10/24/2008 11:00PM

Stardom Bound clinches title in Juvenile Fillies


ARCADIA, Calif. - Talk about going out in style.

With owner Charlie Cono and trainer Christopher Paasch getting ready to disperse their racing interests, their talented 2-year-old filly Stardom Bound allowed them go out on top with a devastatingly easy 1 1/2-length victory in Friday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita.

Dream Empress finished second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Sky Diva, who nosed out Dave's Revenge for third.

It was the third consecutive Grade 1 victory for Stardom Bound, who became the seventh straight favorite to win the Juvenile Fillies. She also cemented an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly, which would make her the 22nd Juvenile Fillies winner to earn that honor.

Stardom Bound was likely making her last start for Cono and Paasch, who plan to be out of the game by early next year due to health and other issues. Stardom Bound is slated to fly to Kentucky on Thursday or Friday and may be sold at the Fasig-Tipton Selected Mixed Sale on Nov. 2.

On Saturday morning Paasch said he and Cono were going to meet Tuesday to discuss Stardon Bound's future.

If Stardom Bound is indeed sold, Paasch, 52, said "It'll be a little bit sad, but I'm thrilled with a win like this [to] let everyone know that we have the best 2-year-old filly in the country."

Stardom Bound did it in a style similar to her victories in the Del Mar Debutante and Oak Leaf. After breaking slowly under Mike Smith, Stardom Bound had just one horse beat in the early stages of the race. Smith swung her out wide down the backside and let her lope along while C.S. Silk set the pace pressed by Be Smart through a half-mile in 45.92 seconds.

Around the far turn, Smith asked Stardom Bound, and with a devastating turn of foot, she galloped toward the leaders by the quarter pole. She made the lead straightening away in the stretch and despite putting her ears up and looking around, she won a lot easier than her margin of victory would suggest. Stardom Bound, a daughter of Tapit, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.99 and returned $5.20.

"It was a matter of when to pull the trigger," Smith said. "It was a little soon on my part, but planned only for the fact that the inside horses were making their way through and they were going to wheel out; if they wheel out, they're going to shoot me three or four more wide. I needed to move when I did. I knew she was capable of this because she hadn't seemed to get tired on me so far."

Asked how special Stardom Bound could be next year as a 3-year-old, Smith said, "She's got a shot with the Derby horses to tell you the truth."