Songbird may be heading to New York, but the short field entered for the June 3 Beholder Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park still features a showdown of champions and another with similar aspirations.
Stellar Wind, who defeated Beholder twice last year after earning a divisional championship in 2015, makes her 2017 debut in Oaklawn Park's Apple Blossom Handicap (G1).
The 7-year-old son of Hard Spun has two wins in his last 17 starts and both have come on the dirt at 1 1/2 miles.
The three-furlong breeze in :36 4/5 was nothing groundbreaking--Stellar Wind happily went through the motions under exercise rider Jose Contreras--but it was simply a starting point
"If somebody wants to be in front of Songbird, they can go ahead and try," said Mike Smith, a day before the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Sophomore Accelerate is being asked to make a major step forward in the Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I).
John Sadler chose to say on schedule instead of moving Stellar Wind's workout up because of looming storms in Southern California.
The 5-year-old daughter of High Chaparral (IRE) wins Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a nose over Apple Betty (IRE).
If you are the company you keep, Paige should consider herself in good stead. The 4-year-old filly was second last time out to eventual grade I winner Al's Gal.
How John Sadler described Stellar Wind's workmate Oct. 21 at Santa Anita Park says a little something about the feelings he has for his champion Curlin filly.
Trainer John Sadler has had a deliberate plan for Stellar Wind's 2016 campaign, and so far, Hronis Racing's Curlin filly has checked off every box.
In close to a carbon copy of their previous meeting, Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind again got the measure of Beholder in the $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
The budding rivalry between champions Beholder and Stellar Wind will see its third round Oct. 1 in the $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Hronis Racing's Accelerate took the long way around the racetrack and had to wait out a lengthy inquiry, but was able to survive both to win his graded stakes debut Sept. 24 in the $200,000 Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II).
Book 3 of the Keeneland September yearling sale got off to a strong start early Sept. 18 when a daughter of Mineshaft was sold by Lane's End for $410,000.
Santa Anita unveiled its new turf course Sept.15. The autumn meet runs 23 days from Sept. 30 to Nov. 5, and includes the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
California Chrome wasn't the only star on the work tab Sept. 10 in Southern California. Champions of 2015 Stellar Wind and Nyquist both put in drills for upcoming starts, as did 2016 Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Arrogate.
Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind logged her first breeze Aug. 20 since she defeated three-time champion Beholder in Clement L. Hirsch (gr. I).
Del Mar has never offered an elite race restricted to 3-year-olds and continues to see young stars ship east for lucrative purses.
If there was ever a time to celebrate, July 30 was the day for trainer John Sadler, who saddled Stellar Wind to an upset victory over Beholder in the Clement L. Hirsch (gr. I) on his 60th birthday.
The two champions were head-and-head from the five-sixteenths pole July 30 in the Clement L. Hirsch (gr. I) at Del Mar, but Stellar Wind outdueled her rival to the wire to win by a half-length, ending an eight-race win streak for Beholder.
Stellar Wind's connections are trying three-time champion Beholder again, after a non-threatening second-place run in the Vanity Mile (gr. I) last time out.
Hronis Racing's Hard Aces took control at the start and repelled a stern challenge from Quick Casablanca around the final turn to win the $100,000 Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) July 24 at Del Mar.
Grade I winner Hard Aces highlights a field of six entered for the $100,000 Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) July 24 at Del Mar.
Three-time champion mare Beholder went through a business-like workout July 17 at Del Mar, where she covered seven furlongs in company in 1:27 under gray skies with regular rider Gary Stevens at the controls and trainer Richard Mandella looking on.
Wanting an easy half-mile breeze from Beholder in her first timed work since a victory in the Vanity Mile (gr. I), the final two clicks on Richard Mandella's stopwatch showed :35 and change for three furlongs and :47 and change for the half.
Spendthrift Farm's three-time champion Beholder and 2015 champion 3-year-old filly Stellar Wind will face talented sprinters stretching out in the two-turn Vanity Mile (gr. I) June 4 at Santa Anita Park.
Follow Me Crev's connections were disappointed when a severe quarter crack knocked him out of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), but he's made his way back and will seek his first graded stakes score May 22 in the Californian (gr. II).
Hronis Racing's Nancy From Nairobi, a British-bred 5-year-old mare, gets her first graded stakes win while winning her third straight mile turf race at Santa Anita in the May 5 Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIT).
It may be more than two months away, but Stellar Wind took an important step toward a potential showdown with fellow Eclipse Award winner Beholder with her first timed workout of 2016 April 2 at Santa Anita Park.
Ike and Dawn Thrash's grade I winner Her Emmynency drew the rail for the first time in her career and appears to be the class of a short field in the $200,000 Santa Ana Stakes (gr. IIT) March 26 at Santa Anita Park.
Some of the West Coast's brightest equine stars from last year are getting back into the swing of things at Santa Anita Park.
Dominating the division in Southern California and a tough-as-nails defeat against the older Stopchargingmaria in the Breeders' Cup was enough for Stellar Wind to be named the Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old filly.
A step down in class should make Hronis Racing's Elektrum a formidable favorite in the $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 21 at Del Mar.
Stopchargingmaria held off Stellar Wind and withstood a review by the stewards to score a close victory in the $2 million Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) Friday at Keeneland.
Hronis Racing's Hard Aces has benefited from a West Coast racing lineup without Shared Belief or California Chrome, but will take his shot in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) nonetheless. acquiring
Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind put in a seven-furlong breeze Oct. 17 at Santa Anita Park, covering the distance in 1:27 1/5 in her penultimate drill in preparation for the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Hronis Racing's Talco, who had a fees-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) by virtue of his victory in the June 13 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT), died while undergoing arthroscopic surgery.
Stellar Wind, a four-time graded stakes winner in 2015, will train up to the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
When the earliest training session at Santa Anita Park Sept. 26 resembled a Southern California freeway during rush hour, it was a pretty good indication of how local trainers felt about the ongoing heat wave in the region.
Those hoping to see Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind back in action on Santa Anita Park's jam-packed opening day Sept. 26 will likely only have to wait a week to watch the 3-year-old daughter of Curlin run.
Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind heavily outclassed the rest of the $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes (gr. III) on paper and showed it on the track at Del Mar Aug. 30 with an easy victory.
Hronis Racing's Elektrum outfinished three rivals late to earn her first graded stakes in the $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT) Aug. 8 at Del Mar.
A slew of graded stakes winners recorded timed workouts July 22 at Del Mar, highlighted by Spendthrift Farm's two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder.
Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind received a stiff challenge from Tara's Tango, but kept her unblemished record at Santa Anita Park intact with a nose victory over the challenger in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks(gr. II).
After a relatively unsuccessful trip to Kentucky, Stellar Wind is back home at Santa Anita Park and figures to be a massive favorite in her first local start since a troubled fourth in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Hronis Racing's Talco earned his sought-after grade I win in the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) June 13 at Santa Anita Park, upsetting even-money favorite Midnight Storm to take the turf test at odds of 13-1.
Victor Espinoza was fined $300 by the Santa Anita Park stewards May 8 for "causing a break in the skin" with his whip on Stellar Wind during her victory in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) April 4.
Speed was paramount for Hronis Racing's Yiannis in his win over a talented group 3-year-olds in the San Pedro Stakes April 12, and he'll face another field of spry sophomores in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes (gr. III).
Stellar Wind was installed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite when 15 fillies were entered for the May 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
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