Off the board just once in 12 previous tries on the main track, Dare To Dream Stable's Spiced Perfection (Smiling Tiger) joined the likes of Alphabet Kisses (Alphabet Soup, 2004) and Teddy's Promise (Salt Lake, 2011) as fillies bred in the state of California to win the opening-day co-featured GI La Brea S. at Santa Anita.
Advantageously drawn widest in a field reduced to eight by the early scratching of Mo See Cal (Uncle Mo), Spiced Perfection landed in about fifth spot early on as odds-on and previously undefeated Dream Tree (Uncle Mo) strode forward to take a narrow advantage from Happy Like a Fool (Distorted Humor) to her inner and fellow Cal-bred Hot Autumn (Tiz Wonderful) to her outside. Committed to an overland run around the turn, Spiced Perfection had the leading trio in the crosshairs, a group which now included Emboldened (Elusive Quality)–who made a bold early bid up the rail entering the turn–but did not include Dream Tree, who was already a beaten rival three furlongs from the wire. Roused four deep into the stretch, Spiced Perfection descended on the leaders with an eighth of a mile to travel and edged clear in the final 50 yards. Hot Autumn stayed on well for second, while Dream Tree was effectively eased through the final three-sixteenths.
The victory was especially sweet for Spiced Perfection's connections, who had reportedly concluded a deal to sell the winner for $500,000 before the interested party backed out, according to winning trainer Brian Koriner.
“They made the offer before they ever looked at her and then took back the offer,” Koriner said. “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.'”
Having faced state-bred restricted company for the bulk of her career, Spiced Perfection was the narrow winner of this track's Evening Jewel S. in April and posted her first open victory in a Del Mar allowance Aug. 24. A good third in the Sept. 29 Unzip Me S. down the hillside turf course, she returned to Cal-bred competition for an easy success over a pair of next-out allowance winners in Del Mar's Betty Grable S. going this specialist trip Nov. 11.
Spiced Perfection is one of five black-type winners and the first at the graded level for her California-based stallion, a dual Grade I winner over sprint trips. Her year-younger full-brother Cruel Intention was the recent winner of the Golden State Juvenile S. for the partnership of Jim Rome's Jungle Racing LLC, LNJ Foxwoods and Nexus Racing Club. The winner's dam was purchased in foal to champion Acclamation for $7,500 at the 2014 Barretts January Sale.
Wednesday, Santa Anita
LA BREA S.-GI, $301,035, Santa Anita, 12-26, 3yo, f, 7f, 1:23.54, ft.
1–SPICED PERFECTION, 120, f, 3, by Smiling Tiger
1st Dam: Perfect Feat, by Pleasantly Perfect
2nd Dam: Bold Feat, by Capote
3rd Dam: Afleet Francais, by Afleet
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN, 1ST GRADE I WIN. ($6,500 Ylg '16
BAROCT; $50,000 2yo '17 BARMAR). O-Dare To Dream Stable
LLC (Michael Faber); B-Premier Thoroughbreds LLC (CA);
T-Brian J. Koriner; J-Flavien Prat. $180,000. Lifetime Record:
14-6-4-2, $622,405. *Full to Cruel Intention, SW, $140,000.
Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: B.
2–Hot Autumn, 120, f, 3, by Tiz Wonderful
1st Dam: Shesoprovocative, by Orientate
2nd Dam: Wildcat Orchid, by Pirate's Bounty
3rd Dam: Desert Orchid, by Saros (GB)
($11,000 Ylg '16 BARJAN; $12,000 3yo '18 BARJAN). O-Clarke
Cooper Family Trust and Ian Kruljac; B-H & E Ranch (CA);
T-Ian Kruljac. $60,000.
3–Emboldened, 120, f, 3, by Elusive Quality
1st Dam: Al Andaleeb, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Ajina, by Strawberry Road (Aus)
3rd Dam: Winglet, by Alydar
O/B-Godolphin LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $36,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, HD, 1 3/4. Odds: 5.40, 33.00, 10.00.
Also Ran: Happy Like a Fool, Heavenhasmynikki, Kelly's Humor, Cathedral Reader, Dream Tree. Scratched: Mo See Cal.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.