Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

My Miss Aurelia ready for return


With only one start in 2013, and seven months ago at that, one of the most exciting horses of the past few years has become a bit of a forgotten star. That should change this week, with the long awaited return of My Miss Aurelia is set to happen this Thursday at Belmont Park. The filly that nearly repeated her Eclipse Award of 2011, with another in 2012, is scheduled to run in the $100,000 Punkin Pie overnight stakes, a $100,000 affair for fillies and mares who haven't won a stakes in 2013.


Not only will the Punkin Pie be My Miss Aurelia’s first race since March the 16th, but it will also mark her first start for a new barn. The daughter of Smart Strike was transferred from the Steve Asmussen yard, for whom she has made all of her nine lifetime starts, to that of the nation’s leading trainer, Todd Pletcher. Pletcher feels she is ready to run, and could be quickly looking for bigger things for the classy mare.


"We were just looking for somewhere for her to bring her back off a long layoff," said Pletcher. "We can see where she is in her training. She's indicated to us that she has trained very well and is ready to get started again. We're trying to get back on track and see where she is in terms of future races."


If things go as smoothly as hoped in the Punkin Pie, the Grade 2, $300,000 Go for Wand Handicap over Thanksgiving weekend will likely be her first major target as a Pletcher trainee. The Go For Wand, formerly known as the Maskette, will be contested at one-mile over Aqueduct’s main track.


Owned in partnership by Stonestreet Farm and George Bolton, My Miss Aurelia was perfect in four starts at two. Dominating victories in a maiden, the Adirondack, the Frizette, and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies made her the only possible choice for Champion Two-year-old Filly of 2011. After a lengthy layoff to recover from a physical setback, My Miss Aurelia made her first return to the races at Saratoga last summer.


A good win in the 6 ½ furlong Mandy’s Gold Stakes sent her into a Grade 1 showdown against the red-hot, Questing, in the Cotillion at Parx. A memorable stretch drive concluded with a narrow, but impressive victory for My Miss Aurelia. She then entered last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff perfect in six starts. She was in it at the top of the lane, but the older, and defending champ, Royal Delta proved too much down the Santa Anita lane. Still though, the second place finish for the lightly raced three-year-old filly was nothing but a positive.


One final race at the end of 2012, in hopes of clinching another championship, ended with a third place finish. The loss, to top female sprinters, Book Review and Reneesgotzip, in the seven furlong, and Grade 1 La Brea, ended her hopes of a second Eclipse Award. That brings us back to 2013, where My Miss Aurelia has only a disappointing third place finish in the Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park to show for the season.  


Something tells me that her winless record this year will not survive the week. My Miss Aurelia is back, where I expect she will likely return to her place as one of America's best.


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Older Comments about My Miss Aurelia ready for return...

Ugh so frustrating. Really wish she could have come back by now
awh man. i was so excited to watch her after i got out of class.
My Miss Aurelia has a minor foot issue and will not run today at Belmont. Pletcher said she will be fine.
Brian where did you see/hear that? That is exciting!
I don't blame them Brian. Fact she came out so late in the season,looks like she will be in training through the Gulfstream Meet. I would assume that Todd would lay her up for a few months ,and then prep her for next years Cup. This is all Todd needed,another G1 caliber filly.Almost seems unfair to evryone else.
Stonestreet plans on running My Miss Aurelia next year as a five-year-old.
YES! She's back!!!! Been waiting for this for so long. I was heartbroken when she lost to Royal Delta m. She hasn't been the same horse in her last two races so I hope they found a way to get her back to her usual form.
One other thing,at least this will be an easy prep,to what looks to be her main goal.The Go For Wand ,at Aq. on Nov.29th at a flat mile.
Good to see her back,but seriously NYRA Racing Secretary PJ Campo. Can you have given her an easier cookie.She is running against 3 foes of absolutely co consequence.The 4th horse in the race is another Pletcher filly.He had to enter her so that they would have a minimum of 5 horses to card the race.
read your Pavlov and conditioned reflexes
horses simply run out of fear......Ancient fight or flight
You've claimed multiple times that horses cannot sense competition and simply ran due to fear. Now you are saying they have the capability to lose interest, which, according to your first argument, they never had. Care to explain?
I have NO idea what you are trying to say
That implies there was interest prior, t_v. Doesn't go both ways.
always wondder what happens to the really good ones like Storm Flag Flying...Just lose interest.
Nice to see this mare back running - she keyed a big pick 4 score for me when she won the juvenile fillies and she's always held a place in my heart
>>"In season"
Now my favorite filly is back, MY MISS AURELIA!

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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