10/28/2017 11:20AM

Stellar Wind, Abel Tasman drill for Breeders' Cup Distaff

Email
Shigeki Kikkawa
Stellar Wind works five furlongs Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Stellar Wind and Abel Tasman – a champion preparing for the final start of her career, and the other a potential champion preparing for her final start of the season – posted final workouts for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Saturday at Santa Anita.

The 5-year-old Stellar Wind and the 3-year-old Abel Tasman worked moments apart at 7:50 a.m.; both worked in company.

Abel Tasman, whose Kentucky Oaks win was her first of three Grade 1 victories this year, worked first. Martin Garcia was aboard Abel Tasman, who broke off behind Leading Score and drew away from that rival by more than a length at the wire.

“She worked very nice, everything’s gone really well for her,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “I see her coming into it in good shape.”

Abel Tasman was timed in 1:12.80 for six furlongs and showed none of the “run-off” tendency of previous starts. Baffert and Abel Tasman’s race rider, Mike Smith, will adapt to the filly’s idiosyncrasies.

“She breaks, and she falls back, that’s her,” Baffert said. “You just have to let her.”

:: BC Workouts: Watch Mike Welsch's video updates from Del Mar

After winning the Kentucky Oaks, Abel Tasman won two more Grade 1’s – the Acorn at Belmont and the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. Her rivals in the BC Distaff include two other 3-year-olds with championship credentials – two-time Grade 1 winner Elate and two-time Grade 1 winner Paradise Woods.

Stellar Wind required a crack of exercise rider Jose Contreras’s whip in deep stretch to put away workmate Kristo. Stellar Wind, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2015 who will retire from racing after the Distaff, has never been a flashy work horse. Trainer John Sadler was satisfied with the work.

“I asked for a minute from Jose, and he’s right on the spot,” Sadler said. Stellar Wind’s work time was 59.80 seconds.

Stellar Wind’s jockey, Victor Espinoza, talked recently about the mare’s habits in workouts and races.

“In the mornings, she’s not a great work horse,” Espinoza said. “She will not do anything on her own; I have to ask her every single time. Even in her races, the same thing. She never wins by many lengths, no matter what race she runs in. She doesn’t win by far, but she wins.”

Stellar Wind is 3 for 3 this year, all Grade 1’s, including back-to-back wins by a neck. She is scheduled to be sold as a broodmare prospect on the Tuesday after the Breeders’ Cup. Stellar Wind has won 10 races and $2,233,200 from 15 starts.

Stellar Wind will ship Sunday to Del Mar and be on the track for light training Monday morning. Sadler plans to ship 12 horses to Del Mar, including BC Dirt Mile candidate Accelerate.

The Sadler-trained Shenandoah Queen worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 early Saturday and is scheduled to run in the Grade 2 Chilukki Stakes on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.