Jeremy Rose, who burst onto the racing scene this spring with wins in a pair of Triple Crown races aboard Afleet Alex, makes his debut at Santa Anita Park Saturday when he rides streaking Trickle of Gold in the $250,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I).The seven-furlong La Brea, won last year by the California-bred Alphabet Kisses, attracted 14 3-year-old fillies. With at least 13 starters it would mark the largest La Brea field ever, surpassing the 12 that ran when Affluent won in 2001. The La Brea is the first leg of Santa Anita's three-race La Canada series for fillies.Rose is riding high on Trickle of Gold, a daughter of Formal Gold that has won six in a row by a combined margin of nearly 45 lengths.Trickle of Gold, trained by Mike Gorham for owner John D. Murphy Sr., has a 7-1-3 record from 12 starts with earnings of $313,105.Rose and Afleet Alex finished a close third in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) before a dramatic victory in the Preakness (gr. I). In that race, Afleet Alex miraculously recovered from a near-spill in the stretch to win with authority. He would go on to capture the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).Rose, a 26-year-old native of Bellefonte, Pa., near Penn State University, is unbeaten aboard Trickle of Gold in her last five races. She has led from gate to wire in each race, including a one-mile stakes at Laurel on Nov. 19."Clinton Potts was riding the filly," Rose explained, "and he fractured his vertebrae. From that point on, (Gorham) put me on and from there on, we've been winning."I haven't looked at her competition (in the La Brea, for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs), but I have all the confidence in the world in her. She does have a lot of gas out of the gate and she's got a lot of stamina. I've had horses press her on the backside and let them almost get a head in front and she's never had a problem. I've never had a horse get really close to her down the lane yet. I haven't really gone to the whip on her; I haven't really done anything on her, so hopefully there's still a little bit more left."
Three Degrees is scheduled to make her first start on the main track in the La Brea. She has a 3-3-1 record in nine starts on the grass, with earnings of $259,559.
The Irish-bred daughter of 1997 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Singspiel was very wide while finishing fifth, beaten less than a length, in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (gr. IT) at nine furlongs on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 15.
"She's trained on both turf and dirt," trainer Paddy Gallagher said. "She trained on dirt before she ever ran in her maiden race. I wish I could say for sure that she'll take to it but we'll just have to see and thought this was a good opportunity."
Another filly trying the dirt for the first time will be Shining Energy, winner of the San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar on July 30. "She's training awesome on the dirt," Julio Canani said of the daughter of Rahy.
Grade I stakes winners Sharp Lisa and Leave Me Alone are also strong contenders Saturday. $250,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I, Race 8, 4:08 p.m.), 3-year-old fillies, 7 furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Sharp Lisa (KY), 121, Corey S. Nakatani
2. My Miss Storm Cat (KY), 117, Patrick A. Valenzuela
3. Simply Because (KY), 117, David R. Flores
4. Three Degrees (IRE), 119, Alex O. Solis
5. Berbatim (KY), 119, Tyler Baze
6. Resident Alien (CA), 117, Victor Espinoza
7. (a)Great Intentions (KY), 119, Jon K. Court
8. Shining Energy (KY), 119, Tony Farina
9. Trickle of Gold (KY), 119, Jeremy Rose
10. (a)Mystic Chant (KY), 119, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
11. Thrilling Victory (CA), 119, Martin A. Pedroza
12. Soldier's Kiss (CA), 119, David Cohen
13. Leave Me Alone (CA), 123, Kent J. Desormeaux
14. Pussycat Doll (KY), 119, Garrett K. Gomez
(a) owner Barry K. Schwartz's entry