VA-bred Wins California GIII

Virginia-bred Stellar Wind kicked off her 2015 season with a bang on Saturday, winning the Grade III Santa Ysabel at Santa Anita. Bred by Peggy Augustus and Stonestreet Stables, the 3-year-old miss was a $86,000 yearling purchase at Timonium.

After breaking slow in the 1 1/16-mile contest, Stellar Wind settled on the outside under Victor Espinoza, wiggling her way to the lead despite being four-wide on the second turn. Widening her advantage in the straight, the chestnut galloped under the wire 2 ¾ lengths to the good, under urging.

Stellar Wind won the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes February 28 at Santa Anita Park

Stellar Wind won the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes February 28 at Santa Anita Park

“I wanted to break and let her do whatever she wanted to do,” Espinoza told the Bloodhorse. “I didn’t want to irritate her, just make her happy. They slowed the pace down, so I had to move out a bit. They were walking up front, so I had to press the pace by the three-eighths pole. She was just waiting for me to command her.”

Stellar Wind was following up on an impressive maiden in December, in which she put away six rivals by the better part of 9 lengths at Laurel. Prior to that, she finished third after being steadied at the start in a 6-furlong maiden at Laurel in late November. The Santa Ysabel was just her third start, and her first victory for new connections Hronis Racing and John Stadler.

“It was so cold in Maryland, I think she was glad to get in this good weather,” Sadler said. “I want to thank David Ingordo. He found her for me. He was the agent on the deal, and the previous trainer (Donald Barr) did a nice job.”

According to Sadler, Stellar Wind is likely to head to the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on April 4 for her next start.

“That would be the logical spot at this point,” Sadler told the Bloodhorse.