I loved this moment so much that I had to GIF it:
Lady Eli enters the Belmont winner’s circle to applause after the Flower Bowl — the champion’s second start back after beating laminitis. “It takes such a rare horse to overcome what she has,” said trainer Chad Brown. “I think she’s one of the all-time great turf mares.” It’s onward to the Breeders’ Cup.
Creator noses out Destin to win the 2016 Belmont Stakes. Photo Credit: NYRA.
Beyer and TimeformUS speed figures for the Belmont Stakes day card:
|Just a Game||Celestine||107||129|
|Woody Stephens||Tom’s Ready||95||117|
|Jaipur Stakes||Pure Sensation||102||121|
|Acorn Stakes||Carina Mia||98||114|
The WOW performance of Saturday afternoon was Frosted’s 14 1/4 length win in the Met Mile as the 2-1 favorite. His winning margin is believed to be a record for the race, as is his final time of 1:32.73. Watch the replay:
Four months from the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and Lady Eli looks unbeatable in her likely year-end race. “She certainly has the most devastating turn of foot I’ve ever worked around,” trainer Chad Brown said after the 3-year-old filly brought her undefeated career record to six with a 2 3/4-length win in the 1 1/4-mile Belmont Oaks. Her final time of 1:59.27 earned a Beyer speed figure of 98. Her TimeformUS figure is 120.
The Belmont Oaks finish time was almost two seconds faster than the Belmont Derby, run at the same distance, which Force the Pass won in 2:01.16 (92 Beyer, 118 TimeformUS). It’s interesting to think that Lady Eli could have won the age-restricted race with its larger purse ($1.25 million versus $1 million), and she might have. Pace complicates the comparison. According to Trakus, Lady Eli won the Oaks with quarters of :23.92, :24.27, :24.30, :24.21, and :22.77. Force the Pass went :24.97, :25.77, :25.05, :23.58, and :22.07. The first three-quarters in the Derby, with Bolo as leader, was 1:15.58. The same fraction for the Oaks, with Lady Zuzu in front, was 1:11.80*. Watch the replay:
*Trakus time; Teletimer/chart time is 1:11.71.
7/13/15 Update: Heartbreaking news from trainer Chad Brown — Lady Eli has laminitis. Brown’s statement is below:
“We have some unfortunate news to report from our barn. Following Lady Eli’s impressive victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks on July 4, she sadly stepped on a nail on the horse path on the way back to our barn and injured her left front foot. Despite our efforts, including a talented team of veterinarians, Lady Eli’s injury has led to her developing laminitis. Thankfully, we have assembled the best possible team of veterinarians and farriers to stabilize her and assist her through these difficult times. I ask that all of her fans keep this magnificent racehorse in their prayers and hopefully she will be back on the racetrack flashing her brilliance again.”
Laminitis is a vicious disease. “If you’re an optimist, you’d say she’ll race again. If you’re a pessimist, she could be battling for her life,” co-owner Jay Hanley told the Blood-Horse.
7/24/15 Update: Encouraging news via the Daily Racing Form (DRF+):
Brown, back in Saratoga for opening day Friday, said Thursday that doctors are “extremely pleased with her progress, and they’re cautiously optimistic she’s putting this behind her.”
Brown said the veterinary team caring for Lady Eli has established a set of goals for the filly to achieve on a weekly basis, and thus far she has met them.
“I am personally pleased with how she’s moving and her overall condition and attitude,” Brown said.
I love the Met Mile (G1) and hate that it is run on the Belmont Stakes undercard. It is a race worthy of its own big stage and should not share it with anyone.
Seconding the sentiment. It pains me to see a race as significant and historic as the Met Mile crammed into a bloated Belmont Stakes “Big Day” card between the Just a Game and the Manhattan Stakes. Restore it to Memorial Day!
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