06/24/2012 2:40PM

Woodbine: Stars to Shine returns from injury to take Trillium by a nose

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Michael Burns
Stars to Shine, under Alex Solis, holds off defending champion Upperline (7) to win the 1 1/8-mile Trillium for fillies and mares.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario—Stars to Shine, making her first start since coming out of last October’s Spinster at Keeneland with a condylar fracture, pressed the pace before taking command around the far turn and held on to prevail by a nose in Sunday’s $101,200 Trillium Stakes for fillies and mares at Woodbine.

Upperline, invading from Illinois and the even-money favorite for trainer Michael Stidham, struggled through much of the 1 1/8-mile Trillium and was under severe pressure from jockey James Graham from a half-mile out.

But. Just when her cause appeared hopeless, Upperline finally kicked in while wide and came up just short of Stars to Shine and jockey Alex Solis.

“Alex had been on her in the morning a few times, and got to know her,” said Mark Frostad, who trains Star to Shine for The Grange House Partnership, a group which includes British-trainer Ed Vaughan. ‘He gave her a good ride.

Smart Penny was a half-length back in third, a head to the good of fourth-place Maristar in a blanket finish.

Rock the Moon, Dixie Chicken, and Euro Platinum, the early leader, completed the order of finish. Silent Moon was scratched.

Stars to Shine returned $6.20 as the second choice after negotiating the distance in 1:51.26. Bred in Kentucky, the 5-year-old Stars to Shine now has won 5 of 11 starts and $301,761.

Upperline had won the first running of the Trillium last year.