2023 La Canada Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

The only Graded stakes in the US over the weekend takes place at Santa Anita on Sunday, when the G3 2023 La Canada Stakes is essentially a re-run of last month’s La Brea at the same track – Kirstenbosch, Ganadora and Under The Stars renewing rivalry over a longer distance with the race expected to be between them.

La Canada Stakes

G3, $200,000, 1m 1/16 dirt, 4yo+ females, 3.30pm PT

On a very quiet weekend for Graded stakes, the La Canada flies the flag at Santa Anita on Sunday and offers the puzzle of a ‘do-over’ of the G1 La Brea at the same circuit almost three weeks ago.

Half of Sunday’s field come on from the seven-furlong La Brea, taking advantage of a little class relief and the chance to stretch out. The best-placed of the three was the longshot Kirstenbosch, who was never in contention until rallying strongly through the closing stages for third, four lengths behind the winner Fun To Dream.

Fifth home was Ganadora, who set sharp fractions early but had nothing to offer after halfway and crossed the line two lengths adrift of Kirstenbosch, and last of the seven was her barnmate Under The Stars, who never got busy at all and was a major disappointment.

So, then, same again? That was by some way a career-best for Kirstenbosch, and the way she finished off suggests that stretching back out is the way to go, although she is zero-for-four in stakes and finished a long way behind Under The Stars in the G2 Summertime Oaks over course and distance in June.

Better was expected of Ganadora after her romping eight-length wire-to-wire score in a mile stakes at Los Alamitos, and this may be her level. She could get an easier time of it on the lead over the longer distance, but was also well behind – actually dead-heating with Kirstenbosch – in that Summertime Oaks.

Under The Stars is a class act and if it’s game-day then she’s the one to beat, but this dual G2 winner is an in-and-out performer and hard to judge. She’s certainly better than she showed in the La Brea and the extra yardage is a positive, but she’s a risky proposition – she could win by four or finish fourth.

The rest of the field are some way short of this level. Natural Colour makes her debut on the main track after performing with credit in the minor leagues on turf, and was runner-up in a mile-sixteenth stakes on the all-weather at Golden Gate Fields last time. She needs a lot more now, and the surface switch needs to be a magic wand.

The extraordinarily consistent Smoothlikebuttah has hit the board on her last 12 starts, but is only two-for-35 lifetime and doesn’t have the class to figure, while stakes debutante Angel Nadeshiko went gate-to-wire to win an allowance optional claimer here over a mile two starts ago and could show up early, but is unlikely to be there at the end.

2023 La Canada Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

GanadoraJohn R. Velazquez+200
SmoothlikebuttahTiago Josue Pereira+1000
Under the StarsJuan J. Hernandez+250
Angel NadeshikoVictor Espinoza+600
KirstenboschKazushi Kimura+250
Natural Colour (GB)Flavien Prat+500

The extra yardage will suit the improving KIRSTENBOSCH and she has an excellent chance of confirming the La Brea placings with Ganadora and Under The Stars.

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