Lady Aurelia kicked off her 3-year-old season with a victory over elders in the Giant's Causeway Stakes at Keeneland

Lady Aurelia kicked off her 3-year-old season with a victory over elders in the Giant's Causeway Stakes at Keeneland

Anne M. Eberhardt

Lady Aurelia Gets Back to Work at Keeneland

The champion filly headed a busy slate for Wesley Ward.

European champion Lady Aurelia headed a busy slate of workers May 16 for trainer Wesley Ward at Keeneland.

Ward sent out six contenders for half-mile works over the firm turf course in Lexington in preparation for Royal Ascot next month.

Lady Aurelia, owned by Stonestreet Stables, George Bolton, and Peter Leidel, won the 2016 Queen Mary Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot in June, Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville in France in August, and was third in the Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park (G1) at Newmarket in September. The 2016 Cartier champion 2-year-old filly opened her 2017 campaign with a victory against older rivals in the April 15 Giant's Causeway Stakes on the Keeneland lawn, and is scheduled to take on older rivals again in the June 20 King's Stand Stakes (G1) in England.

Returning to the work tab for the first time since she won the Giant's Causeway, Lady Aurelia covered a half-mile in :49 2/5 with Julio Garcia aboard.

"Lady Aurelia worked fantastic," Ward said of the 3-year-old Scat Daddy filly. "I warned Julio with his life that I did not want to go fast. He did a great job today. We broke her off 15 lengths or so behind the 2-year-olds (Fairyland and Happy Like a Fool, who worked together). For her first work back I wanted her to go as slow as she could possibly go."

Fairyland (pointed toward the June 23 Albany Stakes, a group 3 event) and Happy Like a Fool (aiming for the Queen Mary Stakes June 21) were timed in :48 2/5.

Working on his own in :47 1/5 was Wes Welker and Elizabeth Kumin's Undrafted, who is about to make his fourth trip to England. Fourth in the 2014 Darley July Cup (G1) at Newmarket, he won Royal Ascot's Diamond Jubilee (G1) in 2015 and was sixth in the race last year. The Purim gelding bred by Catesby Clay Investment and pointed toward the June 24 Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot, began his 7-year-old campaign with a win in an April 21 allowance race over the Keeneland turf.

Undrafted was several lengths behind the pair of Bound for Nowhere (targeting the group 1 Commonwealth Cup June 23) and Nootka Sound (a candidate for the June 20 Windsor Castle Stakes). Both were timed in :48.

A Scat Daddy filly owned by Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith, and John Magnier, Fairyland started her career with a 3 1/4-length win April 7 on the Keeneland main track. She was bred in Kentucky by Runnymede Farm and Peter Callahan.

Ward bred and owns Happy Like a Fool, a colt by Distorted Humor  who scored a four-length win on dirt April 9 at Keeneland, and owns Bound for Nowhere, a 3-year-old son of The Factor  who has wins over the all-weather at Turfway Park and on the Keeneland turf in two starts this year.

Hat Creek Racing owns Nootka Sound, a 2-year-old Lonhro filly who won her debut by five lengths April 27 on Keeneland's main track. She was bred in Kentucky by KatieRich Farms.

Ward said the six horses will work again next week. All but Ward's homebred Happy Like a Fool are graduates of the Keeneland September yearling sale.