By Geoffrey Riddle
Lady Aurelia took her first step towards the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Tuesday with her first workout in America after her narrow defeat to Marsha at York.
Lady Aurelia covered four furlongs on a firm Keeneland course in 50.3 seconds under regular work rider Julio Garcia.
The three-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy has not run since edged out in the Nunthorpe Stakes last month. She is no better than 13-8 with Paddy Power and Betfair to win the Del Mar contest on November 4, and is as short as 11-10 with Bet365.
“Julio’s feet were in the dashboard,” Ward said in typically bullish style.
“We put her with the filly (Childhood) that we’ve got nominated to the Buffalo Trace (Group Three Franklin County on October 13), and it was a really good work. I was really happy. Julio did a great job of just getting her to settle and relax.”Lady Aurelia works with Childhood at Keeneland on Tuesday (Keeneland)
Ward said he plans to work Lady Aurelia each week, weather depending, at Keeneland leading to her departure for Del Mar. “She’s everything you want right now,” he added.
“She’s a very, very – the fastest I’ve ever had – filly so I like to have the spacing between races."
“I just think that spacing is ideal. Especially being her first work back today, we’ll be able to get her (to the Breeders’ Cup) with what I believe is the greatest grass course in the world here at Keeneland, in good order – that’s the main thing.
“Lead her over to the paddock at Del Mar on race day as sound as she is today, it will take one heck of a horse to beat her.”
Lady Aurelia, purchased at Keeneland’s 2015 September Yearling Sale, is scheduled to fly to San Diego on October 22.
“We’ll correlate when we have her last work here,” Ward said. “She gets on the plane, she settles in, gallops and she has a nice easy work before the race. Should work out perfect.”