Elate Far Too Classy in Del ‘Cap

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9th at DEL, $750kGII Delaware H. (1 1/4m)Winner: Elate, f, 4 by Medaglia d'Oro

Elate | Hoofprints, Inc.

She’s still got some work to do if she’s going to catch up with the accomplishments of former fellow Bill Mott trainee and two-time Delaware H. heroine Royal Delta (Empire Maker), but Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’sTDN Rising Star‘ Elate (Medaglia d’Oro) kicked off her 4-year-old season with her own emphatic score at the Wilmington oval Saturday. Off at even-money in this first running of Delaware’s signature race since it lost Grade I status, last year’s GI Alabama S. and GI Beldame Invitational S. romper was making her first afternoon appearance since finishing fourth as the favorite in the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar in November.

Void of early speed behind a tempo that was very slow for the opening half-mile, the dark bay was clicked up by rider Jose Ortiz with about five furlongs to race and was in a share of the lead as they entered the turn. Held together as long as possible, Elate was allowed to open up at the top of the lane and proved not for catching from there as she cruised away by 3 1/4 lengths. Sneaky Betty (Mineshaft) plugged away for second at better than 85-1 ahead of Teresa Z (Smart Strike) in third.

Saturday, Delaware Park
DELAWARE H.-GII, $750,000, Delaware, 7-14, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/4m, 2:04.83, ft.
1–ELATE, 117, f, 4, by Medaglia d’Oro
1st Dam: Cheery (SW, $172,762), by Distorted Humor
2nd Dam: Yell, by A.P. Indy
3rd Dam: Wild Applause, by Northern Dancer
‘TDN Rising Star’ O/B-Claiborne Farm & Adele B Dilschneider (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $400,000. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 11-5-3-1, $1,270,325. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.2–Sneaky Betty, 116, f, 4, Mineshaft–Tell Some Fibs, by Tale of the Cat. ($100,000 Wlg ’14 KEENOV; $110,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Super C Racing Inc; B-Fred W Hertrich III & John D Fielding (KY); T-Claudio A Gonzalez. $145,000. 3–Teresa Z, 117, f, 4, Smart Strike–With Flying Colors, by A.P. Indy. ($635,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-St. Elias Stable; B-Besilu Stables LLC (KY); T-Anthony R Margotta Jr. $75,000.Margins: 3 1/4, NK, 1 1/4. Odds: 0.60, 85.40, 5.20.
Also Ran: Fuhriously Kissed, Unbridled Mo, Mopotism, Nikki My Darling, Proper Discretion. Scratched: Farrell.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

“The horse outside of me [Nikki My Darling {Creative Cause}], I thought she had speed, but she stumbled out of there so I didn’t know what to do–whether to go or take back,” said Ortiz. “But then I saw her rushing up there so I kind of took back. I had Johnny [Velazquez on Unbridled Mo {Uncle Mo}), the other horse to beat, in front of me; and Mario [Gutierrez on Mopotism {Uncle Mo}] in front of me, so I was looking at them. On the backside, I thought they were going really slow, so I decided to make a move… She’s a really big filly, so I wanted her to find her stride on the backside before we hit the far turn. So, that’s what I did, and when I asked her to go she responded really well. All the credit to Bill Mott to have her ready and a great job by the whole staff.”

A head-turning debut winner at Aqueduct in November of her juvenile season, Elate would fail to return to the winner’s circle in any of her next four outings, and as the favorite each time. The light seemed to come on when she aired by 5 1/2 lengths in this venue’s Light Hearted S. last June, and she went straight to Saratoga’s GI Coaching Club American Oaks from there, coming up a head short of eventual champion Abel Tasman (Quality Road) in a roughly run race. She relished this 10-furlong distance when easily defeating subsequent GI Cotillion S. winner It Tiz Well (Arch) and this year’s GI La Troienne S. heroine Salty (Quality Road) in the Alabama in August, and crushed an admittedly soft group of older foes in the Beldame at Belmont Sept. 10. Turning in just an even effort at the Breeders’ Cup, she’d been prepping for this up at Saratoga’s Oklahoma Training Track with a tab that included a stamina-building seven-furlong drill in 1:26 2/5 two works back June 30.

Pedigree Notes:

Elate is the second Medaglia d’Oro-sired 4-year-old filly in as many years to take the Delaware H.–champion Songbird grabbed last year’s renewal in what would be her final career victory. She hails from an extremely productive Claiborne family riddled with noteworthy individuals, including Grade I winners Eastern Echo and Sea Hero and standout sires and full brothers Congrats and Flatter. Her unraced 2-year-old full-brother Haunt (Ghostzapper) breezed three panels in :37.73 (12/27) at the Oklahoma Saturday morning. She has a yearling half-brother by Blame, but her speedy, stakes-winning dam failed to produce a live foal after being bred back to Medaglia d’Oro last year.

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