From the moment My Miss Aurelia was sent to Gulf Coast Farms near Ocala, Fla., to be broken as a yearling, she was a standout. “A star at every stage” is how trainer Steve Asmussen would later describe the bay filly, and she certainly lived up to that billing as a 2-year-old when she won all four of her races while establishing herself as a no-doubt-about-it champion.
That championship status was affirmed Jan. 16 when it was announced that My Miss Aurelia had been voted champion 2-year-old filly of 2011, garnering 247 of the 248 total first place votes.
My Miss Aurelia emphatically wrapped up her championship honors Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs when she rolled to a three-length victory under Corey Nakatani in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) as the 2-1 favorite. That victory followed a score in the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) in October at Belmont Park, and two wins over the summer at Saratoga, including the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II). She earned $1,380,000 in 2011.
By Smart Strike out of the Sea of Secrets mare My Miss Storm Cat, My Miss Aurelia was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, which was owned by the late Jess Jackson, and his wife, Barbara Banke. They offered My Miss Aurelia at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, where George Bolton purchased her for $550,000 on the advice of bloodstock agent John Moynihan.
Bolton, who partnered with Jackson and Banke during the career of two-time Horse of the Year winner Curlin, later sold half of My Miss Aurelia back to Stonestreet. Jackson returned the favor by naming My Miss Aurelia after Bolton’s mother, who is the partnership’s good luck charm.
Jackson lost his long battle with cancer in April 2011 and never saw My Miss Aurelia on the track. It made the Breeders’ Cup victory a bittersweet one for everyone involved with the filly, especially Banke who continues to run Stonestreet.