‘TDN Rising Star’ Elate (Medaglia d’Oro) enjoyed a bang up season at three, winning four stakes, including two at the Grade I level–the 10-furlong GI Alabama S. and Beldame Invitational–in addition to finishing a close-up second in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks. After rounding out the year with a fourth behind champion Forever Unbridled (Unbridled’s Song) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Del Mar, she went on a seven-month hiatus before resuming with professional come-from-behind victory in the 10-furlong GII Delaware H. in July. A neck behind Classic-winning champion Abel Tasman (Quality Road) in the GI Personal Ensign S. at Saratoga in August, she was duly sent to the sidelines for the remainder of the season. Given plenty of time to return, the dark bay marked her 2019 debut with a second behind the classy recent GI Ogden Phipps heroine Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) in the GII Azeri S. at Oaklawn Mar. 16 before finishing third to that rival in the GI Apple Blossom H. Apr. 14.
Sent off the 4-5 choice over fellow Grade I winners She’s a Julie and Blue Prize, Elate settled in along the inside in a ground-saving third as 29-1 Skeptic (Tiznow) ran up to take the early advantage with She’s a Julie in close pursuit. The leader lulled them to sleep with an opening quarter of :25.02 and remained at the fore through a half in :49.70. Despite the pedestrian early fractions, Skeptic began her retreat along the inside turning for home as Blue Prize closed from the back while making a sweeping move to the outside of She’s a Julie. Meanwhile, Elate appeared to be one-paced while hemmed in behind rivals and in need of daylight. With Skeptic out of the picture and the battling duo of Blue Prize and She’s a Julie still fighting it out up front, Jose Ortiz swung his mare out three wide for the stretch drive, gradually wore down the hard-knocking leader’s advantage and found another gear late, sweeping to a 1 1/2-length victory over Blue Prize. She’s a Julie rounded out the trifecta.
“It was a very good race,” affirmed winning rider Jose Ortiz. “I saw Javier [Castellano] had a lot of horse with Blue Prize, so I didn’t want to make a premature move. Once she saw the clear she just cruised home.”
Added Bill Mott, “Jose got the perfect rail trip and once he straightened her out in the lane she came running late. We thought the added distance makes a bit of difference with her and we like to have a goal to shoot for at the end of the year with the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. If she belongs, that’s a race to definitely shoot for.”
Fleur de Lis winner Elate is one of 127 stakes winners for super sire Medaglia d’Oro, whose 12 crops to race include champions Songbird, Rachel Alexandria, Vancouver (Aus), and Wonder Gadot, plus nearly $125 million in earnings. In addition, Elate’s broodmare sire Distorted Humor has 90 blacktype winners out of his daughters, including champion Arrogate. MGISW New Money Honey was bred on the same Medaglia d’Oro-Distorted Humor cross. Stakes winner Cheery produced Elate as the first of her three foals to date, the youngest of which is the juvenile colt Smirk (Blame). Elate shares lineage with GSW Tax (Arch), whose most recent effort was a fourth in last week’s GI Belmont S., MGSW and MGISP Yell (A.P. Indy) as granddam. Yell hails from one of the most prestigious families in the stud book with Wild Applause (Northern Dancer) as her dam, making Yell a half-sibling to GISW Eastern Echo (Damascus), MGSW Roar (Forty Niner), GSW Blare of Trumpets (Fit to Fight), and the dam of GSW and GISP Congrats (A.P. Indy) and GSP Flatter (A.P. Indy).
Saturday, Churchill Downs
FLEUR DE LIS H.-GII, $250,000, Churchill Downs, 6-15, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8m, 1:50.33, ft.
1–ELATE, 120, m, 5, 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.; B-Claiborne Farm & Adele B.
Dilschneider (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $153,450.
Lifetime Record: MGISW, 15-6-5-2, $1,698,775. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++
2–Blue Prize (Arg), 120, m, 6, Pure Prize–Blues for Sale (Arg), by
Not For Sale (Arg). O-Merriebelle Stable LLC; B-Bioart S.A.
(ARG); T-Ignacio Correas, IV. $49,500.
3–She’s a Julie, 124, f, 4, Elusive Quality–Kydd Gloves, by Dubai
Millennium (GB). ($160,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). O-Bradley
Thoroughbreds, Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC, Team Hanley,
Madaket Stables, LLC, Tim & Anna Cambron; B-Godolphin LLC
(KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen. $24,750.
Margins: 1HF, HD, 7 1/4. Odds: 0.90, 3.40, 2.00.
Also Ran: Go Google Yourself, Auspicious Babe, Skeptic. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.