Versatile filly Great Hot, winner of Keeneland's Raven Run Stakes (gr. II) last fall, will stretch out once again in the $150,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 22.
Great Hot will face seven opponents in the 1 1/16-mile La Canada, which is restricted to 4-year-old fillies. Trained by A.C. Avila, the Brazilian-bred daughter of Orientate is coming off a closing third-place finish in the seven-furlong La Brea Stakes (gr. I) Dec. 31.
“Distance is no problem,” said Avila, who trains the the dark bay/brown filly for her breeder and owner Coudelaria Jessica. “She’s run at a mile three times and was third in the grade I Lady’s Secret at a mile and a sixteenth. She’s versatile. She can go (on the pace), she can sit, she can do whatever she wants.”
Great Hot won three of eight starts in the United States last year after being transferred from Brazil. Following her third-place effort in the Lady's Secret Oct. 1, Avila shipped her to Keeneland three weeks later for the seven-furlong Raven Run. There she nipped Groupie Doll by a head in a determined effort over Polytrack.
Wheeled right back in the Nov. 4 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I), also at seven furlongs, Great Hot encountered traffic difficulties and faded to finish 11th.
After a seven-week freshening she returned in the La Brea, where she was shuffled back at the three-eighths pole and came wide in the stretch to claim the show spot, four lengths behind the victorious Teddy's Promise.
“She’s always showed us she’s a good filly,” Avila said.
Great Hot, who breaks from post 4 with Chantal Sutherland aboard, faces just one other graded stakes winner in the La Canada, Kaleem Shah's May Day Rose. She won a pair of graded stakes last year for trainer Bob Baffert, including the Santa Ysabel (gr. III) at Santa Anita over 1 1/16 miles more than a year ago.
May Day Rose was pulling jockey Martin Garcia along the inside in the La Brea while stalking the pace before weakening to finish eighth. Garcia will be aboard May Day Rose, who drew the rail, once again.
With earnings of $391,620 from a 5-2-1 record in 13 starts, May Day Rose is the most accomplished of the La Canada entrants.
California-bred Tiz Flirtatious is undefeated in three starts and makes her initial start in open company in the La Canada. Pamela Ziebarth's homebred daughter of Tizbud won the 7 1/2-furlong Cat's Cradle in her stakes debut Dec. 11 at Hollywood Park. This will be the first try around two turns for Tiz Flirtatious. Joel Rosario rides her back for trainer Marty Jones. They will break from the far outside.
Capital Plan makes her stakes debut for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who owns the Rock Hard Ten filly in partnership with Dr. Mark Dedomenico. Capital Plan has won back-to-back allowance tries, most recently tallying by nearly four lengths in a 1 1/16-mile heat over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track Dec. 14.
Big Tiz, a daughter of Tiznow who missed most of her 3-year-old campaign, makes her second start following a seven-month absence for trainer Mark Glatt. The 2010 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) runner-up ran third in the Kalookan Queen Handicap Jan. 1.
Also coming out of the La Brea is Jay Em Ess Stable's fifth-place finisher Include Me Out, who will be stretching out for the first time for trainer Ron Ellis.
Love Theway Youare, fourth in Hollywood's Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II), and maiden winner Miss Radiance, making her first stakes appearance, complete the field.
The La Canada is the eighth race on the program with a 4:07 p.m. PST probable post. Also on the Santa Anita card is the $75,000 San Pedro Stakes (race 4) for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs. Drill, who won the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) for Baffert the last time he sprinted, heads a field of six.
$150,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:07 p.m.), 4YO Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. May Day Rose (FL), M Garcia, B Baffert
2. Love Theway Youare (KY), A Quinonez, M K Cho
3. Big Tiz (KY), C S Nakatani, M Glatt
4. Great Hot (BRZ), C Sutherland, A C Avila
5. Miss Radiance (KY), D R Flores, M Puype
6. Include Me Out (KY), J Talamo, R W Ellis
7. Capital Plan (KY), R Bejarano, J Hollendorfer
8. Tiz Flirtatious (CA), J Rosario, M F Jones
All carry 118 pounds.