Edited Keeneland report
Champion Stardom Bound completed her serious training for the April 4, $400,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland with a six-furlong work on March 29 over the Lexington track’s Polytrack surface.
The daughter of Tapit, now trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., covered the distance in 1:12.60 under regular work rider Goncalino Almeida. She galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25.80.
“The boy said she went well and that she likes the track, which is going to help us,” said Dutrow. “The race is coming up tough and she is going to have to show up.”
Stardom Bound, who has won five consecutive grade I stakes races, came out of the work fine and walked the shedrow Monday morning, according to Ruben Loza, assistant to trainer Bobby Frankel. Stardom Bound is stabled in Frankel’s barn for trainer Dutrow.
On Monday, March 30, Derby Daze Farms and Mark Hoffman’s consistent Hooh Why put in her final major work for the Ashland, going a half-mile in :49.60 with a five-furlong out time of 1:02 with Miguel Mena up.
Hooh Why arrived at Keeneland late last week after spending the past two months at Santa Anita in the care of trainer Carla Gaines. Donna Dupuy, who was the trainer of record when Hooh Why broke her maiden at first asking last July at Arlington Park, will saddle Hooh Why at Keeneland.
At Santa Anita, Hooh Why finished second in the Sunshine Million Oaks and most recently ran third behind champion Stardom Bound in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks.
“I’d like a rematch with Stardom Bound; that’s why we are here,” Hoffman said. “If she beats me, she beats me. But this is the first time Stardom Bound has had to travel and my filly loves to ship. It is like after she runs one race it’s ‘Where do we go next?’ She is a fighter; she doesn’t give up.”
After breaking her maiden at Arlington Park, Hooh Why raced at Presque Isle Downs and Woodbine. In her final race at Woodbine, Hooh Why finished second, beaten a head, by Patena, who figures to be one of the main contenders in the April 11 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I).
“We were already up there and she had had trouble in the filly stake (the Glorious Song),” Hoffman said. “She was doing so good after that race and I was looking to stretch her out because her brother (Rumbling Cloud) had won at a mile and a sixteenth, so we decided to take a shot. The field did not look that strong and there was no speed in the race so we put her on the lead and she almost stole it.”
In addition to Stardom Bound and Hooh Why, the other two fillies that were in the four-horse photo in the Santa Anita Oaks – Third Dawn and Nan – are scheduled to arrive at Keeneland from California on Tuesday. Third Dawn, who finished a nose behind Stardom Bound and a nose ahead of Hooh Why, is trained by John Sadler. Nan, who was a neck in back of Hooh Why, is trained by Craig Dollase.
Hoffman had a choice of the Ashland or the Providencia at a mile on the turf at Santa Anita this Saturday for Hooh Why.
“She has trained great on the grass and I am probably going to nominate her to the grass stake here (the Appalachian to be run April 16),” Hoffman said. “I’m going to enter (for the Ashland), but if the race looks like it is coming up too tough, I could go in the grass race.