Stardom Bound, who just got up for a desperate nose victory in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 7, did not take the big step forward her connections had been hoping for, and now likely will point for the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) and the
A big performance would have earned the daughter of Tapit a berth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and then possibly the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), but it has been decided by her connections to take a more realistic approach.
“We have to think of her welfare and do what’s in her best interest,” said IEAH president Mike Iavarone. “What we were looking for in the Santa Anita Oaks and what we didn’t see is a leap forward. If you run them where they don’t belong you’re putting them in a spot where they can’t be effective, and that can set them back 20 lengths.
“Anybody that knows the game comes out of the Santa Anita Oaks saying, ‘Let’s just regroup and try to understand why she didn’t win the race as easily as we all expected her to. We’ve got the Ashland now as her next target and there’s a very good possibility that she’ll run her ‘A’ race again, and then we can set her up to run in the Kentucky Oaks.”
Stardom Bound was the 2-5 favorite in the Santa Anita, but had to struggle to win in a for-horse blanket finish, with the runner-up, Third Dawn, having come out of a slowly run maiden victory. Stardom Bound did have to some eighth-wide turning for home and showed great determination to notch her fifth consecutive grade I victory.