12/26/2008 1:00AM

La Brea Stakes preview


7 Furlongs (Pro-Ride)
La Brea Stakes (Grade 1)
3-year-old fillies
Purse $250,000

As a three-year-old filly tackling a field of older males, the speedy INDYANNE was up against it in the Sausalito Stakes at Golden Gate on November 22. She still was hammered down to 2-5 favoritism and, considering it was her first start since missing the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint due to a fever, gave a good account of herself. She battled hard on the lead from the start, and put away the other speeds only to be run down late by the sharp Siren Lure. Indyanne could be tighter for her second start back, and may loom the speed of the speed in the La Brea. Seven-eighths of a mile may be pushing it a bit for this quick daughter of Indian Charlie, but she's never been off the board, and may be an acceptable betting price.
NEVER RETREAT was placed second in the Grade 1 Mother Goose over the summer, but has two sprint wins from as many attempts, and may appreciate turning back from six straight route events. She's run well on turf, and we've often seen grass form translate successfully to synthetic surfaces. Never Retreat dropped back on the final bend of the recent My Charmer Handicap at Calder, and switched back to her wrong lead in deep stretch, but should get a solid pace to attack from midfield. At 20-1 on the morning line, she represents some value.
COUNTRY STAR hasn't been to the post since mid-September when she flipped in the starting gate, suffered cuts to her legs and belly, and had to be scratched. She's a multiple Grade 1 winner on synthetic surfaces, however, and should get enough pace to run at late.
LAURELDEAN GATE couldn't get over the hump in a pair of entry-level allowance races in New York, but her good races on turf in Europe last year indicate she may take to the synthetic surface.
The versatile BSHARPSONATA rallied powerfully to win the Playa del Rey in her first start since May, and she may work out a wonderful stalking trip while in the clear.
A win by INDIAN BLESSING would strengthen her case for an Eclipse Award, and she ran quite well in the Breeders' Cup while pressing the pace over a closer-friendly surface. She'll get bet hard in this spot, though, and may be a bit more effective over dirt.
FOXY DANSEUR couldn't run late with Bsharpsonata at Hollywood, but may be a bit stronger at this longer distance. Perhaps Mike Smith will try to get her more involved at an earlier part of the race.
SHE'S CHEEKY likes this surface, but will take a huge step up in class while attempting an unfamiliar distance.
GINGER POP makes her first start on the main track.
ACCOPELA CHOIR seems overmatched.

1. Indyanne
2. Never Retreat
3. Country Star