Lady Aurelia working at Keeneland April 9

Lady Aurelia working at Keeneland April 9

Keeneland/Coady Photography

Lady Aurelia Faces Elders in Giant's Causeway

The 3-year-old filly will face an overflow field of older females.

Lady Aurelia's 3-year-old debut appears to be no cakewalk.

Not only will Stonestreet Stables, George Bolton, and Peter Leidel's group 1 winner face an overflow field in the $100,000 Giant's Causeway Stakes April 15 at Keeneland, but she'll also face older horses for the first time.

Every other horse in the field is either a 4-year-old filly or a mare, including multiple stakes winners Ruby Notion, Exaggerated, Rapid Rhythm, and Pretty Perfection, along with single stakes winners Triple Chelsea, Come to Mischief, Lots o' Lex, and Bibby.

But none can touch the class Lady Aurelia displayed in 2016, when she shipped overseas after breaking her maiden by 7 1/2 lengths on the Keeneland dirt in April to win the Queen Mary Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot and the Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville. Although she ended her 2-year-old campaign with a third-place run in the Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes (G1) at Newmarket, she earned champion 2-year-old filly honors in Europe and will look to capture another regal stakes June 20 in the King's Stand (G1) back at Royal Ascot.

LEWYN: KY-Bred Lady Aurelia Victorious in Prix Morny

"(The Giant's Causeway) gives us good spacing to go to the King's Stand, which is five-eighths at Royal Ascot," trainer Wesley Ward said.

The main contender to spoil Lady Aurelia's 5 1/2-furlong party on the Keeneland grass appears to be Stoneway Farm's Pretty Perfection. The Majesticperfection  mare trained by Kelly Breen has won her last three races sprinting five furlongs on the Gulfstream Park turf, including a win against Triple Chelsea and Bibby in the Jan. 28 Ladies' Turf Sprint Stakes and another over Ruby Notion in the Captiva Island Stakes March 11.

Other threats could include Lael Stables' Exaggerated, who won the Giant's Causeway last year, and Robert Evans' Rapid Rhythm, another mare riding a three-race win streak—the Sept. 24 Oakley Stakes at Laurel Park, the Dec. 2 Battle of New Orleans Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, and the Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds—for trainer Michael Stidham.

Entries: Giant's Causeway S.

Keeneland, Saturday, April 15, 2017, Race 8

  • STK
  • 5 1/2f
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 4:57 PM (local)
11Ruby Notion (WV)Joel Rosario120Wesley A. Ward10/1
22Triple Chelsea (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRobby Albarado120Anthony J. Granitz12/1
33Nobody's Fault (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose Valdivia, Jr.120Neil L. Pessin30/1
44Exaggerated (VA)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat120Arnaud Delacour6/1
55Rapid Rhythm (VA)Keeneland Sales GraduateJames Graham120Michael Stidham6/1
66Come to Mischief (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduatePerry Wayne Ouzts120Valerie K. Shanyfelt50/1
77Lady Aurelia (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJohn R. Velazquez117Wesley A. Ward6/5
88Lots o' Lex (KY)Jesus Lopez Castanon120Gerald Russel Aschinger30/1
99Bibby (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose Lezcano120Victoria H. Oliver30/1
1010Pretty Perfection (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateNik Juarez125Kelly J. Breen5/1
1111Lajatico (GB)Florent Geroux120Doug F. O'Neill15/1
1212Miss Katie Mae (IRE)Jose L. Ortiz120H. Graham Motion12/1
1313Marquee Cal Gal (KY)Jack Gilligan120Philip A. Sims20/1
1414Super Saks (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDeclan Cannon120D. Wayne Lukas20/1