Undefeated Lady Eli spectacular once again in Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1)
RSS Feeds Friday, July 24, 2015
Lady Eli personified perfection once again in the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks - remaining perfect through six lifetime starts. The filly has turned out to be quite an investment for her owners Sheep Pond Partners, who bought the 3-year-old filly for $160,000 out of the Eddie Woods consignment at the 2014 Keeneland April 2-year-old sale.

Woods is the leading 2-year-old consignor of 2015 with gross receipts of $19.84 million and an average of $174,035.
With five victories beforehand, highlighted by a 2 ¾-length score in last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Lady Eli was tackling the 1 ¼-mile distance of the Oaks for the first time.
In the end, the extra furlong seemed to matter not as she exploded from seventh place with a five-wide move into the stretch and rolled home to win by 2 ¾-lengths in a stellar 1:59 1/5 on the firm Belmont turf course.
"As we stretch out our turf horses, you wonder if they're going to lose their turn of foot. The term 'breathes different air' gets thrown around a lot when someone has a very good horse, and I've been lucky to have some great turf fillies and mares, but this one 'breathes different air' for sure," praised Brown. "Not only the ones I've had in my career but the best horses I have been around, she's way up there, probably at the top of the list. She certainly has the most devastating turn of foot I've ever worked around.
"I was feeling a lot better once we got off the first turn and I saw Irad got outside, which is what I wanted to do," Brown continued. "I didn't know how he was going to do it with the two post, but I figured if the pace was quick enough - which it was - there'd be some separation and he could do it. That was our game plan and that was what happened. Once she got outside - there's never any certainties - but I knew if she was going to fire it wouldn't be the trip that got her beat."
With a record that also includes graded wins in the Miss Grillo S. (G3) and Appalachian S. (G3), Lady Eli has now bankrolled $1,449,800. With the Oaks win, she earned an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) as part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" program.
"We'll have to take a look at (the schedule)," said Brown, who has won two of the past three runnings of the Filly and Mare Turf. "We have the Lake Placid (Grade 2, $300,000) at Saratoga if we wanted to keep her against straight 3-year-old fillies. We also have the Beverly D. (G1, at Arlington Park Aug. 15) if we want to look at bigger goals and run her against older fillies and mares. We could also wait until the Breeders' Cup (to run her against older) because we have the Queen Elizabeth right at Keeneland, where the Breeders' Cup is being held. Her next major goal is the Queen Elizabeth. How we get there, we'll have to talk about it."