Question: At this time last year, if you had to name the one juvenile filly with the best chance of being a 3-year-old superstar, who would it be?
Chances are, most of you would have chosen champion 2-year-old filly Stardom Bound, not Rachel Alexandra. I know I would have. I was blown away by her spectacular late runs in both the Oak Leaf and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. In fact, of all the great BC race last year, her victory was my favorite. There is something a young horse who can give that kind of late kick.
Stardom Bound, who was sold after the Breeders' Cup and transferred to the barn of Bobby Frankel and then Rick Dutrow Jr., seemed poised for the huge 3-year-old season that most expected after wins in the Feb. 7 Las Virgenes and March 7 Santa Anita Oaks, giving her an incredible five grade I scores in a six-month period. But then she finished a disappointing third in the Ashland and seemed to disappear. With the emergence of Rachel right around that time, Stardom Bound became the forgotten superstar filly.
It might be time to start thinking about the daughter of Tapit once again.
When I talked to Dutrow on Friday, he said the goal is still to make the Nov. 6 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic. And even though she will have been off for seven months, Dutrow has no problem training the filly right up to the race.
After the Ashland, Stardom Bound's ambitious campaign--in which she raced eight times in an eight and half month period--had finally caught up with her. Dutrow said she was dead tired and needed a lengthy rest. She was turned out for a couple months before returning to training in New York in July.
Dutrow had been very pleased with Stardom Bound's works up until the last few weeks. He said she had a "setback," earlier in the month which caused him to back off a bit. But on Sept. 23, Dutrow liked what he saw when she breezed for the first time in nearly three weeks, a three-furlong move at Aqueduct. He said the next month of works will determine whether or not they go to California.
Here is a little bit of what Dutrow had to say:
"She's doing good right now. She hadn't been clicking on all cylinders, but I really liked the way she moved (on Sept. 23).
"I would love for her to make the Breeders' Cup. Right now, I'm just not sure if she'll be fit enough by then. It's still up in the air. Two months ago, I would have been under the impression that she would be able to do it. I'm just not sure right now.
"It all depends on the next month and how she works. I would have no problem running the filly (off the layoff). If she is ready, I would expect her to run big. She only needs a couple of sharp works to be ready.
"(If we decide to go), I would want to keep her right where she is (at Aqueduct)."
That last comment was in reference to a question I posed about when they would ship her to Santa Anita. Dutrow said, if she goes, she would probably train up to the race at Aqueduct and won't ship to California until the week of the Breeders' Cup.
I hope Stardom Bound makes it. I still think Zenyatta will race in the Ladies Classic, not the Classic, and if other talented females like Music Note, Careless Jewel, Swift Temper, Seventh Street, Life is Sweet, and Icon Project are on board, the Ladies Classic will be quite a race. Stay tuned.