OK, that’s a joke people, but let’s stop and think: Aunt Pearl was bred in Ireland and was purchased at Tallersalls, the Keeneland Select of Europe, only older and timeless.
Second, she’s by Lope de Vega, the superstar European stud that’s just the biggest thing Over There right now and not doing badly over here, either.
And, finally, of all things, she has blazing speed. Who does she think she is, Newspaperofrecord? Clearly, you won’t see any flies of her mane.
Aunt Pearl will be the American favorite to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Whether she is the post time favorite depends on which fillies the Europeans ship over.
But, remember, they often keep the best of their babies at home, pointing for their own 2021 Derbies and Oaks. With a notable exception or two, the prime European racing season is over.
Aunt Pearl is exciting, there is no doubt. She got a away to an easy, pace-less lead to win her debut handily over ground with some cut in it at Churchill, a wet grass bias that often prevents ralliers to kick it into high gear.
But a funny thing happened in Wednesday’s Jessamine at Keeneland. Aunt Pearl turned it into another rout of her rivals but, unlike her debut, there was some known talent in this bunch and the turf was indeed firm.
Beneath Florent Geroux, Aunt Pearl laid down fractions of :22.28 and :46.65 over footing she enjoyed en route to a final clocking of 1:40.86 for 1-1/16 miles, shattering the stakes mark of 1:42.21.
That’s some fancy steppin’ right there, even if there was a long runup to the timing pole helping to produce those rapid fractions.
Only Spanish Loveaffair got close enough, 2-1/2 lengths, to be included in serious Juvenile Fillies Turf win conversations, especially since Wednesday’s performance came over the 2020 Breeders’ Cup course. Ingrassia finished up nicely enough for third.
Spanish Loveraffair made a winning effort but this filly of Brad Cox, a man who knows how to win Breeders’ Cups with females of all ages, can now run her right out of her stall.
On an ordinary Wednesday in October, Aunt Pearl turned this Grade 2 for young fillies into a special treat.