- Horse Racing - Affluent best in La Brea

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Saturday, December 29
Affluent best in La Brea

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Cardiac finishes are becoming the standard for Affluent and jockey Eddie Delahoussaye in recent months.

Affluent, with Eddie Delahoussaye aboard, runs to victory in the $200,000 La Brea Stakes.
On Saturday, Affluent won her second consecutive Grade 1 with a come-from-behind win in the $200,000 La Brea Stakes on dirt at Santa Anita.

The victory was her first start since she rallied for a win in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on turf on Oct. 13.

In the La Brea, Affluent ran seven furlongs in 1:21.29, finishing 1 1-2 lengths in front of 48-1 Royally Chosen, who was a nose in front of Love at Noon. Above Perfection, the 2-1 favorite in the field of 12 3-year-old fillies, finished fourth.

Despite losing, Royally Chosen and Love at Noon ran arguably the best races of their careers. They disputed the lead with Above Perfection through quick fractions of 21.92 and 44.27 seconds and stayed on through the stretch.

Conversely, Delahoussaye had Affluent five-wide on the turn, trailing the leaders by 10 lengths after a half-mile.

Affluent continued with a wide rally in early stretch and caught the leaders in the final furlong.

"I didn't really want to be that far out of down the backside," Delahoussaye said. "She just blew by them at the sixteenth pole."

Affluent has won 5 of 11 starts and $752,800 for owner Janis Whitham. The La Brea was her first start on dirt since she won the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks last July.

"It makes sense to run her against her own age as long as we can," trainer Ron McAnally said. "I thought she'd be close enough to the speed to mow them down in the stretch. She's improved tremendously in the last six months."

The first three may reappear in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes over 1 1-16 miles on Jan. 20. Royally Chosen ran her best race in defeat, leaving jockey Alex Solis anxious for the El Encino.

"She didn't want to let the other filly pass her," Solis said. "She's better going long."

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