Trainer Wesley Ward said Stonestreet Stables and Peter Leidel's dual group 1 winner Lady Aurelia came out of her 10th-place finish in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) "good," and when asked if she would return to racing in 2018 as a 4-year-old his response was sharp and immediate.
"Absolutely," the trainer said of the Scat Daddy filly.
Ward indicated Lady Aurelia would get the rest of the year off and didn't have much of an explanation as to why the 4-5 Turf Sprint favorite ran so poorly behind upset winner Stormy Liberal.
"She came out of the race good, sound—no problems. Unfortunately we were just beat," Ward said. "It was a long season and we lost that sizzle from earlier in the year."
That sizzle resulted in a 2 1/2-length Giant's Causeway Stakes win to start her season April 15 at Keeneland, then a score at Royal Ascot in the King's Stand Stakes (G1) June 20. She was a nose back behind Marsha at the wire in the Aug. 25 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) at York in her last start before the Breeders' Cup.
Two horses that didn't exit Saturday Breeders' Cup races all that well were Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) participants Avenge and favorite Lady Eli. Trainer Richard Mandella said Sunday that Avenge needed stitches to close up some cuts she sustained during the race, and Lady Eli was withdrawn from the Keeneland November breeding stock sale because of a number of significant lacerations and a puncture wound to her hind legs.
Mandella said Avenge will travel to Claiborne Farm for a quarantine period before she moves to England to be bred to Frankel.
Lady Eli and Lady Aurelia were two of several short-priced favorites to misfire during Breeders' Cup Saturday, and the rest—Moonshine Memories (Juvenile Fillies), Unique Bella (Filly & Mare Turf Sprint), Drefong (Sprint), and Bolt d'Oro (Juvenile)—all came out of their races in good order, according to their trainers.
The two juveniles, Moonshine Memories and Bolt d'Oro, will rest for the remainder of the season and return to training for 3-year-old campaigns.
"He came back great, ate all his feed, and bit me on the arm," said Bolt d'Oro's owner/trainer Mick Ruis. "I think he was pissed off."
Ruis said the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and FrontRunner Stakes (G1) winner will get 60 days off and point to the San Felipe Stakes (G2) and the Santa Anita Derby (G1).