ASCOT, England — American filly Lady Aurelia won at Royal Ascot for the second straight year, cruising to a three-length victory in the King’s Stand Stakes under replacement jockey John Velazquez on Tuesday.
“She’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse,” said trainer Wesley A. Ward after Lady Aurelia backed up her win in the Queen Mary Stakes in 2016.
Frankie Dettori was scheduled to ride Lady Aurelia, but pulled out of the entire meeting early Tuesday after failing to recover from an arm injury sustained when he was thrown off a horse in a parade ring last week.
Velazquez was drafted in and settled the U.S. horse into a good early position. Lady Aurelia took the lead with two furlongs to run and pulled away, winning the five-furlong race in 57.45 seconds, just short of a course record.
“This is wonderful for American racing,” said Ward, who has eight career winners at Ascot since 2009. Six of those wins have been by juveniles.
Ward has 10 entries at the prestigious meeting staged just outside London, as part of the largest contingent of U.S. runners – 14 – to compete at Royal Ascot.
Following the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II at the course ahead of the start of the meeting, racing was preceded by a minute’s silence in honor of the victims of attacks in Britain in recent weeks.
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) Until Jerry Bozzo, no trainer had ever won a thoroughbred race at the age of 96.
And now, make it 97.
Bozzo bettered his own mark Saturday, when Gusty Wind prevailed in the fifth race at Gulfstream Park by nearly four lengths in a mild upset. Gusty Wind, with Luca Panici aboard, returned $14.80 for the win.
“It’s very gratifying. I wish I could have been there in the winner’s circle,” Bozzo, who watched the race on his computer at home, told Gulfstream Park officials afterward. “That would have pumped me up even more.”
Bozzo became the oldest trainer to win a race on June 3, 2017, when Cotton Tooyah won at Gulfstream for the then-96-year-old. Before that, the oldest trainer to win a race was Noble Threewitt, who was 95 when Threeatonce won a maiden race at Santa Anita in 2006.
Bozzo, born Oct. 25, 1920, is a retired aeronautical engineer, industrialist and World War II veteran. He graduated from Carnegie Tech, which is now called Carnegie Mellon, and MIT. He has been training and breeding thoroughbreds in South Florida for nearly 50 years, and talked to Panici on Friday night to discuss strategy for Saturday.
“Good for him,” Panici said. “He is a man with an amazing history.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Triple Crown winner Justify won’t be running during the 150th meet at Saratoga Race Course, but many of the best thoroughbreds will be at the historic track for the 40-day season.
The meet features 69 stakes races worth $18.8 million in purses and opens Friday. Among those running this season will be Good Magic, Hofburg, Gronkowski, Vino Rosso, and Bravazo.
Todd Pletcher is eyeing his 13th training title in 16 years. He won last year with 40 winners, one more than Chad Brown.
Justify has returned to Del Mar in California after swelling in his left front ankle emerged two weeks ago. Trainer Bob Baffert says Justify probably will walk around the stable area the next two weeks.
The colt likely will return in the fall, the ultimate goal being the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November.