11/14/2015 9:09PM

Star Student captures stakes debut in Oakland

Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography
Julien Couton guides Star Student to a half-length victory in the Oakland Stakes.

Star Student made his stakes debut in Saturday’s $50,715 Oakland Stakes at Golden Gate Fields and, in the words of announcer Michael Wrona “passed with flying colors.”

Well back in the field early in the six-furlong sprint, Star Student ($26.20) raced a bit wide early but was able to get over clear on the turn. He then wore down favored Streamside and Glacken Too in the stretch and held off Ankeny Hill by one-half length to win in 1:09.35.

The comebacking Ourwestcoastghost, the filly City by the Bay, and Aalsmeer battled early, and all three faded badly after tiring despite a moderate pace of 22.56 and 45.14 seconds. 

Streamside, the 3-2 favorite, sat just off them while four wide and took the lead in the stretch as Glacken Too had to wait for an opening before making his move.

But just as Streamside took the lead, Star Student loomed up outside him and went by him easily. Glacken Too was also inching up on the fading favorite with Ankeny Hill, who lacked room behind a wall of horses before angling out for room, making the best move.

Star Student kept going strong under Julien Couton, holding off Ankeny Hill, who finished a neck ahead of Glacken Too, the second choice in the race. Streamside was fourth, 1 3/4 lengths farther back.

“I was surprised to be closer than I thought,” Couton said. “We made one big move, and he really exploded.”

Star Student, a 5-year-old Student Council gelding owned by Fred and Cindy Desimone, Glyn Kelly, and Anne MacLennan, earned $30,400 for the win to lift his career earnings to $110,367 with four victories in 18 starts. All four wins have been at Golden Gate Fields.