Two of the top-ranked juvenile fillies in the nation, My Miss Aurelia and Stopshoppingmaria, will square off for a second time in the $300,000 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 8 at Belmont Park with a spot in the Breeders’ Cup on the line.
Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton’s My Miss Aurelia is the only graded stakes winner in the field of six, as she enters off a narrow victory in the Aug. 14 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga. Mike Repole’s Stopshoppingmaria is just a maiden winner, but it was the way that she did it that turned heads. The daughter of More Than Ready
scored by nearly 10 lengths on the Adirondack undercard in her second start.
The winner of the Frizette will earn a paid trip to the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs. Post time for the one-mile Frizette, which is one of three grade I events on the Belmont card, is set for 4:45 p.m. EDT.
When My Miss Aurelia broke her maiden back on July 22 at Saratoga, she defeated Stopshoppingmaria by three lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs. A little more than three weeks later she dueled with Matron (gr. II) winner Millionreasonswhy through testing fractions in the Adirondack before prevailing by a neck under Julien Leparoux.
By Smart Strike, out of the Sea of Secrets mare My Miss Storm Cat, the bay filly has had two works over the Belmont dirt leading up to the Frizette, including a strong six-furlong breeze Sept. 26 when clocking 1:12 1/5. Trainer Steve Asmussen has assigned Corey Nakatani to ride My Miss Aurelia, the 7-5 second choice, who drew the rail. She was bought by Bolton for $550,000 at the Keeneland September 2010 yearling sale from the Gainesway consignment. Stonestreet bred her and named her after Bolton’s mother, Aurelia.
“Her mother was a sprinter, but her sire is known to have distance horses," Bolton said. "It’s a nice division in the East, but we think we have brought a nice filly.”
Stopshoppingmaria earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure—the top juvenile number of the year—when she romped by 9 3/4 lengths going six furlongs at Saratoga. Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher decided to skip the Sept. 4 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) and train the dark bay/brown filly up to the Frizette. The 6-5 morning-line favorite, she has worked steadily at Saratoga and Belmont for her stakes debut.
“She ran a big (Ragozin) number and a 101 Beyer,” Repole said. “I mean, Uncle Mo ran a 102 Beyer in his debut, so it was huge, and it didn’t take much out of her. She is training great and comes into the race off seven weeks rest. She’s ready.
“When these two horses met before, Maria stumbled out of the gate and gave (My Miss Aurelia) a five-length start. She still only lost by (three) lengths and came back to run a higher (speed) number. They have a great filly and we have a great filly. We’ll see what happens. I think if either one of them win they will be the favorite for the Breeders’ Cup next month.”
Repole, who named the filly after his wife’s extreme spending habits, bought her through Pletcher for $100,000 at the OBS 2011 March select sale of 2-year-olds in training from Eisaman Equine, agent. She was bred in Kentucky by Mueller Farms and is out of the Spend a Buck mare Skybox. John Velazquez will keep the mount for Pletcher, who has won the race two of the last six years.
Others in the Frizette include debut maiden winner Miss Netta
; Spare Change
, who rolled by eight lengths in her second start Aug. 21 in the Saratoga slop; Holiday Soiree
, an optional claiming winner at Hoosier Park last out; and New York-bred Harbor Mist
, winner of the restricted Anne M. Claire Stakes at Saratoga.
“It’s a tough race,” said Kiaran McLaughlin, who trains Miss Netta for Cheyenne Stables. “If we’re third, it’s a success story, a grade I placing. But we like our chances. She’s doing well. It’s a big step from just breaking maiden to a grade I, but we’ll see where we stand.”
$300,000 Frizette Stakes (gr. I, Race 8, 4:45 p.m.), 2YO Fillies, 1 Mile (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. My Miss Aurelia (KY), C S Nakatani, 120, S M Asmussen
2. Miss Netta (KY), R Maragh, 120, K P McLaughlin
3. Stopshoppingmaria (KY), J R Velazquez, 120, T A Pletcher
4. Holiday Soiree (KY), E S Prado, 120, J P Terranova, II
5. Spare Change (KY), J Castellano, 120, C R McGaughey III
6. Harbor Mist (NY), R Curatolo, 120, P M Serpe