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Fair Maiden Skewers La Brea
Credit: Ernie Belmonte

Fair Maiden Skewers La Brea

ARCADIA, CA – Godolphin homebred Fair Maiden launched a monstrous bid off the far turn and skewered her rivals as a 20/1 longshot in Saturday’s $300,000 La Brea Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

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Fair Maiden broke from post 9 under Ricky Gonzalez and lingered in the back half of the field of 10 sophomore fillies.

Biddy Duke gunned straight to the lead and set uncontested opening fractions of :21.88 and :44.59 while a wall of runners sat just behind her down the backstretch.

Golden Principal advanced five-wide in the far turn and took the lead at the top of the stretch, but Fair Maiden tipped out and rapidly gained ground.

Taking over near the 3/16 pole, the Eoin Harty-trained Fair Maiden drew off powerfully to win the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:22.69.

Credit: Ernie Belmonte

“Eoin said she was doing really really well, to just put her in the race,” Gonzalez said. “There were quite a few speeds. ‘Just put her in the race, get her clear, and get her to the outside.’ As soon as we hit the stretch, she went on the outside and was just full of run.”

The win was Gonzalez’s first in a Grade 1.

“I was just so happy and excited to just ride these kinds of horses, it feels great,” Gonzalez said. “I’m very thankful to Eoin and all the trainers for all the opportunities.”

Golden Principal saved second by 1 1/2 lengths over Merneith, the highest-finishing of the four Bob Baffert runners. The 2/1 favorite Finite rallied from last to take fourth by a head each over Secret Keeper and Provocation.

Himiko, Biddy Duke, Motivated Seller, and Princess Mo completed the order of finish.

Stellar Sound was scratched.

Fair Maiden’s win was her second in her past 3 starts following a 6-furlong dirt sprint at Churchill Downs against optional claimers and improved her overall record to 8-4-1-1. Winner of the Catch a Glimpse Stakes on Woodbine’s turf last year, the Street Boss filly has now earned $321,278.

“I’ve been watching Ricky ride since he came down here and I think he’s the next superstar,” Harty said. “He’s brave and he puts his horse in a spot to win. I grab him in every time I can because I think he’s a world-class rider, and today was his first Grade 1 win.”

Duopoly returned $14 to win, $7.60 to place, and $4.60 to show. Going to Vegas brought back $14 to place and $7 to show, while Sharing paid $3 to show.

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