08/06/2012 3:12PM

Saratoga: My Miss Aurelia returns to the races

Barbara D. Livingston
My Miss Aurelia, with Carlos Rosas up, gets in one of several impressive recent workouts preparing for her first start since last fall.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – By her own admission, Barbara Banke is not a patient person. But when it comes to the champion filly My Miss Aurelia she owns, Banke has, to this point, displayed restraint.

Banke’s wait to watch My Miss Aurelia make her 3-year-old debut comes to an end Wednesday when the undefeated filly takes on six opponents in the $100,000 Mandy’s Gold Stakes at Saratoga. The Mandy’s Gold is run at 6 1/2 furlongs.

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“I’m really excited to get Aurelia back to the races, and I think this would be a great way to start her out,” Banke said Monday morning. “We wanted to make sure she was 100 percent, so maybe we’ve been hyper-cautious with her but she’s worth it, she’s a champion. We think she will come back strong.”

My Miss Aurelia, named after co-owner George Bolton’s mother, went 4 for 4 last year, beginning her career with two wins at Saratoga including the Grade 2 Adirondack. She would win the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.

In late December, it was announced that My Miss Aurelia had a shin injury that would delay her return to the races.

She wintered at The Vinery in Florida, and progress came slower than expected.

“The vet would say, ‘She’s 90-percent, she’s 95 percent, she’s 98 percent, 30 more days it’ll be 100 percent,’ “ Banke said. “So we went with 100 percent.

“I can’t say I’m a patient person,” Banke added. “It’s worth it when you’re bringing back a champion.”

My Miss Aurelia has had plenty of workouts to get prepared for her first start in nine months. She shows 11 breezes since the middle of May and really worked super here on July 29, when she went six furlongs in 1:13.03. She has worked in company a couple of times with Tritap, who came off an eight-month layoff of his own to win a maiden race here last Friday.

“I think she’s grown, she’s lengthened, she steps a little further,” said trainer Steve Asmussen, when asked to describe how My Miss Aurelia has changed from 2 to 3.

My Miss Aurelia will break from post 6 in the seven-horse field and is reunited with Julien Leparoux, who was aboard for her first two wins last year.

Srumdiddlyumptious is the only other member of this field to have won a stakes race, having won listed events at Monmouth and Penn National in her last two starts.

Ullapool has run two very strong races since being claimed by Eddie Kenneally for $25,000 in May. She won a starter allowance on June 15 at Belmont and finished second to heavily favored Book Review in an open allowance here on July 20.

“You don’t ever want to run against a champion if you don’t have to, and it looks like My Miss Aurelia has been training really, really well,” Kenneally said. “Our filly is doing well. She has a race over the track, she likes the track, the distance is ideal. We’ll see what happens.”