Photo: NYRA/Adam Conglianese
The champ is back. My Miss Aurelia overcame a bad break to put a little bit of intrigue into her 2012
return to racing. The undefeated, two-year-old filly champion made her debut at
Saratoga in the $100,000 Mandy’s Gold, an overnight stake. Her victory brings
some star power back to racing.
Trainer Steve Asmussen talked about the trouble Aurelia had coming out of the gate. “(Jockey) Julien
(Leparoux) said her hind end slipped away from her coming away from the gate.”
Asmussen described the rest of the race. “I think that with her maturity, that
she didn’t get in a hurry. She came to those horses fairly easily and Julien thought
that she won with a lot of horse left.”
After the bad break, My
Miss Aurelia was forced into a wide trip.
Midway through the turn of this 6½-furlong race she began to sweep past
the others and easily take a lead down the stretch. Once the Stonestreet Stables runner took the lead, she knew that the race was over and she began to
look over at the crowd that was packed along the rail. Even so, Aurelia was
able to open up to a final victory margin of three-lengths in a final time of
After the race Asmussen
was emphatic that they did not have a next race picked out. He was most concerned about making a
comeback after her long layoff that was caused by sore shins. The trainer said,
“I wanted to get this first race in after nine months, glad to have it in her,
liked how she acted today, she relaxed, handled well, and she ran with good
My Miss Aurelia’s
impressive victory changes the picture in the race for the three year-old filly
championship. Right now the undefeated and defending champion is back on top of
a division that has seen many horses take turns winning the big races.
Let’s take a look at what
could lie ahead for this millionaire daughter of Smart Strike. In her juvenile
season she raced in August in Saratoga’s Adirondack, in Belmont’s Frizette in
October, and the November Breeders’ Cup.
Everybody in Saratoga would love to see her run in the Alabama, but that comes up on August 18th.
After a nine-month layoff it seems unlikely that they would bring her back for
that historic race. Later in the
month, on consecutive days, are a trio of grade one stakes: the Ballerina,
Test, and Personal Ensign. Again I think that those races may be too soon for
Asmussen, but I’d love to see her run in the seven-furlong Test.
If her connections follow the 2011 schedule, then My Miss Aurelia needs a race at the beginning of October. The closest race that Belmont Park has to offer is the Beldame to be run against older fillies and mares on September 29th. Keeneland offers the Spinster (G1) on October 7th with the right timing, but the artificial surface seems unlikely. Finally on the same day as the Beldame, Santa Anita offers the Zenyatta on the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic racecourse.
I say that they will stick
with what worked last year and that they will go with the Beldame. What do
Either way, I share
Asmussen’s enthusiasm about My Miss Aurelia’s return to racing. “It’s amazing how
special she truly is. The memories of her running last year were great. When
she came back into the barn and we starting training her and breezing her …
you’re hoping to have horses who are who she is. What a joy she is to be
Whatever they decide I
think that there is another championship in the future for this Stonestreet