Aunt Pearl posted a dominant front-running victory in Wednesday’s $150,000 Jessamine (G2) at Keeneland to establish herself as a serious contender for the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). An Irish-bred filly by Lope de Vega, Aunt Pearl smashed the stakes record by more than a second completing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:40.86.
Florent Geroux was up on the Brad Cox trainee, who earned an expenses-paid berth to the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland in the “Win & You’re In” event, and the winner is campaigned by Michael Dubb, Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables, Peter Deutsch, Michael Kisber, and Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group.
Aunt Pearl was favored at 3-2 odds following a splendid five-length victory in her first start, a one-mile turf maiden special weight at Churchill Downs on Sept. 1.
“(After her career debut), we were hoping (she was this good),” Cox said. “She showed us a lot of talent in the mornings. I told someone after (her wire-to-wire debut win) that that’s the first time we ever cut her loose. She’s very gifted.”