Keeneland salutes Stonestreet Stables and Peter Leidel’s European champion Lady Aurelia, arguably the most accomplished, well-traveled horse to be based here. Her retirement was reported Wednesday.
Lady Aurelia, a 4-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy trained by Wesley Ward, left her Keeneland base to win a total of three Group 1 and Group 2 races in England and France while being a source of pride for Keeneland for another reason: She is a graduate of the 2014 September Yearling Sale.
The filly opened her career at Keeneland in April 2016, winning a 4½-furlong maiden race by 7½ lengths in a then-track record :50.85.
Lady Aurelia next embarked on an ambitious schedule, successfully leaving Keeneland twice for oversees races. In June, she and jockey Frankie Dettori scored a dominating 7-length win in the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot in England. She returned to Keeneland to train for her next race in France. Two months later, she and Dettori won in the Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville.
Remaining overseas for her next race, Lady Aurelia was third in the Connolly’s Red Mills Cheveley Park (G1) at York in England. For the season, Lady Aurelia became the first American-based horse to receive a Cartier Award when she was named Europe’s champion 2-year-old filly.
Lady Aurelia began her 2017 campaign at Keeneland, winning the Giant’s Causeway (L) by 2½ lengths in April.
Returning to Royal Ascot, she and jockey John Velazquez captured the King’s Stand (G1) by 3 lengths. Two months later at York in England, Lady Aurelia was caught at the finish of the Coolmore Nunthorpe (G1) by Marsha (IRE) and finished second by a nose.
This April, for the third consecutive year, Lady Aurelia began her season at Keeneland and was second in the Giant’s Causeway. She next made her third appearance at Royal Ascot, finishing unplaced in her second start in the King’s Stand.
Lady Aurelia retires with five wins in 10 starts and earnings of $834,945.
The champion has other connections to Keeneland. Stonestreet bought her dam, the Grade 2-winning Forest Wildcat mare D’ Wildcat Speed, for $1 million at the 2005 November Breeding Stock Sale.
Lady Aurelia was consigned to the 2014 September Yearling Sale by James M. Herbener Jr., agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised, and purchased for $350,000 by George Bolton and Leidel.
Ward has won 10 races at Royal Ascot – all with Keeneland-based horses.