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2012 Cotillion Stakes and Alphabet Soup Handicap

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My Miss Aurelia wins the 2012 Cotillion Stakes
My Miss Aurelia wins the 2012 Cotillion Stakes horse racing

My Miss Aurelia wins the 2012 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing

© Vanessa Ng
September 22, 2012

The richest races on the continent this weekend were run on Saturday at Parx Racing with two $1 million events run at the Bensalem, Pennsylvania oval. Conditions were excellent most of the day with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's, with the forecasted rains holding off until the conclusion of the card. The co-feature on the card was the Pennsylvania Derby (G2).

The feature race on Saturday was the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track, and is the first Grade 1 race to be run in the Keystone State. A short field of just 4 made final entry, but the race featured the long awaited matchup of 2-5 favorite Questing, winner of three races in a row including the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Alabama (G1) both at Saratoga, and last year's champion 2-year-old filly My Miss Aurelia, undefeated in 5 lifetime starts including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and the Mandy's Gold Stakes. In to challenge them were 8-1 third choice Dixie Strike, winner of the Prince of Wales Stakes against males two starts back, and 16-1 outsider Moment in Dixie, second in the Summer Guest last out.

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. sent Questing to a clear lead first time by and she set slow fractions of 25.19, 50.04, and 1:14.72 while stalked by My Miss Aurelia about 2 lengths back. Entering the stretch, jockey Corey Nakatani pushed My Miss Aurelia along and the pair hooked up at the 1/4 pole setting up an epic duel to the line. The pair bumped several times with Questing keeping her head in front, until the final 50 yards when My Miss Aurelia finally was able to push ahead, getting the win in 1:44.54 over the fast track. It was a long 6 1/2 lengths back to Dixie Strike third, and 14 1/2 more to Moment in Dixie last.

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