After considering a number of race options for defending Horse of the Year Azeri, owner Michael Paulson of the Allen Paulson Living Trust and trainer Laura de Seroux have chosen the Lady's Secret Handicap (gr. II) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on Sept. 28."She was nominated to the Woodward, the Ruffian, the Beldame (all gr. I at Belmont) and the Lady's Secret and we've decided to go with the Lady's Secret because on the calendar and location-wise, it's the best prep for the Breeders' Cup," de Seroux said Monday morning on the Del Mar backstretch.The Lady's Secret is contested at 1 1/16 miles. The Breeders' Cup championship day is slated for Oct. 25. Azeri is the reigning champion of the $2 million Distaff (gr. I).
"We'll be staying home, she knows the track, she loves the track and all the factors are certainties rather than question marks," de Seroux noted. "My main concern is not to take her to a deep track that she has not trained on and risk taking too much out of her."