Aurelia's Belle gets Oaks victory


Aureilia's Belle overtook Stellaris in the lane of Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington Oaks and pulled off to a three-quarter length victory under jockey Channing Hill. The bay daughter of Lemon Drop Kid was sent off the 6-5 favorite against her nine rivals and returned $4.40 for the score.

Phaniebdancing bolted to a wide lead on the backstretch of the nine-furlong Polytrack contest, setting splits of :24 ⅗ seconds, :49 ⅕ seconds and 1:14 ⅗ while She's Offlee Good and Aurelia's Belle kept each other company in the second flight. Interrupted saved ground on the rail with Stellaris and Maria Maria to her outside.

Those positions didn't change much leading up to the final turn, but entering the lane Aurelia's Belle had got the jump on the field and taken over from Phaniebdancing. The bay miss kept motoring along in the stretch to stop the clock in 1:52 1/5.

Stellaris was a game second, 4 ΒΌ lengths up on She's Offlee Good. Interrupted completed the top four and was followed under the line by Maria Maria, Colonel Joan, Phaniebdancing, Army, Stock Yard Hen and Annulment.

Aurelia's Belle is now 4-1-2 from eight career starts and banked $339,247 in lifetime earnings. She broke her maiden at Keeneland last October and opened her sophomore campaign for trainer Wayne Catalano with a third in the Old Hat at Gulfstream Park. A second in the Forward Gal and third in the Davona Dale followed before Aurelia's Belle finally earned her first stakes win in the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park on March 22.

The filly accomplished enough to get in the Kentucky Oaks, but ran a dismal ninth in that early May contest at Churchill Downs. Aurelia's Belle stayed under the Twin Spires, though, and made her turf debut last out in the Regret Stakes. She rallied to be a nose second in that contest before elevated to first after the stewards ruled winner A Little Bit Sassy floated her across the track and interfered with fourth-place finisher Kiss Moon, who was bumped, shut off and forced to check hard.

Miller purchased Aurelia's Belle for $170,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. Bred in Kentucky by Alexander-Groves-Matz, she is out of the Danzig mare Aurelia, who never actually won on track but found breeding shed success with the Arlington Oaks winner.

Aurelia is herself the daughter of Grade 2 diva Aishah, who also produced Grade 1 scorer Aldiza, Grade 2 heroine Atelier, stakes winner Arabis, Grade 1-placed Aunt Anne, Grade 3 runner-up Elajjud and multiple stakes-placed They Call Me Giant.

Aurelias Belle counts as her third dam 1983 Broodmare of the Year and blue-hen mare Courtly Dee, whose descendants include champion two-year-old filly Althea; UAE Horse of the Year Festival of Light; Japanese champion filly Yamanin Paradise; Grade 1-scoring millionaire Acoma; and Grade/Group 1 winners Balletto, Ali Oop, Ketoh, Aldiza and Green Desert.