From humble beginnings, Stellar Wind has ascended the ranks to one of top female runners in the country, especially after her upset victory over three-time champion Beholder in the Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar in late July.
The 4-year-old Curlin filly was originally a 2013 $40,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling before being resold for $86,000 a few months later at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale to Barbara Houck and sent to trainer Donald Barr in Maryland. In just her second career start, she caught the eye of Southern California-based trainer John Sadler and owner Hronis Racing with an impressive 8 3/4-length maiden win at Laurel Park in Dec. 2014, and they purchased her privately from Houck. Kosta Hronis assigned Sadler as her new trainer.
Stellar Wind quickly rewarded her new connections by winning the Santa Ysabel Stakes in her 3-year-old debut and then followed that with an even flashier victory in the Santa Anita Oaks. That win earned her the role as the favorite in last year's Kentucky Oaks where she finished fourth. She rebounded from the disappointment to win two more races, including the Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita, and ended 2015 with a second to Stopchargingmaria in the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff, an effort that secured her status as champion 3-year-old filly.
With an eye on a repeat trip to the Breeders' Cup Distaff at her home track of Santa Anita, Stellar Wind did not launch her 2016 season until June when she finished second to Beholder in the Vanity Mile.