Trainer Wesley Ward was excited after Stonestreet Stables and Peter Leidel's multiple group 1 winner Lady Aurelia turned in her final Keeneland work Oct. 21, a day before she leaves for Southern California for her upcoming start in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) Nov. 4 at Del Mar.
Working to the inside of Master Merion, Lady Aurelia and rider Julio Garcia covered five furlongs in 1:00 4/5. Master Merion's time was 1:01 2/5.
"That was beautiful," Ward said. "That's exactly what you want to see. I matched her with a good opponent today, and she kinda pulled away from him with ease. It was a work you want to see before she gets on a plane tomorrow.
"It was very nice. She settled behind him and came right up through on the inside and pricked her ears right there at the finish, to where you could tell Julio had her nice and relaxed (with) speed to spare. The turbo button—he didn't push it today. We've still got it left in us."
At Del Mar, Lady Aurelia will be with Ward assistant Blake Heap, who also trains on his own in Southern California and has accompanied the 3-year-old Scat Daddy filly on her trips to England.
"We'll pony her a couple days just to get her settled in off this work—just keep her happy," Ward said about her upcoming schedule. "Then we'll start galloping her and probably have a nice easy breeze—half-mile breeze—over the weekend."
Lady Aurelia, who last year won her debut at Keeneland on dirt before she took the Queen Mary Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot and the Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville, opened 2017 with a win in Keeneland's Giant's Causeway Stakes in April. She followed that with a victory in the King's Stand Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot in June. She suffered a narrow loss to Marsha in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) at York in August and is slated to meet that rival again the Breeders' Cup.
The filly leads the Ward contingent at Del Mar for the Breeders' Cup or supporting stakes. Also working five furlongs Saturday for Ward were Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T) contender Ultima D (1:03 1/5) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T) runner Hemp Hemp Hurray (1:02 4/5) in company with McErin.