Justify head shot

Aunt Shirley Determined Winner for Justify

Aunt Shirley (2f Justify x Ambrosia, by Frankel) wasn’t to be denied her debut victory on Friday at Ellis Park, digging deep to win by half a length after a stretch duel.

Racing over five furlongs on the dirt, the filly tracked the pace before making her move down the rail going into the stretch. The longtime leader tried to hold her at bay but the WinStar Farm homebred relished the fight. In the end, her rival folded and let Aunt Shirley get half a length in front at the line with the third placed runner 7 ¼ lengths behind her.

It was the first run and win for the Rodolphe Brisset trainee, who had been working well at both WinStar Training Center and Keeneland in the last few weeks.

A great-granddaughter of the great Mariah’s Storm, Aunt Shirley is the second foal out of a three-quarter sister to Galileo’s three-time Group I winner Decorated Knight. Aunt Shirley’s granddam is a full sister to Horse of the Year and champion sire Giant’s Causeway, Group II winner and bluehen broodmare You’resothrilling and others. You’resothrilling’s foals include champion runner and Coolmore stallion Gleneagles, champion Happily and classic winners Joan of Arc and Marvellous among others.

The page also includes American Pharoah’s 2022 Group I winner Above the Curve.

Ambrosia returned to Justify the year Aunt Shirley was born and foaled a colt last year.

Justify is the sire of seven winners with two of those winning graded stakes and three earning blacktype. In all, 13 of Justify’s 15 first crop runners have won or placed this year.