Stardom Bound Awesome in Oak Leaf
Photo: Benoit
Stardom Bound and Mike Smith cruise to the win in the Oak Leaf.
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Stardom Bound put on a dazzling performance in the $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) (VIDEO) Sept. 27 during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park. The 2-year-old Tapit   filly rallied from last, came eight-wide into the stretch, and mowed down her rivals to win by 3 1/2 lengths under Mike Smith.

Entering off a convincing victory in the Sept. 1 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I), Stardom Bound is now guaranteed a berth in the Oct. 24 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita, where she will likely be one of the favorites. She is trained by Christopher Paasch.
The final time for 1 1/16 miles on the Pro-Ride surface was 1:42.44. Palacio de Amor, who was second in the Del Mar Debutante, had to settle for runner-up again. She was 1 1/2 lengths in front of third-place Oro Blanco.
Stardom Bound broke slowly and found herself next to last after a half-mile in :46.37. Like she did in the Debutante, Palacio de Amor shot to the front and took the field of 12 through a mile in 1:35.90. She still led by 1 1/2 lengths at the top of the lane with Montana Fields, Will O Way, and Black Magic Mama giving chase. But Stardom Bound was full of run after drifting to the far outside and used her powerful move to collar the long-time leader in mid-stretch. She drew clear with every stride.
"She's my baby Zenyatta," Smith said. "They both lag back and just gallop along and they start picking up horses and they're just galloping. Turning for home, I knew I was losing ground by swinging out, but I also picked up a lot of momentum, and she finished up great. When we pulled up, she took one big breath and she was ready to come back."
Owned by Charles Cono, Stardom Bound was a $375,000 purchase at this year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Company March select sale of 2-year-olds in training. Prior to the Debutante, she finished second in a maiden special weight event and was runner-up by a length in the Aug. 6 Sorrento (gr. III) at Del Mar. The gray/roan filly was bred in Kentucky by Fletcher Gray, Carolyn Gray, and John Youngblood, and is out of the Tarr Road mare My White Corvette.
Sent off at odds of 4-5, Stardom Bound paid $3.60, $2.80, and $2.20. The exacta (2-4) returned $27.20, with the trifecta (2-4-8) netting $767.60 with 74-1 Oro Blanco in third.
Black Magic Mama was fourth, followed by Toro Bonito, Will O Way, Montana Fields, Magic Roberta, Malusita, Kinesiology, Empressive Lad, and Candilejas.

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