Stardom Bound is an early Kentucky Derby Contender

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Stardom Bound

A filly has not won the horse betting Kentucky Derby since 1988 but that could change in May if the filly Stardom Bound is entered.  Jockey Mike Smith is calling Stardom Bound his "Baby Zenyatta."  Stardom Bound has won four straight Grade 1 races by a combined 10 ½ lengths.  She won the Del Mar Debutante, Oak Leaf Stakes, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Las Virgenes Stakes.  Some horses never run that many Grade 1 races in their entire career.

Stardom Bound is part of IEAH Stables who had Big Brown last year.  Stardom Bound has a look and a style that is appealing. She always wins coming from behind and looks good doing so. "But those are the most exciting ... the ones that can sit patiently and make one run," said Michael Iavarone of IEAH Stables. "You always know at the end they're going to pick up a check and they're always going to be there. It's just a question of what kind of trouble they're going to get into along the way. To me, those are the kinds of horses that win the big races."

Stardom Bound finished second in her first two career starts at Del Mar but since that time has looked like a serious Kentucky Derby contender.  Stardom Bound is being pointed to either the Santa Anita Derby or the Santa Anita Oaks for her next race.  Hall of fame trainer Bobby Frankel could have a great chance to win the Derby with Stardom Bound and Iavarone already knows how to win the Derby since Big Brown pulled off the feat last year.

"That's always your long-range goal when you have a good 3-year-old," Iavarone said. "We bought her with the intention of trying to get her to the (Kentucky) Derby if she deserved to be there, but always using the Kentucky Oaks as a backup." Last year's horse betting Kentucky Derby trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. was the one who convinced Iavarone to buy the filly. "...It was a filly that we had to own." Iavarone said, "There's certain horses that you want to own, even if they don't make 100 percent economic sense, and she fit into that category."

Frankel has been training the horse out West but Iavarone has indicated Dutrow will be the trainer in East coast races. Who will train the horse in the Derby is a question mark. "I guess they'll have to flip a coin," Iavarone said, "I don't know because it's in the middle of the country. Right now Bobby's got her and he's doing a fantastic job. They'll work it out between the two of them."

Stardom Bound will eventual be bred to Big Brown when her career is over but Iavarone has said she will run as a 4-year old. "I am looking to run her," Iavarone said. "I'm not looking to retire her. If she's sound, she's going to run again. She will not retire at the end of this year, I can assure you that."

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