Repelling a stiff early challenge and
then a protracted one through the length of the stretch, favorite My Miss Aurelia showed fighting spirit Sunday to hang on and win the 95th
running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Adirondack at Saratoga Race Course.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, the bay daughter of Smart Strike ran the 6 ½-furlong
race for 2-year-old fillies in 1:17.01, fending off Grade 2 Matron winner
Millionreasonswhy by a neck.
“She ran a really tough race; very proud of her,” said
trainer Steve Asmussen, who trains My Miss Aurelia for George Bolton and
Stonestreet Stables. “She definitely earned it. I think she showed a lot,
coming off one 5 ½–furlong maiden race to fight like that to the wire,
especially with the way the race set up. She was challenged the whole way, and
it’s very nice to have a filly as good as she is.”
As the 1-2 favorite in the field of five, My Miss Aurelia paid $3 for a
$2 win bet. The attendance for the day, featuring a T-shirt giveaway, was
When the gate opened, My Miss Aurelia sprinted to the lead but almost
immediately was pressured by the other runners. Bellacourt, runaway winner of a
state-bred maiden race on July 31, poked her head in front after a quarter mile
in 22.20 seconds.
After a half mile in 45.32 seconds, New Wave, ridden hard along the
rail, fell away as did Anna Sophia on the outside. Turning for home, My Miss
Aurelia put away Bellacourt, and then on the far turn Millionsreasonwhy
advanced from her stalking position three wide and engaged the leader in an
The two fillies separated from the rest of the field, with My Miss
Aurelia ultimately prevailing. Bellacourt finished 14 ¾ lengths back in third,
followed by New Wave and Anna Sophia. Funny Proposition was scratched.
My Miss Aurelia entered the Adirondack off a single start, a one-length
victory in a 5 ½-furlong sprint on July 22 at Saratoga.
“This shows she has some fight to her,” Leparoux said.
“She doesn’t want anyone to go by her or get past her. She showed
she could go that extra eighth of a mile and dig in against other horses
Asmussen said the win by a homebred was gratifying because it helps
carry the Stonestreet tradition. Stonestreet founder Jess Jackson died in
April, and his widow, Barbara Banke, vowed to carry on with the stable.
“She’s a very special filly, with her being a Stonestreet
homebred and George (Bolton) being in on
her,” Asmussen said. “Barbara, she’s just a tremendous individual
and it speaks volumes of the horses they are breeding and raising to win a race
of this caliber, especially in that style.”
Bolton, part of a large
festive gathering in the winner’s circle, said Jackson and Banke named
the filly after his mother.
“It’s a very sentimental thing,” he said. “My
mother is a lucky person, and it was apropos to have a horse named after
Banke agreed. “Aurelia is one of the luckiest people I know and
was our lucky charm during the entire [championship] Curlin campaign.”
The victory pushed My Miss Aurelia’s lifetime earnings to
Afterward, Asmussen already had another race in his sights.
“We’d love to run her in the Spinaway [Grade 1, seven
furlongs, September 4], knowing what a great chance it would be for us.”