Stellar Wind returns to action in the Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita.

Stellar Wind returns to action in the Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita.

Benoit Photo

Stellar Wind Back Home for Summertime Oaks

Daughter of Curlin is the only graded winner in field of 10 set to go June 20.

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-place finish in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).

Hronis Racing's Virginia-bred daughter of Curlin  will be the only graded stakes winner in the field of 10 for the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (gr. II) June 20 at Santa Anita, where she won the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) and Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) leading up to the Kentucky Oaks.

HAMMONDS: Stellar Wind Rolls in Santa Anita Oaks

In the Kentucky Oaks, the John Sadler trainee was steadied early and went nine wide in the final turn to finish 4 3/4 lengths behind winning filly Lovely Maria. Stellar Wind returned to breezing at Santa Anita in mid-May and has trained impressively recently, recording a bullet four furlongs in :46 1/5 June 16 and six furlongs in 1:11 3/5 June 10.

Stellar Wind, who will break from post 9 as the 123-pound highweight with jockey Victor Espinoza aboard in the 1 1/16-mile test, likes to rally and should have the benefit of a contested pace in the Summertime Oaks.

The apparent speed is Kaleem Shah's Fantastic Style, trained by Bob Baffert, who has been out front early in every one of her five races, including a 3 1/4-length victory in the Angels Flight Stakes May 16 at Santa Anita. Another Curlin daughter, lightly-raced Conquest Curlgirl, also took a maiden special weight field gate to wire May 7, defeating fellow Summertime Oaks entrant Danette, also a Curlin filly, by a half-length. Michael Ellis' Roksana flashed speed as well in her first start against winners, a 3 3/4-length allowance/optional claiming victory at a mile April 17.

Another filly that should be in a similar position as Stellar Wind coming for home is Little Red Feather Racing and R/M Racing's Sheer Pleasure, trained by Phil D'Amato. On a two-race stakes win streak, the daughter of Birdonthewire could not have been more impressive in her last start, a 7 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Melair Stakes for fillies bred or sired in California.

"She can be stalking or way behind and that's a good style in a field like this," D'Amato said. "I thought at one point in time that she was this caliber, but the Cal-bred stakes are so lucrative, we decided to run her there as a big favorite. (Jockey) Tyler (Baze) just had so much more horse than he asked her for in there. We'll see how good she is, because this is a giant step up."

Also included in the field is graded stakes-placed Scat Means Go, allowance/optional claiming winner All Star Bub, stakes-placed Tara's Tango, and maiden winner Guild.

Entries: Summertime Oaks (G2)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, June 20, 2015, Race 8

  • Grade II
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 4:14 PM (local)
11All Star Bub (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Bejarano118Jerry Hollendorfer-
22Sheer Pleasure (CA)Tyler Baze118Philip D'Amato-
33Danette (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFernando Hernandez Perez118J. Keith Desormeaux-
44Guild (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat118Eoin G. Harty-
55Roksana (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFelipe Valdez118Martin F. Jones-
66Tara's Tango (KY)Mike E. Smith118Jerry Hollendorfer-
77Conquest Curlgirl (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoseph Talamo118Mark E. Casse-
88Scat Means Go (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGary L. Stevens118Henry Dominguez-
99Stellar Wind (VA)Keeneland Sales GraduateVictor Espinoza123John W. Sadler-
9810Fantastic Style (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateSCRATCHED0UNKNOWN-