12/21/2012 6:23PM

Santa Anita: My Miss Aurelia looks to nail down Eclipse Award in La Brea

Tom Keyser
A win by My Miss Aurelia in the Grade 1 LaBrea would enhance her chances of being voted champion 3-year-old filly.

ARCADIA, Calif. – My Miss Aurelia was the champion 2-year-old filly of 2011, but her bid to repeat at age 3 in 2012 was seemingly compromised by a late start, since she did not return until August. But in a little more than four months, she has more than made up for lost time. She is on the short list of contenders for her division’s Eclipse Award, and responsible voters will get another chance to evaluate her campaign before the polls close when she runs in the Grade 1, $300,000 La Brea Stakes on Wednesday at Santa Anita.

The La Brea, at seven furlongs, was not originally on the winter itinerary for My Miss Aurelia. She won her first two starts following a nine-month layoff, to remain unbeaten, and then beat all but Royal Delta in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.

But My Miss Aurelia trained so well coming out of the Ladies’ Classic that the La Brea became a viable option. She never has lost around one turn, and should be a short-priced favorite against six rivals.

“She’s just done great,” said Scott Blasi, the top assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen who oversees his Santa Anita string. “Only having three races so far this year, she’s really fresh.

“Her work last week was exceptional,” Blasi said, referring to a five-furlong drill in 59  seconds on Dec. 12. “She’s just special.”

My Miss Aurelia won the Grade 1 Cotillion in September, beating Questing, and was well in front of Questing in the Ladies’ Classic. A win in the La Brea would enhance her already strong credentials for a divisional title.

My Miss Aurelia carries top weight of 123 pounds, five more than her rivals.

Bob Baffert will try to stop My Miss Aurelia with three entrants – Candrea and Mamma Kimbo, who ran one-two in an allowance race last month at Betfair Hollywood Park, and recent acquisition Book Review.

Although Candrea won that race against Mamma Kimbo, Mamma Kimbo is the more highly regarded of the pair. She figures to improve off her last race, which was her first start in more than six months.

“She ran well. She just got a little tired,” Baffert said.

Mamma Kimbo defeated maidens sprinting in her debut here in February, then won the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park in her second start.

Book Review, previously trained by Chad Brown, was well beaten in a pair of Grade 1 races in New York this year, the Test and the Gazelle.

The versatile Reneesgotzip won a minor stakes race going six furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 1, which followed an outstanding third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. This will be the first time since March that she has raced beyond 6  1/2 furlongs, but she has learned to ration her speed in recent starts, which should serve her well in this spot.

The speedy Nechez Dawn could not hold off Reneesgotzip on Dec. 1. This will be her first attempt at seven furlongs, and her first race ever on dirt.

Creditcardroulette beat a soft first-level allowance field at Hollywood Park on Dec. 1. She looks overmatched against these.

Tim Roberts More than 1 year ago
Wow, only her 4th start of the year and an eclipse award? She loses in the biggest race (BC), and one of her two wins so far was a cheap, joke of an allowance race at Saratoga. What a joke awards in this sport mean anymore if she wins one.
Matthew Sanchez More than 1 year ago
this is just my point of view,, if a pace duel devolopes between nachez dawn and reneesgotzip mma got hell of a chance but if she doesnt show up book review moes them all down in the stretch!!! baffert is sneaky but good dont like him but have to make money somehow!!!
HeadHeartHooves More than 1 year ago
Analyzing the first Pick 4 of the Santa Anita meet: http://www.horseracingnation.com/blogs/head_heart_hooves
Craig Mathews More than 1 year ago
Key horse for Pick 5......Big Bane Theory...Any ideas? I think you must use Reneesgotzip in race 4
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
In my view, the LaBrea should not count towards the Eclipse Awards and should be considered the first race of My Miss Aurelia's four year old campaign (as should be the case with all of the other horses). Santa Anita I believe considers this the 2013 running of the La Brea and I believe the cutoff for Eclipse purposes has been the end of the Hollywood Park fall meet ever since that meet first took place in 1981 (meaning the Valedictory at Woodbine on Dec. 16 should have been the last stakes race considered for Eclipse purposes). The year for Eclipse purposes I believe starts with the opening of Santa Anita on Dec. 26 of the previous year, meaning the Malibu and La Brea and other stakes contested in December 2011 are the ones that should be considered for the 2012 awards, while this year's Malibu and La Brea should be considered for the 2013 Eclipse Awards.
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
Clear cut three yo phillie of the year. Ran excellent second in just her third start of the year to the great Roysl Delta. Will crush this field on Wednesday. Division is coming up strong in 2013.
Bob Rose More than 1 year ago
Gee, baffert only has 14 horses entered opening day. Get real Management.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
What would you have them do?
Craig Mathews More than 1 year ago
Yep......on the big days Jill has to be seen......she wants at least 3 winners circle pictures taken......to show off her stuff
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
So managment should limit the number starters a trainer has entered on a given day? Come back to reality, Bob.
raymond More than 1 year ago
I like Creditcardroulette's chances to find a way to step up and make a big bang in the LaBrea. Her last race was in my opinion one that left a ton of room for improvement to become accomplished at 7 panels against a loaded field. No one will be watching her as she does her thing. Go gett'm Creditcard Baby
James Pugliese More than 1 year ago
MMA should cherish 7 furlongs. I loved her coming into the classic, she ran sensatiopnal but,royal delta was allowed to control things with her incredible versatility. Royal delta's build is of amore robust distance horsewhile MMA reminds me of rachel alexandria with quickness and a springlike stride.This is a special horse, dont think you make money bettting against her from 6-9 furlongs max.
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
MMA smokes this soft group. Millers horse wants grass.