, she must be respected for her Hall of Fame trainer.

Missy P.

A most impressive winner of her career debut back in March for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, she has only made two starts since. One came on dirt, when she finished second as the favorite in a short field of the Angel Flight Stakes, and the other on the turf, against the boys in the Desert Code Stakes. Both of her stakes attempts were losses, but not poor performances. She has been away since, which is now over six months, which may have given her time to mature. Fresh and talented, she is dangerous in here if she is sharp enough to run her best first time off the layoff.


This daughter of Pioneerof the Nile has been running in New Mexico of late where she has won four straight times in sprint races. Her only loss in the last several months came in a stakes race against colts when stretched out to 8 ½ furlongs. With two dominant wins in her last two, she is coming up to this big test in the best form of her career. Likely to be dismissed by bettors because of where she has been racing, I think her recent form will actually put her in with a real shot here. I also like her ability to stalk and pounce behind fast fractions. Despite moving up to the big leagues on Sunday, I believe she is a filly with a real chance at the upset.

Brilliant Cut

A winner of her last start, which came in a 6-furlong allowance race at Santa Anita, this daughter of Speightstown gets another shot in graded stakes company after third and fourth place finishes in a pair to begin the year. In both of those races, she was beaten by Kalypso, but now has the recency factor in her favor this time around. Having said that, she really has not seemed to take much of a move forward since those losses, and this test only looks tougher. With the right trip, perhaps she can get into the exotics, but overall, I like others better.

Eddie’s New Dream

This gray daughter of Square Eddie has proved to be a consistent sort, finishing first or second in 7-of-10 career starts. Most of those have come against fellow California-breds, however. She did beat open company last time, but that came in an allowance race going 8 ½ furlongs on the grass. This test promises to be significantly more difficult, and given the fact that she was unable to win a stakes race in three tries on the dirt against statebreds, it’s hard to be optimistic about her chances in the Grade 1 La Brea.

How to Watch the La Brea Stakes

La Brea Stakes Race Information
What La Brea Stakes (Grade 1)
Location Santa Anita
Time Sunday, December 26 — 5:30pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $300,000


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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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