Stallionaire Enterprises LLC’s SUPREME AURA put in a fierce rally down the center of the track on Sunday at Monmouth Park to score a neck victory in the $102,000 Pegasus Stakes under jockey Joe Bravo.
The duo bided their time as Hydraulic, Justaholic and Roaming Union duked it out up front through :23.60, :47.28 and 1:11.67 fractions. Bravo guided Supreme Aura two wide around the final turn and the Candy Ride colt took off after Roaming Union, who had taken over by this point. That one appeared the winner even in late stretch, but Supreme Aura kept motoring to stick his neck in front on the line.
Sent off the 7-2 third choice, Supreme Aura paid $9.40 for finishing 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:46.48. Roaming Union was best of the rest, 12 1/4 lengths in front of Justaholic with Dr. Hipp taking fourth another 1 3/4 lengths behind. Completing the order of finish were Ark in the Dark, C C Rider and 3-2 favorite Hydraulic.
Supreme Aura earned his first stakes win in this spot, which improved his record to 6-3-0-2. His prior three stakes efforts resulted in a ninth in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds and third-placings in the Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park and Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine. The chestnut sophomore has now banked $133,762 lifetime and could next target the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth on July 29, according to trainer Michael Stidham.
Bred in Kentucky by St George Farm LLC, Supreme Aura is out of the Mr. Greeley mare Groton Circle. His third dam, the unraced Last Tycoon mare La Cucina, produced Grade 2-winning sire Sir Cherokee and multiple Grade 2 heroine Miss Isella.
Joe Bravo, jockey Supreme Aura, winner
“With those three horses getting into a really good fight through the turn I was able to sit off of it and let my horse breathe. The race set up good for him but you have to credit Michael Stidham’s team. They brought the horse over really ready to run a race like this.”
Michael Stidham, trainer Supreme Aura, winner
“This horse has so much talent but he’s been slow learning, trying to figure it out. Obviously, we were hoping he would run well in the Risen Star and lead us in the right direction in February. It just took a little more time and today he showed what he can do. It’s been a process trying to figure out what is going to help him reach his ability.”
Stidham took blinkers off Supreme Aura for this race “because we decided the blinkers didn’t change anything.
“To be honest we were worried if he would get this distance. We didn’t know what he wanted to do because he did so well sprinting in his first two races. Then when we ran him long, even though it was in a tough race, he didn’t run at all. But he has been a horse that has really developed. He’s changed over the last few months and he’s finally putting it together.”