Cartier Award winner Lady Aurelia, who during her 3-year-old season traveled from her Kentucky base to England's Royal Ascot to beat older males in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes, has been retired.
Barbara Banke's Stonestreet, which bred the 4-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy and raced her in partnership with George Bolton and Peter Leidel, confirmed the news on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, saying, “The globetrotter comes home. We have no immediate plans for Lady Aurelia other than a well-deserved welcome party.”
The two-time Royal Ascot winner (she also won the G2 Queen Mary at 2 in 2016 after breaking her maiden in her first start at Keeneland) won five of 10 career starts, but her two performances in 2018 were not up to her previous standards. After a second-place finish in Keeneland's Giant's Causeway Stakes – a race she won in 2017 – Lady Aurelia finished seventh in defense of her title in the King's Stand.
Wesley Ward, who trained Lady Aurelia throughout her career, said she retires sound.
“She's very special,” said Ward. “To achieve what she's achieved, being trained in America and crowned champion 2-year-old filly in Europe, winning the Cartier Award, it's just unbelievable that she could do something like that.”
In addition to her Queen Mary victory, Lady Aurelia traveled from Kentucky to France to win the G1 Prix Morny at Deauville in August of her 2-year-old season, then finished third at Newmarket in the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes in September.
“To come back and vindicate what she did at 3, beating colts at Royal Ascot, was unbelievable,” he added.
Two months later at York, Lady Aurelia finished second in the G1 Nunthorpe Stakes, caught in the final jump by Marsha. Lady Aurelia's jockey, Frankie Dettori, thought he won it, thrusting a celebratory fist in the air.
“She's an amazing filly to be able to go back and forth and do all those things she did,” said Ward.
Lady Aurelia, produced from the Forest Wildcat mare D'Wildcat Speed, completed her 2017 season with a disappointing 10th-place finish as the 9-10 favorite in the G1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar.
“She had a great demeanor, always standing at the front of her stall with ears pricked,” he said. “She was a joy to train, and I didn't train her hard. She didn't need that much, because she was kind of a small filly. But when you led her over on the day she was as big as 10 men. She had a real drive inside of her. It was a joy and a pleasure to train her. She'll give me life-long pleasure and memories with my children having been there for those wins. She was special.”
— Stonestreet ? (@StonestreetFarm) July 18, 2018
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