Hronis Racing’s Stellar Wind( Curlin) outbattled a stubborn Vale Dori( Arg)( Asiatic Boy Arg ) to win the GI Clement L. Hirsch S. Sunday at Del Mar in a scintillating encore performance of their match-up seven weeks ago in the GI Beholder Mile.
” Just what I wanted for my birthday ,” told winning trainer John Sadler, who celebrated in this race a year ago with Stellar Wind’s dramatic victory over Beholder( Henny Hughes ).” She ran really well. I was nervous because of the style favorites have fared here. But she’s a good mare, she came through and she stuck her nose out at the end like she usually does .”
Vale Dori was quickest away, but Stellar Wind was fast on her heels and pressed her through an opening one-quarter in: 23.81 and a half in: 48.46. Mike Smith, aboard Vale Dori, tried to sneak away entering the final turn, but Victor Espinoza asked the favorite to match the pacesetter’s move and Stellar Wind drew on even terms with Vale Dori after three-quarters in 1:13.39.
The two mares turned for home together and ran stride-for-stride with Stellar Wind ultimately get the measure of her rival in deep stretching and inching clear to the wire.
” It looked like it was going to set up pretty much like the last race; Vale Dori is the speed ,” Sadler said.” We know we can’t sit off her too far, you’ve got to hook into her and wear her down .”
Espinoza never had a doubt he was riding the winner.
” Once she violated, I felt the race was all over ,” Espinoza told.” I have so much confidence in her, I knew she’d win. And she showed me to be right again. I had that other pony[ Vale Dori] measured. I knew I could win. It was a good race; side by side down the stretching. But I was going to be the winner .”
Stellar Wind defeated the mighty Beholder twice last season, winning the Clement Hirsch in July and the GI Zenyatta S. in October. She was fourth after a distressed start in the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff to end 2016, but nothing has gone wrong since for the 5-year-old mare since. She opened 2017 with a win in the Apr. 14 GI Apple Blossom H. and get a neck in front of Vale Dori in the June 3 Beholder last time out.
As for Stellar Wind’s next start, Sadler added,” No plans now. We’ll start looking tomorrow. But for now, we’re really happy .”
Pedigree Notes 😛 TAGEND
Stellar Wind, purchased privately by Hronis Racing after a dominating maiden score at Laurel in 2014, 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 )- dam of Grade I winner Mor Spirit( Eskendereya )- 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 buy by Bo Bromagen, agent, out of the 2015 Keeneland September sale and is the last reported foal out of Evening Star. The Keswick Stables homebred mare, a two-time win, was bred to Curlin in 2016. Stellar Wind was her first foal.
Sunday, Del Mar
CLEMENT L. HIRSCH S.-GI , $300,000, DMR, 7-30, 3yo/ up, f/ m, 1 1/16 m, 1:43.92, ft.
1-STELLAR WIND, 123, m, 5, by Curlin
1st Dam: Evening Star, by Malibu Moon
2nd Dam: Sequins, by Northern Fashion
3rd Dam: Brilliant Touch, by Gleaming
($ 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.
$180,000. Lifetime Record: Ch. 3yo Filly, 15 -1 0-2-1,
$2,233, 200. Werk Nick Rating: A +++.* Triple Plus *. Click for
eNicks report& 5-cross pedigree . 2-Vale Dori( Arg ), 123, m, 5, Asiatic Boy( Arg )- Valerina( Arg ),
by Halo Sunshine. O-Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al
Maktoum; B-Abolengo( ARG ); T-Bob Baffert. $60,000. 3 –Faithfully , 119, f, 4, Smart Strike-Distinctively, by Awesome
Again. ($ 700,000 Ylg’ 14 KEESEP ). O-Hill’ n’ Dale Equine
Holdings, Inc.( J. G. Sikura)& Bruce Lunsford; B-KatieRich
Farms( KY ); T-Bob Baffert. $36,000. Margins: NK, 1HF, 2 1/4. Odds: 0.50, 2.00, 6.00.
Also Ran: Motown Lady, Autumn Flower. Scratched: Shenandoah Queen. Click for Equibase.com chart , the TJCIS.com PPs or free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree . VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton .