The picture that Scat Daddy’s daughter Lady Aurelia presented on Aug. 21 was that of a premium race filly, showing her heels to a field of colts and fillies from the start and dashing away to win the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville in France by three-quarters of a length in 1:10.61 for 6 furlongs.
When I first saw Lady Aurelia at Jim Herbener’s consignment for the 2015 Keeneland September sale, she was a stoutly made filly of average height but with very good length through the body and very good muscular development. She had a good walk and a bright, engaging attitude.
On the negative side, however, the attractive bay filly was such a strongly made animal that my next thought was, “Will she train up to be a broodmare?” The thought came to mind because the filly was already strongly made, and what, I wondered, would be the result if she built up a lot more mass with the training required to be a racehorse.
Not a broodmare yet.
But when the day comes, Lady Aurelia will make a grand one. Broad-chested and wide across the hips, she is the picture of strength and speed. Purchased for $350,000 at the September sale by George Bolton and Peter Leidel, with breeder Stonestreet staying in the partnership, Lady Aurelia has not put a foot wrong so far.
Unbeaten in three starts, this January foal began her racing early with a victory at Keeneland in April, going 4.5 furlongs in :50.85 and winning by 7 ½ lengths.
Trainer Wesley Ward took the brawny filly to Royal Ascot for her next start, and she blazed away with the G2 Queen Mary Stakes in mid-June. The Prix Morny was the filly’s third start and again showed a nearly two-month layoff, but that seems to work for her.
In comments after the Morny, Ward said the filly would ship to England and prepare for the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Sept. 24, then probably return to the U.S. for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf at Del Mar.
A filly who is a bullet out of the gate, Lady Aurelia has accomplished a great deal in a short time. Whatever she does from this point forward, Lady Aurelia has shown enough on the racecourse to ensure her future and emphasize that her family can produce horses of a very high order.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, Lady Aurelia has good black type in her immediate pedigree. Three of her first four dams are stakes winners; her dam and granddam are champions.
The kink in that litany of praise is the dam and second dam were champions in Puerto Rico. Actually, racing in Puerto Rico is perfectly respectable, but the cataloging standards book that determines black type for sales catalogs (and therefore the evidence of high accomplishment) puts Puerto Rico in the Part II category for recognition of black type.
As a result, racehorses get black type for stakes in Puerto Rico, but the grades for stakes don’t count.
Count or not, some of those horses are plenty good. The dam of Lady Aurelia is a case in point. D’ Wildcat Speed (by Forest Wildcat) won 14 races in a row in Puerto Rico, was Horse of the Year there, and was champion imported 3-year-old filly in 2003.
Not shabby. Then she came to the States and won two more races, including the G2 Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream Park. In all, D’ Wildcat Speed won 16 races from 22 starts, earning $530,755. In 2005, D’ Wildcat Speed sold for $1 million at the Keeneland November sale.
D’ Wildcat Speed’s dam is the gray mare Velvet Panther (Pentaquod). She won 31 races from 55 starts and was twice champion imported mare in Puerto Rico. Brought back to the States for breeding, Velvet Panther has five winners. The best was D’ Wildcat Speed, but two others also earned black type with stakes placings.
Lady Aurelia is one of three winners out of her dam, including stakes-placed Titletown Five (Tiznow), and they have a 3-year-old half-sister training at Belmont. A $275,000 yearling at the Saratoga select yearling sale in 2014, this filly is named Sudden Fame (Congrats) and was purchased by Ramona Bass, with Steve Young as agent. Second from two starts last year, Sudden Fame is working regularly at Belmont Park and earlier this month turned in a bullet five furlongs in :59.19. Although not so suddenly famous as her sister, perhaps this filly also will find herself in the winner’s circle soon.