Dare to Dream Stable's Spiced Perfection made the leap from California-bred competition to Grade 1 winner in Wednesday's $300,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Wednesday, the first of four graded stakes races on the Arcadia, Calif., track's opening day program.
Spiced Perfection defeated another California-bred Hot Autumn, by 1 1/4 lengths, with Emboldened third and Happy Like a Fool fourth in the field of nine. Previously unbeaten Dream Tree, the 3-5 favorite, showed speed for the opening half mile, then faded to last, beaten more than 25 lengths, for her first defeat in six career starts.
Spiced Perfection covered seven furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.54 and paid $12.80 to win.
Trained by Brian Koriner and ridden by Flavien Prat, Spiced Perfection is a daughter of Smiling Tiger out of Perfect Feat, by Pleasantly Perfect, bred in California by Premier Thoroughbreds LLC.
The La Brea was the first graded stakes attempt for Spiced Perfection, who has raced primarily against state-bred competition since making her debut as a 2-year-old in June 2017. She tallied three stakes wins against California-breds, most recently winning the Betty Grable Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 11.
Hot Autumn jumped out to the early lead in the La Brea, but was soon overtaken by Dream Tree, who went the opening quarter mile in :22.68 and the half in :45.68. Spiced Perfection broke alertly from the outside No. 9 post position and was just behind the leading pair while well off the rail down the backstretch and around the turn.
Prat rallied Spiced Perfection four wide into the stretch, six furlongs clocked in 1:10.47, and she wore down her rivals down the lane for the win, her sixth in 14 starts.
“Brian didn't say much beforehand,” said Prat. “She's been training well and I thought her last race was really nice so we were confident today. She's really push-button. I really thought she'd run well today.”
“She really did it on her own,” said Koriner. “[Flavien Prat] even had to slow her down on the backside because she was running up there. I was just hoping she wasn't too fresh and get tired late. It was a great move up, to have little pedigree and win a Grade I, I don't know what that does for her but we're happy. She's got over half a million dollars now so that always helps.
“This was her last shot against 3-year-old fillies, we almost ran at Golden Gate for $75,000 a month ago and it would've been smashing everything into her so it was worth a shot here. In the meantime, we got an offer for her for half a million dollars and they were going to let me keep her. They made the offer before they ever looked at her and then took back the offer. It was a done deal and they backed out. So it was good to see her win after somebody said, 'No we don't want her.'”
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