2016 Virginia-Bred Horse of the Year Set To Compete In Grade I Stakes June 3rd.

Champions Stellar Wind (Virginia-bred) and FinestCity each worked at Santa Anita Saturday morning (May 27) for the Grade I, $400,000 Beholder Mile slated for Saturday June 3rd.

Stellar Wind, Eclipse Award winner as outstanding three-year-old female of 2015, went five furlongs in company under exercise rider Jose Contreras in 59.80, while FinestCity, winner of an Eclipse Award as best female sprinter of 2016, went the same distance in 1:03.20 for trainer Ian Kruljac. Mike Smith was aboard.

Stellar Wind, a 5 year old daughter of Curlin, galloped Saturday morning. Photo courtesy of Coady Photography,

“She galloped out seven eighths in (one) 27 and change,” Sadler said of Stellar Wind, a five-year-old daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin owned Hronis Racing, LLC.

“She went very well, her usual kind of work, similar to last week (six furlongs in 1:12.80 on May 19), and she’s ready to go.”

Stellar Wind worked in company with Pappou, who was clocked in 1:00.60.

Hronis Racing’s Stellar Wind and jockey Victor Espinoza, outside, outleg Beholder (GaryStevens), inside, to win the Grade I, $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes, Saturday, October 1, 2016 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.

“She broke a couple lengths behind him,” Sadler said, “and finished a couple lengths in front of him.”

Even with a small field in prospect, understandably, Sadler opted to let strategy play out before rendering a definitive tactical plan.

“Stellar Wind is fairly versatile,” he said. “She went up and pressed last year when she had to, but she can come from off the pace. We’ll wait till the draw (next Wednesday, May 31) and see what happens in relation to that.”

With only seven horses nominated to the Beholder, and one, Songbird, committed to the Ogden Phipps at Belmont on June 10, a small field including streaking graded stakes winner Vale Dori seems at the ready for the race formerly named the Vanity Mile.