La Canada Stakes Betting Guide

Chris Adams

Written by: Chris Adams

Last Updated:

Read Time: 7 minutes

The La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita is a graded stakes race that captivates both seasoned horse racing enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Taking place at the historic Santa Anita Park, this stakes race offers a thrilling spectacle where top-class fillies and mares compete for glory.

In this comprehensive betting guide, we’ll delve into the race’s background, historical highlights, winning trends, and the best types of wagers to play.

The La Canada Stakes

The La Canada Stakes is a Grade 3 thoroughbred horse race for fillies and mares aged four years old and above. It typically covers a distance of 1 1/16 miles on the main dirt track at Santa Anita Park.

This race is a significant event in the winter racing calendar. After just two years it earned grade 1 status. It has maintained its graded stakes status since then, although it has been downgraded to a grade 3. Still it often attracts a competitive field of talented horses.

How to bet on the La Canada Stakes

Thanks to online platforms like Bovada, BetUS, and BetDSI, players can place wagers from the convenience of their own home at tracks around the country.

Santa Anita’s menu of prestigious races throughout the racing calendar and large pools make it popular among horse players. Harnessing this popularity Santa Anita races are offered on every major online betting platform.

Adding to the allure of using these sites is the fact that players can increase their bankroll by taking advantage of signup bonuses, promotions, and rebates.

La Canada Stakes Bet Types

The La Canada offers the same traditional bets offered at Santa Anita daily. Here’s a look at the typical wagering menu at Santa Anita Park.

Single Horse Bets

These wagers require players to pick a single horse to finish somewhere in the top 3.

Bet on a Horse to Win

American Pharoah wins at Santa Anita Park

When players bet a horse to win, the horse must win the race. This is the most challenging single horse bet but offers the highest return when correct.

Place Wager

The place wager provides a little extra wiggle room, but the payouts are often much less than the win payouts. When betting a horse to place, you are betting that horse will finish in the top 2. If your horse takes first or second, you cash the ticket.

Show Bets

The final single horse bet is the easiest one to hit, but often provides very little return unless you are betting on a longshot. When betting to show your horse must come in first, second, or third for you to cash a ticket.

Verticals Wagers

Vertical wagers refer to picking horses in multiple finishing positions. One of the unique aspects of vertical wagers is the ability to play them straight, boxed, or wheeled. These concepts can be applied to any of the vertical wagers.

Straight Wager

In this case, the player is predicting the exacta order of finish. The wager will cost the denomination of the wager placed. Betting a $1 trifecta on 1-2-3 will cost $1 but the final order of finish must be #1 in first, #2 in second, and #3 in third to win.

Boxed Wager –  Opposite of Straight Wager

A 3-8-14 Trifecta Box is a winning wager in this race

Boxing is the opposite of a straight wager. When a wager is boxed, players cover every possible combination of the horses they selected. However, you will have to pay for each combination.

The same $1 trifecta on 1-2-3 will now be more expensive but give you more chances to win. A $1 trifecta box on 1-2-3 will cost $6 because there are 6 different combinations that 1, 2, and 3 can finish together in the top three spots.

Boxes can include more horses than finishing positions, but the cost will escalate quickly. For example, a 4 horse $1 trifecta box has 24 possible winning combinations and would cost $24.

Wheels –  Between the Cost Efficiency of Straight Bets and the Coverage of Boxes

Spending $24 on a 4-horse trifecta box may seem a bit steep. Wheels can be a nice hybrid between the cost efficiency of straight bets and the coverage of boxes. In a wheel bet, players isolate horses in specific positions.

Let’s say that you like horses 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in the race to cover the top 3 positions. For a $1 trifecta box this is going to cost $60. However, your opinion is that #1 or #2 is likely to be the winner and #5 is only a threat to clunk up into third.

Doing The Math

Using this information, you can now bet a $1 trifecta wheel the 1, 2 over the 1, 2, 3, 4 over the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. That $60 wager has now been reduced to $18 (2 possibilities in first, 3 possibilities in second, and 3 possibilities in third or 2x3x3x$1).

Although this option doesn’t cover as many combinations as the box, it still gives you adequate coverage while matching your wager to your opinion.

With the knowledge of how to bet verticals, let’s look at the wagers offered in this category.

Exacta Wager

The exacta is usually a $1 minimum wager and requires the player to have the first and second place horses correct.

Trifecta Bets – With Increased Difficulty comes Increased Payouts

Trifecta’s provide a little extra challenge with the bettor needing to correctly pick the first, second, and third place horses. With the increased difficulty comes increased payouts. The minimum denomination for this wager at Santa Anita is $1.


Hitting the superfecta in any race is no small feat, but it is particularly difficult in a big field like the Derby. This wager requires players to select the top 4 finishers in order. The difficulty makes this bet daunting, but the reward if hit tends to compensate for the added risk.

Most days you can play the wager for as low as $.10.

Horizontal Wagers

These wagers are called horizontal because they require players to select the winner of multiple races in a row or in a particular sequence.

Daily Double – Simplest of all horizontal wagers

The Daily Double is the simplest of all horizontal wagers requiring the player to select winners of 2 races.

Pick X

These wagers can require players to pick anywhere from 3 to 6 races within a given sequence. The payouts tend correlate with the number of legs in the sequence meaning that a pick 3 is likely to have the lowest payout, while a pick 6 score is usually the largest payout of any wager at the track on a given day.

These wagers can range anywhere from $.50 minimums to $2 depending on the wager type and track.

La Canada Picks

A tight finish in the 2023 La Canada Stakes

Betting News provides handicapping tools that allow players to sort through the data of a race at Santa Anita. Along with the La Canada card, these tools are available every day for the California track.

To get a full picture of the race, a more subjective narrative analysis can bolster the data provided. Betting News covers a vast majority of the graded stakes races throughout the year in our weekly articles.

La Canada Stakes Historical Information

While not necessarily valuable for handicapping the upcoming race, it can be interesting to look back at past results to see if any trends pop out. Which trainers produce the most winners? Which post position is most valuable? How often does the favorite win?

Let’s take a look at past winners of the La Canada.

Past La Canada Stakes Winners

2023KirstenboschKazushi KimuraJohn W. Sadler1+1⁄16 milesIII
2022As Time Goes ByFlavien PratBob Baffert1+1⁄16 milesIII
2021Sanenus (CHI)Umberto RispoliMichael W. McCarthy1+1⁄16 milesIII
2020Queen Bee to YouRuben FuentesAndrew Lerner1+1⁄16 milesIII
2019Escape ClauseTyler BazeDon Schnell1+1⁄16 milesIII
2018MopotismMario GutierrezDoug F. O’Neill1 mileII
2017Vale Dori (ARG)Mike E. SmithBob Baffert1+1⁄16 milesII
2016TarisGary L. StevensSimon Callaghan1+1⁄16 milesII
2015ThegirlinthatsongRafael BejaranoJerry Hollendorfer1+1⁄16 milesII
2014SpellboundVictor EspinozaRichard E. Mandella1+1⁄16 milesII
2013More ChocolateGarrett K. GomezJohn W. Sadler1+1⁄16 milesII
2012Include Me OutJoseph TalamoRonald W. Ellis1+1⁄16 milesII
2011Always a PrincessMartin GarciaBob Baffert1+1⁄8 milesII
2010Striking DancerAlex O. SolisKenneth G. McPeek1+1⁄8 milesII
2009Life Is SweetGarrett K. GomezJohn Shirreffs1+1⁄8 milesII
2008Dawn After DawnGarrett K. GomezJohn W. Sadler1+1⁄8 milesII
2007BalanceVictor EspinozaDavid E. Hofmans1+1⁄8 milesII
2006SeafreePat ValenzuelaRobert J. Frankel1+1⁄8 milesII
2005TarlowPat ValenzuelaJohn Shirreffs1+1⁄8 milesII
2004§ Cat FighterAlex O. SolisBob Baffert1+1⁄8 milesII
2003Got KokoAlex O. SolisBruce Headley1+1⁄8 milesII
2002Summer ColonyGary L. StevensMark A. Hennig1+1⁄8 milesII
2001SpainVictor EspinozaD. Wayne Lukas1+1⁄8 milesII
2000Scholars StudioCorey NakataniMartin F. Jones1+1⁄8 milesII
1999ManistiqueGary L. StevensJohn Shirreffs1+1⁄8 milesII
1998Fleet LadyGarrett K. GomezJerry Hollendorfer1+1⁄8 milesII
1997Belle’s FlagCorey NakataniDarrell Vienna1+1⁄8 milesII
1996Jewel PrincessAlex O. SolisWallace Dollase1+1⁄8 milesII
1995Dianes HaloCorey NakataniDavid C. Cross Jr.1+1⁄8 milesII
1994StalcreekGary L. StevensDavid Bernstein1+1⁄8 milesII
1993AlysbelleEddie DelahoussayeJack Van Berg1+1⁄8 milesII
1992ExchangeLaffit Pincay Jr.William Spawr1+1⁄8 milesII
1991Fit to ScoutJulio A. GarciaJack Van Berg1+1⁄8 milesII
1990GorgeousEddie DelahoussayeNeil D. Drysdale1+1⁄8 milesII
1989Goodbye HaloPat DayCharles E. Whittingham1+1⁄8 milesI
1988Hollywood GlitterLaffit Pincay Jr.Gary F. Jones1+1⁄8 milesI
1987Family StyleGary L. StevensD. Wayne Lukas1+1⁄8 milesI
1986Lady’s SecretChris McCarronD. Wayne Lukas1+1⁄8 milesI
1985MitterandEddie DelahoussayeRandy Winick1+1⁄8 milesI
1984Sweet DianeRay SibilleRobert J. Frankel1+1⁄8 milesI
1983AvigaitionEddie DelahoussayeVivian M. Pulliam1+1⁄8 milesI
1982Safe PlayDon BrumfieldHarvey L. Vanier1+1⁄8 milesI
1981Summer SirenMarco CastanedaLouis R. Carno1+1⁄8 milesI
1980Glorious Song (CAN)Chris McCarronGerald W. Belanger Jr.1+1⁄8 milesI
1979B. ThoughtfulDonald R. PierceRobert L. Wheeler1+1⁄8 milesI
1978Taisez VousDonald R. PierceRobert L. Wheeler1+1⁄8 milesI
1977Lucie ManetBill ShoemakerJaime Villagomez1+1⁄8 milesII
1976Raise Your SkirtsBill ShoemakerBarney Willis1+1⁄8 miles
1975Chris EvertJorge VelasquezJoseph A. Trovato1+1⁄16 miles

How to watch the La Canada

Santa Anita doesn’t have mainstream television distribution unless it is Breeders’ Cup related. Players hoping to watch the race live will want to hop onto their online wagering account.

Many of these sites will allow you to live stream the races from their platform.