Bobby Frankel told the Daily Racing Form on Wednesday that the talented 3-year-old filly Stardom Bound, who won her fourth consecutive Grade I event last Saturday with a victory in the $300,000 Las Virgenes, will be pointed toward the Santa Anita Oaks on March 7 and not the Santa Anita Derby a month later against the boys if he has any say.
It appears calmer heads may have prevailed after Frankel told the Form that it makes more sense to run in the Oaks. Of course, if Stardom Bound blows away the opposition in the Oaks, she could always come back and run in the Santa Anita Derby on April 4.
“I’m leaning to the Santa Anita Oaks,” Frankel said. “It’s hard to give up a Grade 1 when you’re going to be 3-to-5. Rick [Dutrow] and I talked about it, and he agrees.”
Frankel is training Stardom Bound while the filly is stabled in California. Dutrow will take over the duties when she runs back east.
Immediately after the Las Virgenes, majority owner Michael Iavarone told reporters Stardom Bound would likely run in the Santa Anita Derby and then possibly the Kentucky Derby on May 3 if she ran well. He said he would leave the utimate decision to Frankel, and if that’s true, it appears the Hall of Fame trainer has steered the talented filly in a different direction — a direction better suited for Stardom Bound, who has shown nothing yet to warrant a step up in class against the boys. But Iavarone and his partners will make the final decision where the filly will run next.
If Stardom Bound turns it on in the next couple months, the Kentucky Derby can always be an option. I mean, Winning Colors was not considered a Kentucky Derby possibility at this time in 1988 after she’d lost to Goodbye Halo in the Las Virgenes. But a nice victory in the Santa Anita Oaks and a romp in the Santa Anita Derby convinced trainer D. Wayne Lukas to go for it. It turned out to be the right decision, much like the choice to race Stardom Bound in the Santa Anita Oaks.
There is one Frankel distaffer who is going to definitely challenge the males, however. Frankel also told the Form that Ventura, Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner last October at Santa Anita who won the Santa Monica Handicap in her 2009 debut on Jan. 31, will challenge the boys in the $300,000 Grade I Kilroe Mile on March 7 at Santa Anita — one of three Grade I races that day, including the $1 million Big ‘Cap.