01/05/2012 2:31PM

2011 Eclipse Awards: My Miss Aurelia

Adam Coglianese/NYRA

The good ones – the real good ones – have the uncanny knack of revealing themselves early. Such was the case with My Miss Aurelia.

The fifth race on July 22 was the first and quite possibly the hottest 2-year-old maiden special weight race of the entire 2011 Saratoga meeting. That is where My Miss Aurelia began her racing career, and she made a stylish introduction. The daughter of Smart Strike-My Miss Storm Cat, by Sea of Secrets, asserted her superiority late after prompting the early pace. She beat two next-out winners, among them Stopshoppingmaria, who came back to take her next start by almost 10 lengths with a heady 101 Beyer Speed Figure. This was an auspicious debut. Then again, My Miss Aurelia already had some nice things going for her.

My Miss Aurelia was bred by the Stonestreet Stables founded by Jess Jackson. She was sold at auction in the fall of 2010 for $550,000 to George Bolton, who subsequently brought Stonestreet back in as co-owner of My Miss Aurelia. By the time of the filly’s debut, three months after Jackson’s death, Stonestreet was being operated by Jackson’s wife, Barbara Banke.

[MORE: Complete list of 2011 Eclipse Awards finalists | Vote for Horse of the Year and win]

My Miss Aurelia was placed in the care of trainer Steve Asmussen, thus reuniting the Stonestreet-Bolton-Asmussen partnership that campaigned two-time Horse of the Year Curlin.

If My Miss Aurelia’s debut was promising, her next victory in the Adirondack Stakes proved she was for real. They seemed to come at her in waves that day, with My Miss Aurelia first surviving a duel for the early lead and then a fierce challenge from Matron winner Millionreasonswhy. No matter what was thrown at her, My Miss Aurelia simply would not capitulate.

“I thought her Adirondack was a very gutty race,” Asmussen said. “If you were soft or you had a blink in you, I think it would have shown up that day.”

The Adirondack proved to be the last time My Miss Aurelia allowed anyone within hailing distance of her. She ran off to a near six-length romp in the Frizette over Stopshoppingmaria, running the mile faster than the highly regarded colt Union Rags did winning the Champagne in the next race and making it obvious that she was one to beat for the divisional championship. And My Miss Aurelia confirmed her superiority in the Breeders’ Cup, proving much the best in the Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies. She left Spinaway Stakes winner Grace Hall and Oak Leaf and Del Mar Debutante winner Weemissfrankie in second and third, three and nine lengths back.

“How good could you possibly want a 2-year-old to look when you look at her four races,” Asmussen said the day after My Miss Aurelia’s Breeders’ Cup triumph. “Her maiden race ended up being the maiden race. In the Adirondack, she showed tremendous grit for a filly off one maiden race. The Frizette was ‘Wow!’ You watch that and say ‘You’re a runner; special.’”

And as for the Juvenile Fillies, Asmussen noted, “Grade 1 winners were second and third, and they showed up. She looked fabulous at the wire. I think she’s a deserving champion.”

Many agree.

Date Track Race Finish Chart Distance Time Beyers Video
11/4/11 CD BC Juvenile Fillies 1st 1 1/16 mile 1:46.00 86 Video
10/8/11 BEL Frizette 1st 1 mile 1:35.00 96 Video
8/14/11 SAR Adirondack 1st 6 1/2 furlongs 1:17.00 91 Video

My Miss Aurelia


Breeder: Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC
Trainer: Steven M. Asmussen
Owner: Stonestreet Stables and Bolton, George
Record: 3-3-0-0
Best Beyer: 96