Champion Stellar Wind (Curlin), last seen finishing fourth in a GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff for the ages, kicked off her 2017 season in style with a 1 1/4-length victory as the 2-5 favorite over pacesetter Terra Promessa (Curlin) in Oaklawn’s GI Apple Blossom H. Friday evening. “There’s plenty of reservations, always with good horses, that you’re doing the right thing [bringing them back],” trainer John Sadler said of the Hronis Racing colorbearer. “She came out of the Breeders’ Cup in good shape, we gave her a little rest and got her back here.”
Stellar Wind kept close tabs on Terra Promessa from a ground- saving third through opening splits of :23.88 and :48.22. Drawing even with the leader at the 5/16ths pole, the chestnut battled stride-for-stride with the pacesetter down the lane and skipped clear late to get the money, leading home a Curlin-sired exacta.
“We’ll get her home and look at the races around the country,” Sadler said of what might be next. “We’d like to run once at home–it’s her home base. Probably run in the [GI] Beholder [Mile at Santa Anita June 3].”
Exchanging blows with four-time Eclipse winner Beholder (Henny Hughes) most of last season, Stellar Wind bested her elder in the GI Clement L. Hirsch S. and GI Zenyatta S., but was forced to settle for fourth behind Beholder, champion Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) and MGISW Forever Unbridled (Unbridled’s Song) in the Distaff Nov. 4 at Santa Anita. Stellar Wind was also a close second in the prior year’s Distaff at Keeneland.
“She wanted another year under her belt, she wanted to race,”
winning owner Kosta Hronis added. “She’s in great shape, so we thought we’d keep her on the track at least another year. We’re happy with her comeback race. Just really proud of her.”
Unfinished business in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff? “She definitely does,” Hronis replied. “That’s probably one of the main reasons she’s back. We love her.”
For a feature on Hronis Racing from the 2015 Breeders’ Cup, click here.
Stellar Wind is out of a half-sister to MSW & GSP Im Out First (Allen’s Prospect), the dam of MSW & GSP Im a Dixie Girl (Dixie Union), SW First Ascent and SW & GSP Zenith (Roy), whose son Great Hunter (Aptitude) won the GI Breeders’ Futurity in 2016. Stellar Wind’s unraced 3-year-old half-brother Bozeman (Birdstone) was a $190,000 purchase by Bo Bromagen, agent, out of the 2015 Keeneland September sale. The Keswick Stables homebred Evening Star, a two-time winner, was most recently bred to Curlin. Stellar Wind was her first foal.
Friday, Oaklawn Park
APPLE BLOSSOM H.-GI, $600,000, OP, 4-14, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:42.75, ft.
1–STELLAR WIND, 122, m, 5, by Curlin
1st Dam: Evening Star, by Malibu Moon
2nd Dam: Sequins, by Northern Fashion
3rd Dam: Brilliant Touch, by Gleaming
($40,000 Ylg ’13 FTSAUG; $86,000 Ylg ’13 EASSEP). O-Hronis
Racing LLC; B-Keswick Stables & Stonestreet Thoroughbred
Holdings LLC (VA); T-John W. Sadler; J-Victor Espinoza.
$360,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 3yo Filly, 13-8-2-1, $1,813,200.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus* Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Terra Promessa, 118, f, 4, Curlin–Missile Bay, by Yes It’s True.
O-Stonestreet Stables LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred
Holdings LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen. $120,000.3–Streamline, 117, m, 5, Straight Line–Love Handles, by Sahm.
O-Nancy A. Vanier & Cartwright Thoroughbreds V LLC; B-Nancy
Vanier (IL); T-Brian Williamson. $60,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 3 1/4, 3. Odds: 0.40, 2.40, 7.40.
Also Ran: Tiger Moth, Divine Elegance, Durango.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.