Stardom Bound gives trainer a goodbye gift

ARCADIA, Calif. — Trainer Chris Paasch knew that regardless of what happened in Friday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, he was going to have to say goodbye to his favorite girl.

While the parting may ultimately be emotional, Paasch wouldn't change one brilliant moment of their final send- off.

In a move reminiscent of Arazi's breathtaking charge in the 1991 Juvenile, the striking gray filly Stardom Bound unleashed an amazing kick from next to last in the 13-horse field and drew off easily under jockey Mike Smith to score by 11/2 lengths in the 11⁄16-mile Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park.

In giving Paasch his first career Breeders' Cup win, Stardom Bound also provided him with the ultimate parting gift. Owned by Charles Cono, the daughter of Tapit is scheduled to be sold at the Fasig-Tipton November sale on Nov. 2.

"I have no heartache at all. It will be a little bit sad, but I'm thrilled to end it on a win like this," Paasch said. "I'm sure the kind of people that are going to take this filly are going to be able to continue her career and make her into the kind of filly she can be as an older filly."

Nicknamed "Baby Zenyatta" after the undefeated winner of the Ladies' Classic, Stardom Bound entered off back-to-back Grade I wins, including a 31/2-length victory in the Oak Leaf Stakes that occurred one day after she was kicked by a pony in her right hind leg.

Once she got rolling five-wide to challenge at the top of the stretch, Smith had little else to do except wait and see who came in second.

"I'm at a loss for words," Smith said. "I'd like to tell you I did a whole lot. I pulled the trigger a little early but I felt if I didn't move at that point, I was going to get hung even wider than I was."

Dream Empress was second with Sky Diva third.

Forever Together rallies

In a virtual replay of her effort in the Grade I First Lady Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 3, Forever Together came flying up on the extreme outside to collar Wait a While and Sealy Hill in the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf by three-quarters of a length.

Wait a While, who was unbeaten on the Santa Anita turf course going in, appeared poised to go on to the win when she edged past Halfway To Heaven in the stretch. With Julien Leparoux up, the quirky Forever Together started eating up ground five-wide and hit the wire in 2:01.58 for the 11/4-mile distance.

"I thought with the firmer ground today and the tighter turns, that a little extra distance would be perfect," said trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who earned his first Breeders' Cup win.

Sealy Hill got the nod for second with Wait a While third.

Ventura rolls

Juddmonte Farms' homebred Ventura unleashed a devastating burst of speed, advancing from 10th to first in the 13-horse field en route to a four-length triumph over champion Indian Blessing in the $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint.

The 4-year-old daughter of Chester House broke a bit slowly and was taken back by jockey Garrett Gomez, rating evenly near the rear of the field as Indian Blessing pressed Dearest Trickski through a half mile in :44.02.

Indian Blessing, winner of last year's Juvenile Fillies, appeared poised for her second Breeders' Cup win when she took the lead coming off the final turn but she couldn't match strides with Ventura, who was rolling past foes under mild urging from Gomez.

Ventura covered the 7-furlong distance in 1:19.90, one one-hundredth off the track record set by Indian Blessing in January. The dark bay filly was coming off a second- place effort against males in the Grade I Woodbine Mile on Sept. 7 and had previously captured the one-mile, Grade I Just a Game Stakes over the turf at Belmont on June 7.

Indian Blessing held for second with Zaftig third.

Maram gets the nod

In just her third career start, Maram rallied up between horses and held off a determined run by Coolmore's Heart Shaped to win the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf by a nose in a dramatic photo finish.

Pacesetter Laragh opened up a clear advantage at the head of the lane and appeared on track for victory only to be swallowed up in the deep stretch by the onrushing Maram to her outside and Heart Shaped, who angled out and was rolling up three-wide.

Maram overtook Laragh in the final furlong and just won a head bob at the wire over the late-closing Heart Shaped.

Final time for the one-mile race was 1:35.15. Laragh held for third, one length behind Heart Shaped.

Maram had won her two previous starts for trainer Chad Brown, including the Grade III Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 1.