After bouncing back with an impressive performance in the ‘Win and You’re In’ GII Fleur de Lis H. beneath the lights at Churchill Downs June 15, ‘TDN Rising Star’ Elate (Medaglia d’Oro) is the clear-cut horse to beat in Saturday’s GII Delaware H.
The Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider homebred captured this demanding 1 1/4-mile contest in style in her seasonal debut in 2018, then was placed on the shelf following an ultra-game second to champion Abel Tasman (Quality Road) in a roughly run renewal of the GI Personal Ensign S. at Saratoga.
Elate was somewhat disappointing in a pair of prior efforts this term behind the streaking Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) going 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn, including a third-place finish in the GI Apple Blossom H. Apr. 14. The 5-year-old fired a five-furlong bullet in 1:00 4/5 (1/13) over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga June 28. Hall of Famer Bill Mott also saddled the brilliant Royal Delta to back-to-back wins in this race in 2011-12.
The ‘Assiniboia Assassin’ Escape Clause (Going Commando), beaten just a nose in the Apple Blossom, was fourth, beaten 11 lengths, in the GI Ogden Phipps S. June 8. Last term’s GI Juddmonte Spinster S. heroine Blue Prize (Arg) (Pure Prize) completed the exacta behind Elate in the Fleur de Lis.