CLASSY LADY ELI HOLDS OFF GOODYEARFORROSES TO WIN GRADE I, $300,000 GAMELY STAKES BY A HALF LENGTH UNDER ORTIZ, JR.; TRAINED BY BROWN, SHE GETS 1 1/8 MILES ON TURF IN 1:45.29
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 27, 2017)âA tracking second throughout, classy Lady Eli overhauled pacesetter Avenge turning for home and repelled a resolute challenge from Goodyearforroses late to take Saturdayâs Grade I, $300,000 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita by a half length under regular rider Irad Ortiz, Jr.Trained by Chad Brown, Lady Eli, who overcame a life threatening bout with laminitis last year, negotiated 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:45.29.
âChad had spoken to Irad and told him about getting her in the clear,â said Cherie DeVaux, assistant to Brown, who remained with his stable at Belmont Park.âHe didnât want him to take too much hold of her because he didnât want her to have too much to do.He was concerned about Avenge getting an easy lead.
âBecause of everything sheâs been through, itâs way more emotional when she runsâ¦Her tenacity is what makes her great.It was really emotional for me today because this is the first time Iâve saddled her.The Breedersâ Cup (Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 4 at Del Mar) is the ultimate objective.â
Second, beaten a head in her lone start this year, Keenelandâs Grade I Jenny Wiley Stakes on April 15, Lady Eli was off at 3-5 in a field of five fillies and mares three and up and paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Divine Park, sheâs owned by Sheep Pond Partners, who collected $180,000 for the win, boosting her earnings to $2,419,800.With the Gamely her fourth career Grade I triumph, sheâs now 11-8-3-0 overall.
âI just tried to follow the speed, which was Avenge today,â said New York-based Ortiz, Jr.âI tried to follow as close as possible and it worked out.Itâs always a nice trip when I get to come out here.â Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Irish-bred Goodyearforroses was third early and moved into contention around the far turn, got to the hip of the winner a furlong out but was no match inside the sixteenth pole, finishing second, 3 Â¼ lengths in front of Avenge.
Off at 8-1, Goodyearforroses paid $4.20 and $2.20.
âShe ran gamely,â said Nakatani.âShe gave me every indication and every chance to do it.She ran a great raceâshe ran dynamite.It was a big effort for this horse today to try to run down a filly like this.â
Ridden by Flavien Prat and idle since Nov. 5, Avenge tired through the drive to finish one half length in front of Mokat.Off at 8-5, Avenge paid $2.10 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.23, 46.46, 1:09.69 and 1:33.37.