The La Canada Stakes was inaugurated in 1975, and is an event that is hosted by the Santa Anita Racecourse every February. Held for mares and fillies that are four years of age, the La Canada Stakes race is a Grade II event. It forms part of the La Canada Series, of which the other two races are the El Encino Stakes and the La Barea Stakes. Winning all three races seems to be an achievement that is not easily come by, as only three fillies have been able to take the title since the inception of the series, namely Got Koko in 2003, Mitterand in 1985 and Taisez Vouz in 1978.
On Sunday 14 February 2010, a spectacular filly, which was sent off as a long shot, by the name of Striking Dancer added her name to a distinguished list of winning horses, including Cat Fighter, Life is Sweet, Fleet Lady and Tarlow, to name but a few. Her unexpected victory was not accomplished without a fight, but with the experienced guidance from jockey Alex Solis, Striking Dancer was able to gain ground and storm towards a breathtaking win of the La Canada Stakes.
Striking Dancer is better known for her performances on turf of which the La Canada Stakes is her fourth victory in her eleven career starts. She is trained by Ken McPeek and is owned by Steve Kaplan. On Sunday she was able to add $90 000 to her career winnings. As the field of contenders reached the halfway mark of the La Canada Stakes, Striking Dancer found herself in sixth position, but managed to work her way up into fourth. On the final turn towards the finish line, she made her move and quickly fought her way into the lead to win the 2010 La Canada Stakes. Speaking to the media and public after the race, Alex Solis only had praise for Striking Dancer, saying: “I had an awesome trip. I was able to save ground around the first turn. When we got to the five-eighths, I moved out where I had a good position and I had some options. She’s an awesome filly, and she beat a nice group of horses today.”