08/12/2011 2:52PM

Saratoga: My Miss Aurelia seeks to build on favorable first impression in Adirondack


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – My Miss Aurelia, impressive both visually and speed-figure-wise here on opening day, seeks to validate her debut victory when she heads a field of six entered in Sunday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Adirondack Stakes for juvenile fillies at Saratoga.

A $500,000 yearling purchase by Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton, My Miss Aurelia lived up to her price tag by beating the well-meant first-time starter Delightful Magic by one length here on July 22. My Miss Aurelia, a daughter of Smart Strike, stalked Delightful Magic before hooking up with that rival in upper stretch and drawing away in the final sixteenth. She ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.59 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 86.

“Very talented filly, thought she ran excellent first time out,’’ trainer Steve Asmussen said. “This is a great opportunity for her; hopefully, she’s the right kind.’’

By drawing post 5 in the six-horse field, My Miss Aurelia and jockey Julien Leparoux are well-positioned outside the primary speed horses in the field such as New Wave and perhaps Funny Proposition. Perhaps the only concern is the possibility of a wet track.

“She hasn’t got much experience in it but we’ve had a little success with Smart Strikes on off tracks,’’ Asmussen said.

The Asmussen-trained Curlin, a son of Smart Strike, won the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 2008 Jockey Club Gold Cup on sloppy tracks.

Millionreasonswhy is the only member of the field to have won over an off track. She won her debut at Colonial Downs by four lengths in the slop then came back to win the Grade 2 Matron at Belmont by two lengths, making her the only stakes winner in the field.

“At least we know that she likes it or she doesn’t dislike it and the other ones you don’t know,’’ Ignacio Correas IV, the trainer of Millionreasonswhy, said regarding an off-track. “I would say that would give her a little bit of an edge. She’s been doing great and she has no excuses coming into this race.’’

John Velazquez rides Millionreasonswhy from post 4.

Funny Proposition beat 11 rivals in a six-furlong maiden race at Churchill Downs on July 4. While she won on the lead, her connections said they only sent her that day because she had the rail and believe she will be equally effective from off the pace.

“She is a horse that will relax no problem; that’s what we’ll be doing hopefully on Sunday,’’ said Norman Casse, son of and assistant to trainer Mark Casse.

Norman Casse said he would prefer to run on a dry track because of how well Funny Proposition – a daughter of the Saratoga loving sire Medaglia d’Oro – has trained over it.

New Wave, a debut winner at Arlington, Anna Sophia, a debut winner at Belmont, and Bellacourt, a second-out winner here against New York-breds, complete the field.