Star of the North, a 3-year-old Minnesota bred filly, won the $75,000 Darby’s Daughter by a convincing 2 1/4 lengths at Sam Houston Race Park Saturday evening. The 5 1/2 furlong race, a division of the Clarence Scharbauer, Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes, was restricted to 3-year-old fillies that are progeny of nominated Texas-based stallions. Star of the North is by The Hunk and was bred in Minnesota by Eureka Thoroughbred Farm, owner Michael Grossman. She is trained by Francisco Bravo. On paper the filly towered over her five foes and was bet accordingly to 4 to 5 odds.
Jockey Ry Eikleberry has been aboard Star of the North in all four of her career starts.
“She’s always had a ton of speed and has been very professional,” Eikleberry said following the race. “The only time she was beat was in her first start; she’s been great ever since. The six horse out broke me, so I just tried to hold my position. She was much the best.”
Star of the North debuted at Canterbury Park July 30 and finished third after showing speed. On Aug. 17 she broke her maiden by four lengths, racing gate to wire. She finished her 2-year-old season with another front running win, this time in the $100,000 Northern Lights Debutante. She has now earned $125,350.
“This filly has talent. I felt pretty good [going into the race],” Bravo said. “Ry knows her well. He worked her and said she was in top form.”
The next race is still in question . Bravo will look for a race at Sam Houston buts knows that with three wins, two in stakes, it might be difficult to find an allowance for 3-year-olds. He can also look to Delta Downs or even possibly Will Rogers Downs where he will have 25 stalls.
Bravo has never shied away from racing state breds against open company. “That’s always been Mr. Grossman’s philosophy,” he said.
Will Rogers has been a good location for the Bravo barn, offering race options and a good place to train so expect to see several starters there when the meet begins March 22.
“All the Minnesota breds are in training now,” he said, with a plan to be fully ready when the Canterbury meet begins May 18.
Canterbury race fans are already considering a possible match-up between Star of the North and Charlie’s Penny, winner of the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds Jan. 16, in the $100,000 Minnesota Oaks. “That’s the goal,” Bravo acknowledged.