Fair Maiden far too classy in G1 La Brea Stakes
Fair Maiden secured a breakthrough first G1 success as she unleashed a storming run for a decisive victory in the seven-furlong La Brea Stakes on dirt at Santa Anita, USA, on Saturday, 26 December.
The daughter of Street Boss had previously placed at G1 level on turf as a juvenile with a close third in the Natalma Stakes at Woodbine, Canada, in September, 2019. During a highly promising two-year-old campaign, the homebred also scored on turf in the Catch A Glimpse Stakes and beat subsequent G2 scorer Pixelate by 14 and a half lengths in a Polytrack maiden.
After breaking smartly, Fair Maiden was held up in seventh of the 10 runners by Ricardo Gonzalez. The Eoin Harty-trained filly started to make smooth headway turning in and was switched wide to deliver her challenge at the top of the straight.
Fair Maiden powered home down the centre of the course, collaring Golden Principal approaching the final half-furlong before quickening away for an easy two and a quarter-length success.
Eoin Harty said: “Switching Fair Maiden to dirt was just the way things panned out. It’s hard to find a race against really competitive company at a certain level on turf and I didn’t want to keep taking her up to Woodbine, so I found a spot on dirt at Churchill Downs. It was a big question mark over whether she would handle the surface but she did and was super professional that day. It gave me a lot of confidence to bring her out here for a race like this.
“I thought she would run like she did today at Keeneland on her latest start but she got into trouble. With a clean trip, I figured that she would be right there. She placed at G1 level on turf last year and it’s great to get a G1 with her – these are very hard races to win but she did it and really stamped herself on it as well.
“I have been watching Ricardo ride since he came down here and I think he is the next superstar. He is brave and he puts his horses in a spot to win. I grab him every time I can because I think he is a world-class rider, and today was his first G1 win.
“We will discuss things with Jimmy Bell and Dan Pride over the coming days, make a plan for Fair Maiden and decide how we are going to get there.”
Ricardo Gonzalez added: “Eoin said that Fair Maiden was doing very well. There was quite a lot of speed in the field and he told me to put her in the race, get her clear and to the outside when she hit the stretch. As soon as we hit the stretch, we went on the outside and I was full of running.