Stellar Wind, Vale Dori Face Off Again In Hirsch

The burgeoning rivalry between Stellar Wind and Vale Dori resumes Sunday when the two outstanding mares will lead a field of six female runners to the post in the 47th running of the Grade I $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at a mile and one-sixteenth on Del Mar's main track.

The Hirsch is a “Win and You're In” event wherein the winner automatically qualifies for the $2 million Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff Friday, November 3at Del Mar.

The Stellar Wind-Vale Dori rivalry was initiated in the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita in early October of last year. However, Vale Dori wasn't competitive on that occasion as Stellar Wind and champion Beholder engaged in a memorable stretch duel with the former scoring by a neck. Vale Dori finished eleven and one-quarter lengths farther back in third.

However, it was a different story in the Beholder Mile in early June as the two foes hooked up early and fought to the wire, with Stellar Wind courageously prevailing by a neck over a stubborn Vale Dori.

According to allowance conditions, Stellar Wind, the John Sadler-trained champion three-year-old filly of 2015, and the Argentine-bred Vale Dori, from the barn of Bob Baffert, will carry 123 pounds each, four more than their four opponents – Motown Lady, Autumn Flower, Shenandoah Queen and Faithfully.

Victor Espinoza rides Stellar Wind and Mike Smith again will be aboard Vale Dori. Other jockey assignments are Kent Desormeaux on Motown Lady, Martin Pedroza on Autumn Flower, Drayden Van Dyke on Shenandoah Queen and Faithfully, Rafael Bejarano.

Supporting feature Sunday will be the $150,000 Fleet Treat Stakes, a seven-furlong sprint for California-bred three-year-old fillies. Entered are Alpenhorn, Lady Espionage, All of a Sudden, Miss Sunset, Please Do, Isa Firecracker, Queen Bee To You and Dreamy Gal. Miss Sunset is the probable favorite under highweight of 125 pounds.

Post time for the first of nine races will be 2 p.m.

The post Stellar Wind, Vale Dori Face Off Again In Hirsch appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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