Never mind a nearly seven-month layoff, Stonestreet Stables, George Bolton and Peter Leidel’s Lady Aurelia was never seriously threatened as she galloped home to win Saturday’s $ 100,000 Giant’s Causeway Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths. The 3-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy, ridden by John Velazquez, is again scheduled to go to overseas, starting with Royal Ascot, where she will attempt to repeat her impressive juvenile Group 1 triumph. Trained by Wesley Ward, Lady Aurelia covered 5 1/2 furlongs over Keeneland‘s firm turf course in 1:02.40 on Saturday.
“Lot of credit goes out to (jockey) Julio Garcia, who gets on her and works her every day,” Ward said. “Instead of shooting to the front, he gets her to relax. He sits back with her and every time she works, she gets more and more relaxed. I think that’s going to be a big key to where we want to go.
Lady Aurelia may have broken from the 7th post position in an 11-horse field, in which she was the only 3-year-old, but she was hung very wide all the way around the turn. She traveled in fifth early on, but then was at least five paths off the rail when turning for home. Nevertheless, Lady Aurelia was an impressive sight as she powered home an easy winner in her first start of the 2017 season. Nobody’s Fault was second, and Ruby Notion was third.
“It is a big advantage that she has trained essentially her whole career here,” continued Ward. “She was settled on a hot day with a big crowd. A lot of fillies might be apprehensive when they ship somewhere but (being home) made a big difference today. This sets her up perfect (to return to Royal Ascot).”
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet, Lady Aurelia was a $ 350,000 Keeneland September Yearling sale purchase. She won at first asking at Keeneland, then traveled overseas to win the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Ascot and the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny, then finishing third in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes. Overall, Lady Aurelia boasts a record of five wins from six starts, with earnings of just under $ 500,000.
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