Stardom Bound, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and the probable champion 2-year-old filly, brought $5.7 million from IEAH Stables, which is headed by Michael Iavarone and Richard Schiavo, late in the afternoon of Nov. 2 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November select mixed sale in Lexington. Her new trainer will be Rick Dutrow, who conditioned recently retired Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown for IEAH and partners.
The immediate underbidder was Frank Stronach, who was in the back walking ring of Fasig-Tipton’s sale pavilion. Charles Cono, who raced Stardom Bound before she went into the auction ring, went to $4 million. Nick Sallusto signed the sale ticket for IEAH.
“We wanted her,” Iavarone said. “She came in a little bit more than we thought, but I guess if you’re going to spend $5 million, you can spend $5.7 million. We were getting pretty close to the end. I think one more (bid) might have been the end of it.
“She’s got plenty of residual value. I see a couple of million dollars worth of risk here, and we’ve taken more risk than that before. Any time you’ve got a horse like Big Brown, you want to try to parlay that and find good mares.”
A gray or roan daughter of Tapit out of the stakes-winning Tarr Road mare My White Corvette, Stardom Bound captured the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) and Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) in addition to the Juvenile Fillies. She was consigned to the Fasig-Tipton sale by John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dales Sales Agency, agent.
“Hip and shoulder,” said Iavarone, when asked what impressed him and Dutrow the most about Stardom Bound. “She’s a big beautiful filly, and we know she can run. I think Rick is going to help her out. Hopefully, we can have a really big campaign (next year).”
Iavarone said IEAH probably would take a half-interest in Stardom Bound and “we’re going to split up the rest with some really interesting guys. We’ve got some celebs on this one with us. They will make it a lot of fun. As we get ready to race her, we’ll come out and say who is going to partner up.”
Stardom Bound has earned $1,420,600. She has finished no worse than second in five career races.
“I love her,” Dutrow said. “We were at the Breeders’ Cup, and as soon as she won I said, ‘Mike, we’ve got to get this one. We’ve got to have her.’ When I met her, she seemed so sweet and laid back. She’s our kind of horse. I can’t wait to train her.”
According to Iavarone, Stardom Bound will stay in Kentucky for “a little bit and we’ll let her graze on some grass and put some weight on.” Then she will go to Florida, and Dutrow will make a racing plan for her.
Stardom Bound’s former trainer, Chris Paasch, who was with Cono at the Fasig-Tipton auction, said they planned to bid $5 million for the filly. But “when we bid $4 million, they (IEAH and Stronach) kind of took over for themselves after that. They took off on their own.”
Cono had mixed emotions about selling Stardom Bound.
“I hate to lose the horse, but there comes a time in your life when you know you’ve got to fish or cut bait,” he said. “I’m getting out of the horse business and so is Chris. We had eight years of good fun, and we had a lot of good horses. If I decided to do it over again, I would do the same thing. I’ve got two companies I own, so I’m busy all the time. I’ve got a full plate already, and we’ll also race some horses next year.”
Paasch purchased Stardom Bound for $375,000 at this year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training. Her consignor was Shadybrook Farm, agent.