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My Miss Aurelia scores in Frizette
Stonestreet Stable and George Bolton's My Miss Aurelia moved her record to a perfect three-for-three on Saturday when capturing the Grade 1, $300,000 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park. The Steve Asmussen trainee ran one mile on the Polytrack in a swift 1:35 1/5 and gave jockey Corey Nakatani his sixth victory on the card, tying the single-day win record at Big Sandy.
"That's an accomplishment that I never dreamed of getting the opportunity to do," Nakatani said. "It's unbelievable. Days like today, they don't come around very often. I've always loved Belmont and the trainers and the owners have been great supporters of mine throughout the years. With things looking like they are in California, I decided to move back here, get my family back here, and make this home. I'm glad to be here and looking forward to getting a lot of opportunities and trying to make the most of them. I'm here to stay."
My Miss Aurelia head right to the front soon after the gates opened, setting a quick pace of :22 3/5, :46 and 1:10 1/5 while tracked by Spare Change and Stopshoppingmaria. The daughter of Smart Strike easily shook loose from those two and proceeded to extend her margin all the way to the wire, eventually finishing 5 1/2 lengths in front of Stopshoppingmaria.
"She's actually a very racy filly," Nakatani remarked. "Steve's been doing an unbelievable job, and Scott (Blasi), just to try to get her to put her wits together and relax. Sprinting, sprinting again and then going a mile, she's moving forward and doing everything right. That's a tribute to Steve and what they do with these young horses. I'm thankful that I have an opportunity to work with such a great horseman.
"She actually would have gone faster if I let her; I was just trying to get her comfortable at a high cruising speed, knowing what her abilities are and what she can do when you ask her to go. You're basically just harnessing her energy and her power until the stretch and then you let her level out and do what she's got to do to win the race."
My Miss Aurelia was the 2-1 second choice behind even-money favorite Stopshoppingmaria, returning $6.50, $3 and $2.60. The runner-up had 3 1/2 lengths to spare over Miss Netta, who was rank early on while running well back in last before finally settling down and putting in a furious rally to take third by 2 3/4 lengths over Holiday Soiree. Spare Change was another head back, with Harbor Mist finishing the order under the wire.
"The track seemed to be really speed-favoring. All three dirt races have been won by the inside speed," said Stopshoppingmaria's trainer, Todd Pletcher. "I thought she ran really well considering she got bothered by the start, took some dirt and was a little green when she first did that. We're pleased with her effort.
"I think (she'll go to the Breeders' Cup), assuming she comes out of it well. The way the track was playing and everything today, I think she has a legitimate excuse.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, My Miss Aurelia captured her maiden debut at Saratoga on July 22, then showed up a little over three weeks later to take the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at the Spa by a neck. The winner's share from the Frizette boosted her career earnings to $300,000.
"She's a special filly," Asmussen praised. "I thought her Adirondack was an excellent race, the way it set up and she showed a lot of heart. We just wanted more of the same. Not moving forward from here, you're just expecting more of the same.
"We plan to go to Churchill with her on Monday, and hopefully everything goes perfectly," he added of her running in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 4.
"Kentucky-bound, we hope," added co-owner Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Stables. "I raised this horse from a baby, and I have loved her from the time she was born. When it came time to name her, who else to name her for but Aurelia (co-owner George Bolton's mother)? Her performance today was spectacular, really spectacular."
The bay juvenile has nearly earned back her purchase price of $550,000 from Bolton as a Keeneland September yearling. She is out of the stakes-winning Sea of Secrets mare My Miss Storm Cat, who placed in the Grade 3 Landaluce during her racing career, and counts as a half-brother the stakes-placed Unbridled's Song colt Albergatti.