Miss Auramet Seeks Clear Sailing in 100k Ladies’ Turf Sprint
Faces Fellow Multiple Stakes Winner Miss J McKay in Five-Furlong Dash
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa’s multiple stakes winner Miss Auramet, exiting a rare off-the-board finish after encountering trouble in her 2021 finale, looks to bounce back for her 6-year-old debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint.
The 13th running of both the Ladies Turf Sprint and the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint (G3), each traveling five furlongs, serve as co-headliners on a 12-race program that begins at noon.
Miss Auramet ran sixth in the five-furlong Abundantia Dec. 31 over a Gulfstream turf course where she has four wins, four seconds and three thirds in 15 lifetime tries. The Uncaptured mare found trouble at the start, hitting the gate and being cut off, then got floated wide on the turn and raced between horses in the stretch before winding up sixth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths. The Equibase chart comment simply called it a ‘brutal trip.’
“She just had a horrible trip last time, just circumstances, nobody’s fault. Hopefully we can rebound from the effort,” trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said. “I’ve been doing this for 50 years and that’s first time I remember where it’s been stated, ‘brutal trip.’ Just figure how many horses I’ve started and seen and all that other stuff. And it was a brutal trip, no ifs, ands or buts about it. But, that’s horse racing.”
Miss Auramet ran second by less than a length in last year’s Ladies Turf Sprint behind two-time Grade 3 winner Lady’s Island. She put together a pair of three-race win streaks in 2020 and became a stakes winner last year with victories in the Lightning City at Tampa Bay Downs and Politely at Monouth Park.
“She’s just an overachiever. She goes out and puts it all on the line every time she runs,” Plesa said. “She’s just been one of those horses that you’re just glad that you train her. She’s just been a big plus for us.”
Plesa’s wife and longtime partners purchased Miss Auramet for $135,000 as a 2-year-old in training in April 2018. Through 27 lifetime starts, she owns 10 wins, eight seconds and three thirds with a bankroll of $487,990 facing the likes of Lady’s Island, fellow Grade 3 winner Caravel and multiple stakes winners such as Introduced and A Bit of Both.
“Horses are like people. Some are overachievers, some are underachievers, some just go and do the best they can every time they go out there, and that’s her,” Plesa said. “It’s like if you had a football team and all the players were like her, they went out there and gave it 110 percent. That’s what makes up a team, and stables are team.
“She’s certainly a big part of our team. Whether it be the hotwalker or the groom that takes care of her, the people that get on her, the assistant, even myself and the ownership group,” he added. “She just brings a happiness to all of us. We just think the world of her.”
Julien Leparoux gets the riding assignment from Post 6 in a field of seven.
Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, Tony Weintraub and Brandon Dalinka’s Miss J McKay beat Miss Auramet in the Abundantia, a 1 ½-length victory to extend her win streak to two races in her third start since joining trainer Christophe Clement.
“She’s training very well. We’re very pleased with the filly,” Clement’s son and assistant, Miguel Clement, said. “It’s exciting to finally get the ball rolling in the right direction with her.”
The connections went to $300,000 at Keeneland’s November 2020 breeding stock sale to acquire Miss J McKay, winner of the 2019 Anne Arundel County for 2-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs miles at Laurel Park who has also placed in six other stakes. She debuted for Clement running sixth in a six-furlong optional claiming allowance over the Belmont Park turf last fall.
“She had a setback which meant she started her campaign a bit late with us. Nevertheless, as you can see with each race she is improving all the time. Her last race I thought was visually very impressive,” Clement said.
“The first race back with us in September, the turf was a touch soft and I don’t think she cared for that, honestly. Previous to the race she was training very well and coming out of the race she was training very well,” he added. “We were still optimistic about her, and sure enough she rewarded us with two good performances.”
Tyler Gaffalione, up in the Abundantia, gets the return call on Miss J McKay from Post 2.
“She’s very versatile, which makes it all up to Tyler in this race. He worried me a bit the other day,” Clement said. “There were a lot of traffic troubles at the top of the stretch but nevertheless she was a class above everyone and she got the job done.”
Chris Larsen’s undefeated Guardian Moon is entered to make her stakes debut in the Ladies’ Turf Sprint. The 4-year-old Declaration of War filly broke her maiden at Saratoga in August 2020 and captured a six-furlong allowance over her elders last April at Aqueduct. She has been prepping since last month with trainer Jorge Abreu’s string at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.
Completing the field are Nikee Kan, racing third time off a $16,000 claim for owner-trainer Jose D’Angelo; Saragol Stable Corp. and The Winning King Corp.’s Reinagol, exiting a neck optional claiming allowance victory Jan. 12 at Gulfstream after running third to Miss Auramet in a similar spot Dec. 5; Jeanne Martin’s Poseidon’s Passion, a five-furlong turf sprint winner last out Jan. 14 at Tampa; and Brent McLellan, Russell McLellan and Stuart Simon’s Sister Peacock, who won two stakes and ran third in the Ontario Colleen (G3) at Woodbine in 2019.