Aunt Pearl sets stakes record, earns Breeders’ Cup berth


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Keeneland)Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, Michael Kisber, Peter Deutsch and The Elkstone Group’s Aunt Pearl (IRE) took the lead at the break and cruised to a 2½-length victory in stakes-record time to win the 30th running of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) for 2-year-old fillies.

Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Aunt Pearl secured a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be run here Nov. 6.

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Aunt Pearl covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:40.86 to shatter the stakes record of 1:42.21 established by Solvig in 1999. She is the second JPMorgan Chase Jessamine winner for Geroux, who won in 2016 aboard La Coronel.

Now 2-for-2 after a front-running score in her debut last month at Churchill Downs, Aunt Pearl took the initiative from the start of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine, opening a daylight advantage by the time the field reached the first turn.

Aunt Pearl produced fractions of :22.28, :46.65 and 1:11.32 as Navratilova and Spanish Loveaffair tracked in second and third. On the far turn, those two closed in on Aunt Pearl only to have her kick clear again at the head of the lane and breeze home unopposed.

Aunt Pearl is an Irish-bred daughter of Lope de Vega (IRE) out of the Hurricane Run (IRE) mare Matauri Pearl (IRE). The victory was worth $90,000 and increased Aunt Pearl’s earnings to $132,784.

Aunt Pearl paid $5, $2.80 and $2.40 as the favorite. Spanish Loveaffair, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, returned $3 and $2.60 and finished 2¾ lengths in front of Ingrassia, who paid $3.20 to show under Javier Castellano.

It was another 1½ lengths back to Arm Candy, who was followed in order by Batyah, Navratilova, Taylor’s Tourist, Momentous Miss, Beautiful Star, Gambling Cat and Lazy Summer Day.

Racing continues Thursday with a 10-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. ET. There is a Pick 6 carryover of $27,993.

The Keeneland Fall Meet’s featured charity is Nourish Lexington, which uses the talents and resources of food service and hospitality employees displaced by the pandemic to provide nutritious meals for community members in need.

On Sundays and Wednesdays of the Fall Meet and on Friday, Oct. 23, Keeneland’s corporate partners are participating in Nourish the Backstretch, an extension of Nourish Lexington that provides lunch and groceries to the hardworking community in the barn area.

Participating partners include Anthem, Buffalo Trace, Claiborne Farm, Darley, Dixiana, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Juddmonte Farms, Lexus of Lexington, Pin Oak Stud, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Shadwell Farm, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, TVG and UK HealthCare.