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North America Cup
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Trainer Christopher Paasch leads Stardom Bound to the winner's circle after the Juvenile Fillies.
The $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) is the premier race for 2-year-old fillies in North America, contested at 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic Pro-Ride track at Santa Anita. Del Mar Debutante and Oak Leaf Stakes winner Stardom Bound was sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the field of 13 over 4-1 second choice Sky Diva, undefeated in 2 starts including the Frizette, and 6-1 third choice C.S. Silk, winner of the Arlington-Washington Lassie.
Shortly after the start with Stardom Bound at the back in 12th while Be Smart leads briefly. C.S. Silk passed her before the first turn.
Jockey Robby Albarado sent C.S. Silk to the front shortly after the start where she battled for the lead with 21-1 Be Smart through fractions of 22.77, 45.92, and 1:09.85. Mike Smith kept favorite Stardom Bound near the back of the field for the backstretch run. At the top of the stretch, both pacesetters tired, setting the race up for the closers. Stardom Bound went five wide on the turn to circle the field, taking command at the 3/16 pole to open up a 1 1/2 length advantage in mid-stretch. 13-1 Dream Empress put in a strong rally of her own but was no match for Stardom Bound who cruised under the line 1 1/2 lengths in front, completing the trip in 1:40.99. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Sky Diva third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 10 Stardom Bound Smith 5.20 3.20 2.20 12 Dream Express Desormeaux 8.80 5.20 4 Sky Diva Dominguez 3.60 Winning Time: 1:40.99 $1 Exacta 10-12 24.50 $1 Trifecta 10-12-4 77.90 $1 Superfecta 10-12-4-7 2,538.90Results chart
Right: The trophy presentation with owner Charles Cono to the left of jockey Mike Smith and trainer Christopher Paasch behind him to the left. Paasch said, "I'm imagining she's going to get a lot taller. But I can't wait to see this filly in the spring of her 3-year-old career. If we would keep her, she'd be off the rest of the winter, and that would be my home with her, is that somebody would give her some time now. She's had five grueling races. Three Grade I's in a row. I will hope that we get invited to see her run the first time. I can't imagine what a beautiful 3-year-old filly she'll be in the spring." It is unlikely Paasch will continue to train her as she is scheduled to be sold at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky on November 2 as part of her owner's dispersal.
Left: Stardom Bound heads out to the track before the race.
Right: Stardom Bound heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Mike Smith said, "I knew it was slow, but she was in that rhythm, she was breathing, and I knew when I called on her, she was going to jump through the bridle, and she did. She's never hit the front quite that soon. She got to looking around a little. I stayed busy. It's an incredible performance. The main thing I did was staying on even when we got pinched and went to pull the trigger. I felt the horses inside were getting through and they were going to work their way out. If I didn't move at that point, I felt like I was going to have to get hung three or four even wider than I was. So I pulled it a little early, only for the main fact that I knew she was capable of it, she could handle it, and she did."
Left: Second place finisher Dream Empress runs out after the finish. Her jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "The winner got away from me around the turn. I was catching back up to her down the lane. I can conclude from this race that our filly is a serious horse. Kenny (trainer McPeek) told me to enjoy the ride, and I did." Her trainer Ken McPeek added, "She ran a great race. It's tough to run so well and not win, but we have a lot of options for her next year. We're all very proud of her. Kent rode her well and she had a good trip. Another eighth of a mile and she might have gotten there."
Right: Third place finisher Sky Diva is a bit fractious leaving the tunnel to the track. Her jockey Ramon Dominguez said, "I was pleased with the way she ran. The pace was fast, but that is the way it is going to be all day. If I had to guess, I think she may be a little better on the dirt. She responded for me when I asked her at the head of the lane, but the winner was just too much." Her trainer Steve Klesaris added, "I think she's going to like the dirt better. She ran well, but she gets better acceleration on dirt. It would have been a great race to win, but third in the Breeders' Cup in the third start of her life is pretty good."
Stardom Bound is a huge filly and I wanted to show just how much larger she was than her pony horse. Here are views from both sides during the post parade, but it shows up best in the one on the left.
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