Lady Aurelia Among The First Of Breeders’ Cup Contenders To Settle In At Del Mar

The Longines Countdown Clock on the corner of Via de la Valle and Jimmy Durante Boulevard, ticking down to the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Championships, of which Del Mar will be a first-time host, dipped under the eight-day mark Thursday.

Preparations have been progressing steadily since the 78th summer season at the seaside track concluded on Labor Day and there’s dawn-to-dusk activity on the grounds as the Nov. 3-4 days of 13 Breeders’ Cup races totaling $26.5 million in purses approach.

Horses were permitted on the grounds at midnight on Sunday and the main track and paddock opened on Monday. Wednesday was the first for paddock and gate schooling.

Racing Secretary David Jerkens said Thursday morning that there were 150 horses on the grounds for the Bing Crosby Fall meeting that begins on Wednesday, November 1.

Jerkens expects the number to swell into the 600 range with the influx from around the nation and world for Breeders’ Cup week and settle in the 450-500 range for the final three weeks.

The first celebrated arrival was Lady Aurelia. The Turf Sprint pre-entrant has been freshened and trained at Keeneland since a victory in the Group I King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and narrowly-beaten runner-up effort in the Group I Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August.

Owned by Stonestreet Stables and trained by Wesley Ward, Lady Aurelia has five wins in seven lifetime starts and earnings of $814,945. Two of the starts were at Keeneland, the other five in England for the continent-hopping 3-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy.

Lady Aurelia is the standout of seven horses, three of them Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants, for trainer Wesley Ward. His West Coast assistant, Blake Heap, is overseeing preparations for Lady Aurelia, Ultima D (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Hemp Hemp Hooray (Juvenile Turf) for Breeders’ Cup events. Master Merion is scheduled for the $75,000 Let It Ride Stakes on Wednesday, November 1, opening day of the Bing Crosby Fall Meeting while McErin, Fairyland, and Elizabeth Darcy are all nominated for the $200,000 Juvenile Turf Sprint on the Breeders’ Cup Saturday undercard.

“They all shipped in well and been over the track a few times, they all galloped this morning and just floated over it,” Heap said Thursday morning. “I think it’s good for our horses to have arrived a little early. They’ve all put weight back on and settled in nicely.

“They’re all turf horses and there aren’t any turf works until Sunday, so we’ll wait until then.”

The post Lady Aurelia Among The First Of Breeders’ Cup Contenders To Settle In At Del Mar appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.