Saratoga Day 17, 8/8
My Miss Aurelia showed no signs of her long layoff, during which she recovered from a shin injury, as she spotted the field a short stretch of ground Wednesday in the $100,000 Mandy's Gold before rallying to win easily at Saratoga Race Course.
Last year's 2-year-old champion filly stumbled out of the gate, but quickly had her feet under her under jockey Julien Leparoux and eclipsed the field of four other horses in the turn, pulling away to win by three lengths over Delightful Quality.
“It's great to see her back at the races,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “We just want to be sure she's OK with the little stumble away from there. Julien said she caught well, and we're excited to have her back at the races.”
She is now 5-for-5 in her career.
In the day's other stakes race, Sportswriter was kept off the pace by jockey Javier Castellano, then swung outside the leaders to run off to a neck victory in the $100,000 New York Stallion Series Cab Calloway Division, a mile on the turf, for trainer Rudy Rodriguez.
Sportswriter broke his maiden in his debut in a Saratoga turf sprint last year, but had missed the board in his next four turf starts. He saw mixed results on dirt, but Rodriguez believes he can be a turf horse.
“It was always in my mind ... we bought him for the grass,” trainer Rudy Rodriguez said. “We were a little disappointed the way he ran the last time [on the turf, 9 1/2 lengths back], but I know he can run. Javier gave him a perfect ride, too, so that was good.”