Rivalries

Nov 4, 2011: The start of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs, won by My Miss Aurelia.

There are numerous well-known rivalries in horse racing: Affirmed vs. Alydar, Sunday Silence vs. Easy Goer, and more recently, Blind Luck vs. Havre de Grace. Then there are the rivalries that don’t make the news, but are just as much fun to follow.

There is a group of fillies and mares in Florida that I’ve been keeping my eye on over the years. They run frequently, consistently, and have met each other on the track time and time again. Since May 2011, there have been 30 races in which at least two of these girls participated: My Pal Chrisy, Angelica Zapata, Frolic’s Revenge, Awesome Belle, Callmethesqueeze, and Redbud Road. That’s a lot of common races, especially considering that most of them have been either listed or graded stakes.

Two standouts seem to be Awesome Belle and Frolic’s Revenge, who have raced against each other 11 times so far. Some horses don’t even race 11 times in their entire career, so to meet each other on the track that often is quite a feat. They primarily race in Florida at Calder and Gulfstream Park, so I have only had the chance to see these two in person on one occasion: Awesome Belle and Frolic’s Revenge took part in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs, which was won by My Miss Aurelia.

Awesome Belle is now a 4-year-old filly and has compiled a record of 25 starts with 7 firsts, 2 seconds, and 3 third-place finishes. She’s won multiple stakes races and about $492,000 in earnings, which is quite a nice little record. Awesome Belle was bred and is owned by Jacks or Better Farm. She is by their stallion Awesome of Course, the sire of 2010 Champion 2-year-old filly Awesome Feather who was also bred by Jacks or Better and raced by them during her championship season. Her dam is Bayou Plans, who is also the dam of multiple graded stakes winners Midas Eyes (now at stud in Saudi Arabia) and Bayou’s Lassie (sold to Haruya Yoshida and sent to Japan in 2009).

Nov 4, 2011: Awesome Belle and jockey Luis Jurado load into the starting gate for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, where they ran 12th of 14.

Frolic’s Revenge is also a 4-year-old filly and has put together a record of 28 starts with 8 firsts, 3 seconds, and 5 third-place finishes. She’s earned $346,000 so far and is also a multiple stakes winner, including a win in the 2012 Calder Oaks over none other than Awesome Belle. Frolic’s Revenge is by the late stallion Vindication out of the mare Stormy Frolic, herself a stakes winner at Calder.

Nov 4, 2011: Frolic’s Revenge and Hall of Famer John Velazquez head into the gate at Churchill Downs. They finished 9th.

I don’t know when these fillies and mares will meet again, but if this month is any indication, it should be soon!

The Nancy’s Glitter Handicap on July 23 had these results:
1st – Angelica Zapata
2nd – My Pal Chrisy
6th – Frolic’s Revenge

The Hollywood Wildcat Stakes on July 6 had these results:
3rd – Angelica Zapata
5th – Awesome Belle
9th – Frolic’s Revenge
10th – Callmethesqueeze

Time for another matchup!

Nov 4, 2011: This particular edition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies produced the 2012 Eclipse Champion 3-year-old Female, Questing (shown here with jockey William Buick). She finished 5th behind My Miss Aurelia, who was crowned the 2011 Eclipse Champion 2-year-old Female.

Nov 4, 2011: My Miss Aurelia and Corey Nakatani won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies going away. In a mini-rivalry of their own, both Questing and My Miss Aurelia met on the track three times during their careers. My Miss Aurelia finished ahead of Questing in all three races.

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