Today’s Grade 1 La Brea Stakes kicks off the La Canada Series at Santa Anita for newly turning 4-year-old fillies. The 7-furlong La Brea is followed by the El Encino Stakes at 1-1/16 miles on Jan. 18, and the La Canada Stakes at 1-1/8 miles on Feb. 15. The series, run at increasing distances, is the female counterpart of Santa Anita’s Strub Series that began on opening day with the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes.
The series has been run since 1974-75, and only three fillies have ever won all three races: Taisez Vous (1978), Mitterand (1985) and Got Koko (2003).
The La Brea is named for Rancho La Brea, an area in the heart of Los Angeles County noted for the La Brea Tar Pits, the word word "brea" being Spanish for tar. Rancho La Brea is one of the world’s most famous fossil localities and is recognized as having the largest and most diverse assemblage of extinct Ice Age plants and animals in the world.