Lady Aurelia Preparing For Next Star Turn


Lady Aurelia poses with her trophy collection | Mathea Kelley


Some of the greatest mares to grace American racetracks in recent times have passed through the ring at Fasig-Tipton’s November Sale over the past few years, and that firm will be able to add another crown jewel to its honor roll on Nov. 4 when Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy) graces the ring.

The European champion 2-year-old filly, dual Group 1 winner and two-time Royal Ascot winner was officially retired from racing in July, and she appears to be settling in to the next phase of her life just as smoothly as she took to the racetrack. The ‘TDN Rising Star’ was on display for the media at breeder and co-owner Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday and Banke-who maintains a high-quality broodmare band of her own, as evidenced this week by a trio of million-dollar yearlings sold at Keeneland September-explained the decision to put Lady Aurelia through the ring.

“It’s pretty simple,” she said. “I have partners in her, so that seemed to be the best way to go about it.”

Those partners are George Bolton and Peter Leidel, who bought into the filly at Keeneland September after she was knocked down for $350,000. A debut winner at Keeneland at two, Lady Aurelia was one of the most impressive winners at the Royal meeting in 2016 when she took the G2 Queen Mary S. by seven lengths. She added the G1 Prix Morny and was third in the G1 Cheveley Park S. before being named the Cartier champion 2-year-old filly.

A similarly impressive win against elder males in the G1 King’s Stand S. followed at last year’s Royal meeting, and she went down by the barest of noses to Marsha (Ire) (Acclamation {GB})-who subsequently sold for 6-million gns at Tattersalls December-in the G1 Nunthorpe S.

Such form certainly will not go unnoticed by potential European buyers, and Banke said it was a consideration to offer her at an overseas auction.

“Honestly, we thought about it, but we decided it made more sense to offer her here,” she said. “She has an American pedigree and that American speed.”

Trainer Wesley Ward was on hand to visit his former stable star, and he reflected on the magnitude of her ability and accomplishments.

“She’s a special filly, once in a lifetime,” he said. “She was born with great ability and when she figured it out, how to harness that speed and control it and let it loose when the rider called upon her, she was unbelievable.”

With less than two months to go until her next star turn, Lady Aurelia is enjoying life at a slower pace back home at her birthplace.

“We’ve had her about two months,” said Stonestreet Broodmare Farm Manager Louis Logan. “A classy filly like this settles in all on her own. We have her in a small paddock with one buddy who is also going to the November sale, so she’s stalled during the day and turned out all night.”

“There really wasn’t much of a transition,” Logan added. “She settled right in. We received her in very, very good condition from Wesley Ward and all we had to do was just maintain what we had.”

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