March 2, 2015
Source: Daily Racing Form (By: Steve Anderson)

ARCADIA, Calif. – Stellar Wind beat maidens in her second career start at Laurel Park on a Thursday in December, an afternoon when temperatures failed to surpass 40 degrees at the mid-Atlantic venue.

She came of age on a mild winter day at Santa Anita in Southern California on Saturday.

Making her stakes debut, Stellar Wind ($16) closed from sixth in a field of seven to win the $100,500 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Stellar Wind moved into contention with a four-wide rally to take the lead before the eighth pole. She pulled clear in the final furlong to win by 2 3/4 lengths over 2-1 favorite Light the City.

The Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes was Stellar Wind’s first start in California and first race for Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler following a private purchase in early January.

Espinoza had limited experience with Stellar Wind, having ridden the filly in a recent workout. The exercise left him eager for Saturday’s race.

“I was looking forward to her running,” he said. “I worked her so I got to know her. I really like her. She’s smooth.”

Stellar Wind was timed in 1:43.16. Espinoza said that the filly was easy to ride through the first half of the race while stalking the pace.

“She was waiting for me to command her,” he said.

Light the City had the best finish of three fillies trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, who also finished third and fourth with Glory and Achiever’s Legacy. Light the City was the 2-1 favorite on the basis of her second-place finish in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes at a mile for 3-year-old fillies on Jan. 31.

Enchanting Lady finished fifth, followed by Rainha Da Bateria and Rattataptap. Curlin’s Fox and Danette were withdrawn on Friday.

The win has made Stellar Wind a contender for the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks at 1 1/16 miles on April 4.

“It’s the most logical spot at this point,” Sadler said.

By Curlin, Stellar Wind has won 2 of 3 starts and earned $87,200.

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