08/05/2008 11:00PM

Paasch barn likes Stardom Bound

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DEL MAR, Calif. - The record shows that Stardom Bound lost her debut by a nose to Turtle Creek Babe at Del Mar on July 20. Stardom Bound's trainer, Christopher Paasch, thinks the margin was closer than that.

"It was about a quarter of an inch," Paasch said. "I have the photo."

Stardom Bound nearly overcame a poor start under Mike Smith that day, showing Paasch and owner Charles Cono that she is an outstanding filly. The performance justifies entering Stardom Bound in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar on Wednesday. The Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes is run over 6 1/2 furlongs.

"All I know is that Mike thought he was on the best horse," Paasch said. "I usually walk them for three, four, or five days after a race to let them settle down. Two days later, she wanted to do something."

Stardom Bound is one of 11 2-year-old fillies in the Sorrento, a prep for the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 1. The Sorrento includes two stakes winners from the Hollywood Park meeting - Trifecta King, who won the Cinderella Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on May 25, and Emmy Darling, the winner of the Landaluce Stakes over six furlongs on June 28. Glitter City and Cosmic Queen, second and third behind Emmy Darling, are also part of the Sorrento field.

Paasch also trains Cosmic Queen, who won her debut impressively over 4 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park on May 15. Paasch said that Cosmic Queen's chance in the Landaluce was compromised when she became agitated in the paddock and suffered a cut on her leg. She ran anyway, but he dismissed the performance because of the paddock incident.

"I almost scratched her in the paddock," he said.

Paasch calls Stardom Bound "my best chance" in the Sorrento. If Stardom Bound breaks well, he expects her to be near the front, probably just behind the leaders.

"I think she's a tactical horse," he said. "She'll go head-and-head or sit off a horse."

Emmy Darling is likely to run from off the pace. Trained by John Sadler, Emmy Darling won her first race in the Landaluce, having finished second to Glitter City in a maiden race on June 15.

"When she ran in the Landaluce, we ran her back in two weeks," Sadler said. "Now, we've had a month."