(Aunt Pearl / Coady Photography)
From the Breeders’ Cup Media Team:
Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Peter Deutsch, Michael Kisber, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ Aunt Pearl (IRE) ($7.20) went to the front at the break and never was threatened in scoring a 2 ½-length victory in the 13th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) Friday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Aunt Pearl covered the mile on a turf course rated as good in 1:35.71. It is the fourth Breeders’ Cup victory for Cox and sixth for Geroux and second in this race having won here in 2015 aboard Catch a Glimpse.
The 2-year-old daughter of Lope de Vega (IRE) out of the Hurricane Run (IRE) mare Matauri Pearl (IRE) had opened a daylight advantage by the time the field reached the first turn with two-time Group winner Campanelle in closest pursuit.
At the head of the stretch, Aunt Pearl continued to widen her lead and had more than enough left to hold off runner-up Mother Earth (IRE) with Miss Amulet (IRE) finishing another neck by in third with Campanelle fourth.
The victory was worth $550,000 and boosted Aunt Pearl’s earnings to $682,784 with a perfect 3-for-3 record that includes a victory in the Jessamine here last month over the same course.
Winning Trainer Brad Cox (Aunt Pearl (IRE)) – “That was a devastating performance. She is an amazing filly. Very proud of her. Speed is her weapon and she knows how to use it. I was pretty confident (she would win) when I saw the :47 and (jockey Florent Geroux) obviously knows her well.”
Winning co-owner Sol Kumin of Madaket Stable (Aunt Pearl (IRE)) – “I saw the first fraction and I got a little nervous but Florent did a great job slowing it down the second fraction. It’s a huge win. Brad Cox has done a tremendous job with the filly and she’s another Liz Crow buy. We’re thrilled. It’s a team effort and we’ve got really good people around us.”
Winning Jockey Florent Geroux (Aunt Pearl (IRE)) – “I know she is extremely fast. I just tried to get away good. She was off to a flying start. She went pretty quick early on and after that I tried to get her to relax. On the backside she came back to me. When I asked her, she had plenty left. She’s extremely talented. I think the sky is the limit for her. Over the winter, hopefully she’ll grow a little bit and next year we can do it again.”
Second-place Jockey Ryan Moore (Mother Earth (IRE)) – “I had a lovely trip. She’s a nice filly. Delighted with her. She’s a nice filly for next year.”
Third-place trainer Ken Condon (Miss Amulet (IRE)) – “We’re delighted with her run. She’s run a big race after a busy season and is extremely reliable as well as being talented. I’m sure we will have plenty to look forward to next season.”
Third-place jockey Julien Leparoux (Miss Amulet (IRE)) – “I wish she had gotten better position on the first turn. After that we got a clean trip. It was a very good performance and she made that big run in the stretch.”
Fourth-place trainer Wesley Ward (Campanelle) – “Jockey Frankie Dettori) said that it might have been a little too far. Maybe seven furlongs is better. He felt he could have gotten to her at seven furlongs but a mile was a little too far.”
Fourth-place jockey Frankie Dettori (Campanelle) – “I had a great trip. Followed the winner. I got to the seven furlongs, but couldn’t get the mile.”