LOUISVILLE — Whether she was on the farm, in the sales ring or on the track, My Miss Aurelia has always stood out over other members of her generation.
The unbeaten daughter of Smart Strike continued to show her brilliance, overtaking rivals entering the turn and putting them all away in the stretch to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies over Grace Hall by 3 lengths Friday at Churchill Downs.
A $550,000 purchase at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, My Miss Aurelia entered the race off a 51/2-length victory in the Grade I Frizette Stakes on Oct. 8. Though she went gate-to-wire in that race, the filly — who is owned by George Bolton and Stonestreet Stables — relaxed in second Friday in the 11⁄16-mile race behind pacesetter Candrea under a comfortable hold from jockey Corey Nakatani.
After Candrea posted fractions of :23.20 and :47.19, My Miss Aurelia ranged up to her neck around the quarter pole and spurted away from her 13 challengers for her fourth win in as many career outings.
"George bought the filly and Stonestreet (who bred her) stayed in on her then," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "She was their favorite on the farm. She was their pick. She's just been everybody's star at every stage."
The victory was emotional for the connections of My Miss Aurelia as Stonestreet founder and wine mogul Jess Jackson died in April.
"It's been a rough 2011 for me and my kids ... so it looks like we've turned a corner," said Barbara Banke, Jackson's widow.
Grace Hall was clear for second with Weemissfrankie third.
Perfect Shirl stuns in Filly & Mare Turf
For the second year in a row, the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf produced a big upset as Perfect Shirl wore down Nahrain in deep stretch to win the 13⁄8-mile race at odds of 27-1.
Shared Account, a winner last year at odds of 46-1, was back to try to repeat, but no one had an answer for the Roger Attfield-trained Perfect Shirl.
Winless in eight starts since her triumph in the Grade II Lake George in July 2010, Perfect Shirl rallied between horses in the stretch on the outside of a hard-driving Nahrain and hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front in 2:18.62 over a course rated good. Nahrain, who hadn't lost in four career starts, held for second with Misty For Me third.
Stacelita, the 9-to-5 favorite, faded in the stretch to finish 10th of 11 horses.
Juddmonte Farm's Announce was a late scratch when she suffered a cut to her right hind after running into the rail before the race. Dynaslew, who finished last, was also vanned off as a precaution following the race after showing mild signs of lameness.
Musical Romance upsets in Filly & Mare Sprint
Dismissed at odds of 20-1, Musical Romance fought on between horses and drew clear in the stretch to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint over Switch by 11/4 lengths.
Musical Romance was making her 14th start this season, and she had not been off the board in her last eight outings. The dark bay filly sat second through the first quarter in :22.40 but got shuffled back to fourth entering the final turn, forcing her to maneuver between rivals as she advanced under jockey Juan Leyva.
The 4-year-old daughter of Concorde's Tune kept digging entering the top of the lane and soon reduced the contest to a race for second as she was timed in 1:23.47 for 7 furlongs.
Leyva and trainer Bill Kaplan both earned their first Breeders' Cup victories. It was Leyva's first Breeders' Cup mount.
Switch came running with Her Smile late and edged that one out for second. Turbulent Descent, the 7-to-5 favorite, finished fifth after a troubled trip that saw her check sharply early on.
Grade I winner Shotgun Gulch was a late scratch at the gate after attending veterinarians observed her to be off in her left front leg.
Ramseys reign in Juvenile Fillies Turf
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's homebred filly Stephanie's Kitten unleashed a late kick to wear down Stopshoppingmaria and win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf by three-quarters of a length.
After setting fractions of :24.57 and :50.55 in the 1-mile race, Stopshoppingmaria was holding strong to the lead in the stretch and looked like a winner in the final furlong.
But Stephanie's Kitten, under jockey John Velazquez, came on, angling to the outside and running down the pacesetter to hit the wire in 1:38.90 over a course rated good at odds of 6-1.
Stopshoppingmaria held for second with her stablemate Sweet Cat third. Elusive Kate, the 5-to-2 favorite, was eighth.
The daughter of Ramseys' stallion Kitten's Joy, Stephanie's Kitten earned her way into the race when she won the Grade I Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland on Oct. 7, her second win in four career starts. The bay filly is named after one of the Ramseys' granddaughters, and Ken Ramsey turned down an offer to sell her to celebrity chef Bobby Flay shortly before her Alcibiades win.
The victory gave trainer Wayne Catalano his third career Breeders' Cup victory and was the second for the Ramseys.
Secret Circle holds on in Juvenile Sprint
Bob Baffert-trained Secret Circle held off a fast-closing Shumoos in deep stretch to win the inaugural $500,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint by 1 length.
Sent off as the 2-5 favorite in the nine-horse field, Secret Circle sat off the flank of Trinniberg through fractions of :20.96 and :44.55 before advancing on the outside and striking the front on the final turn. The bay son of Eddington opened up a clear advantage down the middle of the lane but got leg weary late in the 6-furlong test.
With the eventual winner fighting to hang on, the filly Shumoos came up the inside with a determined run but fell short at the wire. Secret Circle remained unbeaten in three career starts. Final time for the race was 1:10.52 over a main track rated good. Holdin Bullets came up for third, 41/2 lengths behind Shumoos.