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Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic: Showdown looms between unbeatens My Miss Aurelia, Awesome Feather
By Brad Free
ARCADIA, Calif. – Unbeaten 2-year-old filly champions eventually lose or retire. For most flashy juvenile phenoms, the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic for older fillies and mares is a long way off.
Not this year.
For the first time in Breeders’ Cup history, the Ladies’ Classic field will include an undefeated starter fast enough to win the BC Juvenile Fillies early in her career and durable enough to be running late in her career.
Not just one filly, but two.
Awesome Feather and My Miss Aurelia, champion fillies of 2010 and 2011, respectively, are headed for a showdown in the 2012 Ladies’ Classic.
Barring a dead heat, one of them will lose for the first time.
Awesome Feather is 10 for 10; My Miss Aurelia 6 for 6. Both enter fall in peak form and both are fresh, each having started this year only twice.
Trainer Chad Brown was not surprised to learn 4-year-old Awesome Feather is an early Ladies’ Classic favorite.
“No, it doesn’t surprise me considering she is 10 for 10, a champion, and just ran the best number of her career,” Brown said this week from New York.
Awesome Feather earned a 108 Beyer dominating the $83,000 Nasty Storm Stakes by more than 11 lengths on Sept. 20 at Belmont Park.
Fortunately, Awesome Feather will have six weeks between starts.
“I’m concerned a little bit with that strong of a number,” Brown said. “If it were four weeks, I’d be a little more nervous.”
Brown said Awesome Feather “seems to have come out of her race well,” and would train at Belmont before shipping to Santa Anita the week of the Ladies’ Classic.
My Miss Aurelia is a step ahead, having already arrived at Santa Anita following a Sept. 22 victory in the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx. She defeated Questing by a head, and earned a 96 Beyer. Steve Asmussen trains My Miss Aurelia.
The Cotillion also was the final prep for 3-year-old filly Questing.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said she would train at Greentree Training Center in New York, and ship to California on Oct. 28. After winning back-to-back Grade 1’s this summer at Saratoga, Questing suffered her first dirt-surface loss when second to My Miss Aurelia.
◗ The complexion of the Ladies’ Classic will solidify Saturday following two key preps at Santa Anita and Belmont. Include Me Out meets Amani and shippers Love and Pride and Joyful Victory in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita. Royal Delta will seek a return to winning form when she meets It’s Tricky in the Grade 1 Beldame.
Ellafitz, who was expected to set the pace in the Zenyatta, has been redirected to Hoosier Park for the $100,000 Mari Hulman George Stakes on Oct. 6.
MMA IS A COMPLETE LOCK! SHE SHOWED ME ANOTHER DIMENSION TO HER BY BEATING QUESTING,WHO HAD SOFT EARLY FRACTIONS IN THE PARX DERBY.
The Ladies BC is shaping up as the best race on the card. Lots of talent.
Awesome Feather would have no chance in the Classic. I don't really like her or MMA in the Ladies either. I like Include Me Out and consider AF a bet against. Her prep schedule reminds me of Big Drama last year. He was a bet against last year too.
A friend of mine has been wondering the same thing ... enter her in both the Ladies Classic and BC Classic the next day - then decide late on how well she is doing as to which road to take. Take note the bottom of the tank has not been reached on Feather to this point. She hasn't really been asked in the last 1/4 mile and not since early in her 2YO season, has she even seen someone to run at inside the 1/8th pole, including GI's. Admittedly, the caliber of competition is going to ramp up significantly early in November on BC weekend; but you have to like a filly coming into a race who is an Eclipse champion, undefeated, 2nd after layoff with a career best Beyer in her last race. Add to that she has gained size, strength, speed and is fresh. I do believe Frank Stronach would be very pleased to have his $2.3M purchase from Jacks or Better Farm, parade into the Winner's Circle as an undefeated 2-time BC winner (at his own race track). She would be headed to another Eclipse award and legend status. Feather isn't just Awesome, she is Fantastic - and getting better.
Royal Delta did not look all that good in the pre-race in her last- PE. The key is, if she looks healthy and back on her game, any and everyone else will be running for 2nd. sat.customer, RD is not on the downside, she just seem to need a little more time to get over the Dubai trip. If RD shows up Saturday, the BC Ladies Classic will not be a 2 horse or a 5 horse race, it will be a 1 horse race. Don't count her out.
I know he won't do it, but if the Ladies comes out as strong as its looking, if I was Brown I'd take Feather to the BIG dance. Any reason we couldn't have 4 female HOYs in a row?
Not so fast, Brad Free. It's not a 2-horse race--it's more like a 4-horse race. There Royal Delta and It's Tricky, and not to mention Questing. Frankly, I think My Miss Aurelia and Awesome Feather belong in the second tier behind the 5-horse group I mentioned above. A "Show Down" between the undefeated is probably correct, but your context suggests that My Miss Aurelia and Awesome Feather are towering over the 5-horse group above--that was the impression I got from your article. Anyway, the race is wide open and it should be fun to watch and wager. I can't wait.
Actually, My Miss Aurelia has beaten Questing twice. Questing lost her initial try on dirt in the Breeders Cup last year and she lost saturday...both defeats came at the hands of My Miss Aurelia.
Let's nit forget he weight break my miss Aurelia had and the way the track was playing.
On Saturday, My Miss Aurelia wasn't fast enough to beat Questing, "who was the favortie" to win the BC race by all accounts on this site. NOW, she is in peak form and ahead of Awesome feather. Wow........... you guys need to do some talking by the water cooler. What are you going to do come Monday, Nov 5th when Royal Delta is the winner?
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