Spiced Perfection Starts Journey to Keeneland Breeders’ Cup
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
On resume alone, Spiced Perfection towers over the field for the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita on Saturday, January 11.
The five-year-old daughter of Smiling Tiger is already a two-time winner, including the grade 1 Madison last April, at the site of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup, Keeneland. Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable, and Peter Deutsch struggled with the decision of selling their multiple grade 1 winner and $1.2 million earner after last season, but when she was an RNA at the Keeneland November Sale at $1.35 million, the decision was taken out of their hands. Spiced Perfection immediately rewarded them again with a win in the Go for Wand Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct.
With nine wins in 20 starts, Spiced Perfection looks a formidable foe in the La Canada, but she has never won over the 1 1/16-mile distance. That could make her vulnerable to others in the field, such as fellow California-bred Queen Bee to You and Monmouth Oaks winner Horologist.
Queen Bee to You is coming off a win in the grade 3 Bayakoa at Los Alamitos over this distance. She has won three of her last six starts, including the Bertrando over males. She has only one win at Santa Anita in nine starts but has been top three seven times. Ruben Fuentes will ride for trainer Andrew Lerner.
Richard Baltas sends out Horologist, who was with John Mazza when she won the Monmouth Oaks in August. She also took the Smarty N Classy Handicap there in June before running third in the Cotillion (G1) in September. Off since October, Horologist makes her California debut in this and will be ridden by Joe Bravo.
Trainer Bob Baffert has won this race three times, most recently with Vale Dori in 2017. He sends out a pair of 4-1 runners for the Baoma Corp in Der Lu and Message. Der Lu is coming off a win over a mile here on October 6, which saw her score by nearly five lengths. Drayden Van Dyke will ride the $900,000 purchase by Orb. Message, a $300,000 daughter of Warrior’s Reward, was a nine-length allowance winner at Los Alamitos in December, and has worked five furlongs twice leading up to this race. Mike Smith climbs aboard for the first time; he also was aboard Vale Dori.
Zusha, Kaydetre, and Starr of Quality round out the field of eight. Bet all the action during the Santa Anita 2020 winter/spring meeting with TVG.
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