By Bill Finley
‘TDN Rising Star’ Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy-D’ Wildcat Speed, by Forest Wildcat), the fleet filly who won Group 1 races in both England and France, has been retired. The news was first reported by TVG.
According to trainer Wesley Ward, the filly is sound and doing well, but owners Stonestreet Stables and Peter Leidel thought that since her recent form had been a bit below norm it was a good time to call it a career.
Lady Aurelia last raced in the G1 King’s Stand S. at Royal Ascot June 19. As the 2-1 favorite, she finished seventh. She was also beaten in her prior start, the Giant’s Causeway S. at Keeneland. She was the 3-5 favorite in that race and finished second.
“This morning she was bucking and kicking and playing in her stall,” Ward said. “It was probably selfish of me to do so, but I pitched them to let me keep going with her because I thought she still has that fire in her. She’s feeling good and is perfectly sound and the Breeders’ Cup is at Churchill this year. She’s trained her whole life right down the street at Keeneland. Ward continued, “Maybe cooler heads prevailed. Looking at the bigger picture she hasn’t been the same lately. Mentally, physically she seems to be fine, but when she had laid it down on the racetrack in her last couple of runs she hasn’t been as good as she was last year. In the last race at Ascot, she just didn’t fire on the day, for whatever reason.”
To Ward, Lady Aurelia is the type of horse every trainer dreams of having.
“If you’re lucky, you get blessed with something like her maybe once in your career, so I was very lucky and fortunate to be able to train her,” he said. “She’s been very special to me and my family and she gave us life-long memories from what she accomplished at two and three going over to Royal Ascot. She had a fantastic run. She’s certainly the most accomplished horse I’ve ever trained and the best 2-year-old I ever trained.. To come back and be vindicated at three (with a win in the King’s Stand) was very special. I’ve had some great horses and she’s certainly at the top of that list.”
Lady Aurelia is the only American-based horse to win a Cartier Award, Europe’s version of the Eclipse Awards. She was named champion 2-year-old filly in 2016 thanks to wins in the G2 Queen Mary S. at Royal Ascot and the G1 Prix Morny in France. Her 2017 King’s Stand win made her a two-time winner at Royal Ascot.
The $350,000 KEESEP yearling, bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, won five of 10 career starts, good for $834,945 in earnings. She ran more times in Europe (6) than she did in the U.S. (4).
The owners have yet to decide who she will be bred to.