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ARCADIA, CA – Spiced Perfection was nothing short of perfect in Wednesday’s Grade 1, $300,000 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita. This was the first graded stakes victory for the three-year-old Cal-bred daughter of Smiling Tiger who finished off the year with 4 wins in 7 starts.
Hot Autumn broke best and shot to the front but was quickly joined by the 1-2 post-time favorite Dream Tree. Dream Tree fought to maintain the lead but was pressured on the outside by Hot Autumn and on the inside by Happy Like a Fool. The early pressure forced fractions of :22.68, :45.68, and 1:10.47. As they hit the turn the field bunched up and Dream Tree dropped back to eventually finish last, ending her career undefeated streak. Meanwhile, Spiced Perfection came four-wide around the turn and hit the top of the stretch in an even line with Hot Autumn, Emboldened, and Happy Like a Fool. Spiced perfection finished best, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Hot Autumn who nabbed the Cal-Bred exacta finishing a nose ahead of Emboldened in a photo for second. Happy Like a Fool was fourth.
“She ran big,” said jockey Flavien Prat. “She broke off nice and then I was outside in the clear. She was comfortable the entire way. Around the turn I was going pretty well so I thought I had a shot. AS soon as I asked her, she responded well and ran big.”
Spiced Perfection is owned by Dare to Dream Stable LLC and trained by Brian Koriner. She was purchased for $50,000 as a 2-year-old and has now amassed over $600,000 in career earnings.
“She really did it on her own,” said Koriner. “I was hoping she wasn’t too fresh and get tired late. It was a great move up, to have a little pedigree and win a Grade 1, I don’t know what that does for her but we’re happy.”
Spiced Perfection returned $12.80 to win, $6.20 to place, and $4.00 to show. Hot Autumn brought back $22.60 to place and $8.00 to show, while Emboldened paid $6.40 to show. Santa Anita’s new Roulette wager paid $2.40.
Scratched: Mo See Cal (trainer)
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