12/26/2012 6:41PM

Santa Anita: Book Review's La Brea win may hurt My Miss Aurelia's Eclipse chances

Benoit & Associates
Book Review, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, prevails in a three-horse photo with Reneesgotzip and favorite My Miss Aurelia in the La Brea Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Eclipse Award voters who responsibly waited until the La Brea Stakes was run on Wednesday at Santa Anita will have far more to ponder after My Miss Aurelia, seeking to enhance her chances of capturing the 3-year-old filly title, was upset in the Grade 1, $300,000 race, finishing third to the victorious Book Review after contesting a vicious, three-way battle for the lead.

The beneficiary for the Eclipse Award may be Questing, whom My Miss Aurelia finished in front of in both the Cotillion Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, but who was the divisional leader during the summer at Saratoga.

The beneficiaries on Wednesday were Book Review, who sat behind a hot early pace that flattered her late run; trainer Bob Baffert, who only recently took over as Book Review’s trainer; and jockey Rafael Bejarano, who is no longer the first-call rider for Baffert, but came through with a gem of a ride.

Book Review ($11.60), sixth in the seven-horse field after a half-mile, came charging down the center of the track and just got up in the final strides to beat a game Reneesgotzip by a neck, with My Miss Aurelia another neck back in third.

Candrea was fourth and was followed, in order, by Nechez Dawn, Creditcardroulette, and Mamma Kimbo.

Book Review was timed in 1:22.41 for seven furlongs on a track rated wet-fast following overnight rain, but it was the early pace that told the tale. Reneesgotzip, Nechez Dawn, and My Miss Aurelia tore through the opening quarter in 22.42 seconds and the half-mile in 44.17, meaning the second quarter was run in a blistering 21.75 seconds. All three got leg weary in the final furlong, which took 13.52 seconds to complete, and Book Review pounced.

“I told him to keep her in the clear,” Baffert said of Bejarano. “When she gets behind horses, she doesn’t run well. It’s nice to get a Grade 1 win with her.”

Book Review, a homebred daughter of Giant’s Causeway for Gary and Mary West, had made her first nine starts on the East Coast for trainer Chad Brown. She was among a handful of horses added to Baffert’s barn in recent weeks by the Wests, who have a home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., near Del Mar. Book Review was seventh in the Test, and fifth in the Gazelle, in her only prior tries in Grade 1 company, but this was her fifth win in 10 starts.

My Miss Aurelia, heavily favored at 2-5, looked to be in an ideal spot a furlong into the race, outside two horses who were intent on the lead. But she ended up engaging those two, and paid the price.

“It wasn’t an ideal trip,” said her rider, Corey Nakatani. “She was sharp. And she took a sharp bump from Reneesgotzip at the top of the stretch. Knocked her sideways. She stopped traveling.”

My Miss Aurelia, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly, suffered the first loss of her career in her previous start when a gallant second to Royal Delta in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. She finished in front of Eclipse rival Questing in that race, and beat her in the Cotillion. But the La Brea result could compromise her chances among voters who waited for the result. Ballots go out in mid-December, and though they are not due until Jan. 3, a number of voters often cast ballots before year’s end.



chuckles m More than 1 year ago
I would like to see a head on replay of the bumping in the last 16th. SA did not show the head on replay and Cal Racing does not have it either but MMA should have been second.
Sherri More than 1 year ago
Such a shame. It wasn't her fault. It's a shame that 2 jockey's enormous ego's has ruined her chances. i wouldn't ride either C Nak Or G Gomez ever again on these fillies.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Neither Questing or MMA did enough to be deserving,but someone has to win
Mike Caiazzo More than 1 year ago
Was the most exciting race of a day full of good races! This horse busted my pick 4, but ran with such heart, it was worth it.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Beyer for this race going to be lowI(somewhere in low-mid 80s). The La Brea was 2 and one-fifth slower than the Malibu, a difference of about 11 lengths and 25+ Beyer points. That 2nd quarter in 21 and 3 completely distorted the race. The horses in the Malibu get their 2nd quarter in 22 flat, and they finished up in sub 24 for the next quarter with a final eighth in about 12 flat. That extra 2-5ths difference between the La Brea 2nd quarter and the Malibu 2nd quarter might not appear that significant, but it's actually a huge deal. 22 seconds for an internal fraction, even for sprints, is like a magical barrier. Going sub-22 often takes a lot out of a horse, and it certainly softened up both My Miss Aurelia and Reneesgotzip today.
B More than 1 year ago
Hello Questing, this year's three year old filly champ! Like My Miss Aurelia better, but she didn't do enough this year.
JT_OnTheSide More than 1 year ago
California - the land of misfit jockeys.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Both Questing and MMA should should be feeling very lucky that they didn't have to face Postesta. That filly was freakishly talented. That being said, however, I would lean towards MMA in the voting.
Tom Van More than 1 year ago
crappy ride by Nakatani, he usually has a better head.
mdavis8357 More than 1 year ago
Give some credit to the winner, chalk eaters.
Mick More than 1 year ago
Taking Aurelia up on that duel cost her. I'm wondering if he possibly had flashbacks to the speed bias on BC day and took her up there. She just didn't have that extra punch today. Looked like she was ready to take control of the race rounding the turn, just didn't kick on as she normally does. Wasn't best today. Renee ran too good to lose, 2 noses away from 2 G1 wins for her this year, here and Santa Anita Oaks. She's a nice filly herself. Book Review got the ideal setup.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Yep, another brutal beat for Renee.