My Miss Aurelia, the 2011 champion 2-year-old filly, will make her first start in 16 months in the $100,000 Shine Again Stakes at Saratoga Race Course Monday, July 21.
The seven-furlong Shine Again for fillies and mares attracted a tough field of six that includes grade I winners Grace Hall and Better Lucky, and recent My Juliet Stakes winner Bridgehampton.
The Shine Again also will be 5-year-old My Miss Aurelia's first start for trainer Todd Pletcher.
While in the barn of Steve Asmussen, the Stonestreet Stable homebred posted grade I wins in the Frizette and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2011, and the 2012 Cotillion. In her final start for Asmussen, she was third in the Azeri (gr. III) in March 2013 at Oaklawn Park.
"Timing-wise, (the Shine Again) looked like the right kind of race," said Pletcher. "I felt like seven furlongs suited her better than the Honorable Miss (gr. II) would have. As far as the race coming up tough, you can pretty much expect that at Saratoga. She has been training well, and, hopefully, she runs back to her 2- and 3-year-old form."
The bay daughter of Smart Strike and My Miss Storm Cat, by Sea of Secrets, has won six of nine lifetime races and banked $2,437,000.
My Miss Aurelia was in Pletcher's barn last summer but went to the sidelines after shedding a frog.
"What we thought would be a minor issue turned out to be an issue that took a long time to be corrected, so here we are," said Pletcher.
She has turned in two works over the Saratoga main track, most recently breezing five furlongs July 16 in 1:00.33. It was the fastest of five on the morning.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will send out Alpha Delta Stables' multiple graded stakes winner Grace Hall. The 5-year-old has made two starts since she was transferred to Mott at the beginning of 2014. Her seasonal debut came in the one-mile Ruffian (gr. II) at Belmont, in which she finished second coming off a layoff of over a year. For her next start, Mott shipped the daughter of Empire Maker to Santa Anita Park for the 1 1/8-mile Vanity (gr. IT), and she responded with another strong runner-up performance.
The Shine Again will mark the bay mare's first start sprinting since she captured the Spinaway (gr. I) at Saratoga in 2011.
"We're trying to find out (how she handles the distance)," said Mott. "She's a grade I winner at seven furlongs. We want to give her an opportunity early in the meet to see how she performs at seven-eighths. If she were to do well, we have the option of going in the Ballerina (gr. I) later in the meet."
Darley-bred Grace Hall owns a 6-4-2 mark in 15 career starts with earnings of $1,526,360.