09/22/2012 7:36PM

Parx: My Miss Aurelia wins stretch duel with Questing in Cotillion

Barbara D. Livingston
My Miss Aurelia (left), under Corey Nakatani, manages to stay unbeaten by edging Questing by a head in the $1 million Cotillion.

BENSALEM, Pa. - My Miss Aurelia came up alongside Questing turning for home in Saturday’s $1 million Cotillion Stakes at Parx and the two-horse race that it appeared to be on paper was about to play out on the racetrack.

My Miss Aurelia, last year’s undefeated 2-year-old filly champion, and Questing, the pro tem leader of this year’s 3-year-old filly division, brushed each other a couple of times in the stretch, but in the end My Miss Aurelia, under Corey Nakatani, prevailed by a short head over Questing and Irad Ortiz Jr. in the Grade 1 Cotillion.

 The victory kept My Miss Aurelia undefeated in six career starts and likely will put her into the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita, where she will likely meet Questing again. My Miss Aurelia, who won the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, earned $586,000 to push her career earnings past the $2 million mark.

 My Miss Aurelia, a daughter of Smart Strike, was making only her second start of the year after missing the bulk of her 3-year-old season due to a shin injury diagnosed late last year. She had just one 6 1/2-furlong race under her belt - an overnight stakes win at Saratoga on Aug.  8 - and in Questing she was facing a filly who won the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama - both Grade 1 races at Saratoga.

 “She’s a very good mare, but it’s a tall task for her to run against Questing off of her one 6 1/2-furlong race. But if you don’t run [against Questing] who would you wait for?,” said Steve Asmussen, who trains My Miss Aurelia for the partnership of George Bolton and Stonestreet Stable.

Questing was loose on the lead through fractions of 25.19 seconds for the quarter, 50.04 for the half, and 1:14.72 for six furlongs. But the track was not favoring front-runners on Saturday in part because it was dry.

 Earlier in the day a couple of trainers, including Questing’s trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, sought out Parx management to ask why the track wasn’t being watered between races. The water trucks did come out midway through the card.

 “I was very upset it was dry, ridiculous track,” McLaughlin said. “We looked great going along in 50 to the half, but you know 50 for the half is not normal for Grade 1 horses and we had to give her seven pounds [124-117].”

 Ortiz floated My Miss Aurelia out a couple paths turning for home and the two brushed. With Nakatani resorting to a vigorous hand ride, Ortiz went to his left-handed whip extremely late, but to no avail.

 My Miss Aurelia covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.54 and returned $5.60 to win.

Nakatani called the bumping between the two fillies “very minor.”

 “[Questing] runs a little green, that’s why I wanted to stay next to him,” Nakatani said. “My filly was wanting to fight with her and run with her. She shifted out a little bit, but my filly she’s real game and strong and that’s why she’s still undefeated.”

Ortiz said the track “was too deep for her today” but said his filly was just outrun in the stretch.

 “I think that horse had more horse than me. She passed me very easy,” Ortiz said.

Said McLaughlin: “She’s a very nice filly, we’ll have to figure out what we’re going to do from here but, obviously it’s a tough beat, but she’s a good one.”

 Dixie Strike finished third while Moment in Dixie was last in the four-horse field.




Graz I. Greener More than 1 year ago
The best long shot play in the 2012 Breeders' Cup races: Angelica Zapata in the Ladies' Classic!!
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Both of these fillies are awesome! Now, that was a thrilling finish. My Miss Aurelia and Questing put on a fabulous show for all of us in the Cotillion. Congratulations to My Miss Aurelia and her connections on an outstanding win in this race. This is going to be a great rivalry going forwards. They looked each other in the eye and neither one wanted to give in. My kind of race. I look forward to seeing these two quality fillies race in the future They are pure fun. And I would like to thank the owners of the other two horses in the race for participating as well, and taking a chance with your horses. It is always disappointing when owners have their horses duck races. When you let them participate in a race with the best it shows you your horse is progressing and can inspire the horse to reach the same level in future races. Congratulations again, to My Miss Aurelia, and thank you to Questing for thriling us with a driving finish. As far as I am concerned, here were no losers in this race.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately Godolphin has decided to retire Questing after the Ladies Classic to add to their broodmare roster. So there won't be much of a rivalry. My Miss Aurelia will come back to race at 4. She will run in the Ladies Classic, then then G1 Gazelle on Thanksgiving weekend before taking a short break until 2013.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
What a stretch duel , awesome ! One of the best stretch duels we will see all year in any kind of race What a aweful Race Track ! How about putting Water on the track. Its a Million Dollar race. The track Superintendant should be fired , I wonder is there is one there. My Miss Auriella is the real deal. Any filly or mare that races against her this year is in trouble no doubt! Assmussen and his team, GREAT JOB!
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
I agree. The track was a joke.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Careful Jeff. You are agreeing with a guy from boston. Thought we were bad horseman from new england. What's up Billy? Hope you doing well. This guy is a dip. Has no clue. Next time your in New york come by and see me.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Actually. My apologies here as well Jeff. I respect your opinion and loyalty. Maybe soon I'll let you know who my boss is. Okay. Maybe. Give folks a break about their roots okay. Bob came from meager beginnings also. I'm just a dumb farm boy trying to improve and maybe get lucky to.
Dave More than 1 year ago
The 3yo filly division is so strong because by and large fillies are allowed to develop, whereas owners push the colts to their max as 2yo and early 3yo because it's Triple Crown or bust. A horse with the brilliant natural speed of Questing already came and went this year, his name was Bodemeister.
Rodrigo Dominguez More than 1 year ago
So many reasons why this years Ladies Classic is more intriguing than the BC Classic. 2 undefeated Champions putting their streak on the line, Questing and awesome filly that at even weight and a fast track will defenitely do damage. Its tricky who had a horrible start but still put on a good race. Royal Delta, a Champion when she is on her game. I just hope they all make it to the gate. Right now I dont know who would take it but MMA looked so strong and looked like she could get away from Questing at any time or for sure keep up with her. Who do you guys have???
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Being 3yo, Questing and My Miss Aurelia would get 3 pounds from the older fillies and mares in the BC Distaff. Do not get carried away, this race does not favor the 3yo fillies at all. 3yo's have won only 8 times, and only once in the last 7 years - it was last year that 3yo Royal Delta won only because the best older filly/mare Havre de Grace ran in the Classic. Havre de Grace dusted Royal Delta by 8L in the Beldame one race prior. It will be a sucker bet to bet the 3yo filly in this year's Ladies Classic (I still like Distaff better). The older filly/mare division is very strong with Royal Delta, It's Tricky, Awesome Feather and Include Me Out. Do not disrespect Include Me Out, she holds the home court advantage and she has a devastating turn of foot especially on dirt in which she is 2 for 2 going two turns with a G2 and G1 win. Pay attention to her run in the G1 Zenyatta Stakes this coming Saturday. The last time the public disrespected an local older filly/mare in the Ladies Classic was in 2009. 3yo lone speed Careless Jewel was made the favorite, but local 5th choice 8:1 Life is Sweet rolled by and dusted the field. Life is Sweet was a closer with a great turn of foot. A year after, 3yo Blind Luck was made the favorite and 3yo Havre de Grace was the 3rd choice but they were both easily beaten by their elder Unbridled Belle, also went off at about 8:1. Seriously, do not bet 3yo in this race this year when you have so many formidable older filly/mare to choose from.
Wayne Haehner More than 1 year ago
first off-hats off to MMA--the 2yo champ was great--why Questing lost is because she wasnt allowed to roll--going 25-50-114 totally disarms Questing of her natural weapon--the brilliant blistering speed--when you have a speed merchant--the slower the fractions--the less powerful these stars are--of course not wanting a speed duel--but you dont rate a rocketship--you blast away and let her do what she does best--if allowed to roll @ SA--Questing could easily run the older mares and MMA off their feet
Marc Estrich More than 1 year ago
Agreed 1000%. Questing should be ridden like Mom's Command was in about 1985 and put these races away before 6F are run. HORRIBLE ride. New jockey recommended from this fan. I still think she's a freak!! Could easily wire BC Ladies even with RD, Tricky, MMA & the Awesome peanut.
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Tough to critisize here except I think Ortiz went to slow too early, as we saw when they were headed, the smart strike filly is much bigger an stronger.
rob More than 1 year ago
great race, but when Ortiz went to the whip, questing hesitated and that was it. she was better we'll just get better odds in the bc.
john deksnis More than 1 year ago
I am giving Aurelia credit... I said she was a terrific horse. And I'm not saying Ortiz is bad all of a sudden. I just wonder if Questing going 6f in almost 1:15 (versus the previous race in 1:09-something) is not her game. In other words, maybe she just needs to motor from the git-go, not rate or be geared down.
Jeffries Will More than 1 year ago
Why is Ortiz so bad all of a sudden? No one was criticizing him a month ago but he gets beat by a nose with everything against him and now its on him. Parx is notoriously brutal on speed horses!! Aurelia was dominate last year and fresh going in, maybe she was just better to today. Give the girl a little credit