October 3, 2023

Elate powers to Beldame victory

Elate romps to victory in the Beldame Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park under jockey Jose Ortiz on Saturday, September 30, 2017 (c) NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography

Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s homebred Elate pushed her way between rivals in the stretch of Saturday’s $400,000 Beldame Stakes (G1) and drew off to be 8 1/4 lengths clear on the Belmont Park wire under jockey Jose Ortiz.

The Medaglia d’Oro filly broke out at the start but quickly settled into an inside trip as Bishop’s Pond set the opening quarter in :23.36. Money’soncharlotte ranged up to the pacesetter’s outside on the backstretch and proceeded to duel with that runner, getting the half-mile in :47.08.

Bishop’s Pond inched forward for the three-quarter split in 1:12.10 as the field turned for home, but the others, including Eskenformoney on the outside, were converging upon her and Money’soncharlotte. Elate found herself blocked by those three but Ortiz didn’t panic. The pair waited for their chance, then shot through when a glimmer of daylight appeared between a retreating Bishop’s Pond and Money’soncharlotte.

Elate easily opened up once in the clear, drawing off to complete 1 1/8 miles over the good main track in 1:50.21. The Kentucky-bred sophomore faced her elders for the first time in this spot and returned $2.60 for the win as the 1-5 favorite.

Money’soncharlotte just held second by a nose over Eskenformoney, who in turn had a neck to spare on fourth-placer Verve’s Tale. Bishop’s Pond followed in fifth while Bombshell and Presumptuous completed the order under the wire.

Elate is now 4-3-1 from nine career starts and has banked $770,325. The Beldame was the Bill Mott trainee’s final prep ahead of an expected start in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on November 3 at Del Mar. The dark bay lass entered the 1 1/8-mile Beldame off a 5 1/2-length triumph in the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on August 19.

That signaled Elate’s return to the winner’s circle following a head loss in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) on July 23 at the Spa. She captured the Light Hearted Stakes at Delaware Park on June 15 by 5 1/2 lengths and finished second in an allowance/optional claimer at Churchill on Kentucky Oaks Day, May 5.

The filly kicked off her career with a 12-length romp at Aqueduct last November and returned in February to place in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Elate then traveled to Oaklawn Park for a third-place finish in the Honeybee Stakes (G3) before shipping to Keeneland, where she was pulled up and vanned off in the Ashland Stakes (G1) over the spring.

Elate is the first registered foal out of the stakes-winning Distorted Humor mare Cheery. The filly’s second dam is Grade 2 queen Yell, her third dam is Grade 2 victress Wild Applause and her fourth dam is Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute, who produced 1993 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Sea Hero as well as numerous other black-type winners.


Jose Ortiz, jockey Elate, winner

“When (Irad Ortiz Jr.) hit (Bishop’s Pond) left-handed and she came over a little bit, that’s when I squeezed (through). But when she put her head in, she was all the way. She just blew by them. I was very confident on the turn, I knew I had them. I had a lot of horse just nowhere to go, but a lot of horse. I could have come out at the sixteenth-pole and we would have been away. I had a lot of horse.”

Bill Mott, trainer Elate, winner

“I have a lot of confidence in the horse and the rider. Sometimes you’re stuck down in there, and you get stuffed, but the length of the stretch, to do it, and you could tell he was sitting there loaded, you don’t know what’s going to happen, but I didn’t lose any confidence.

“I was quite impressed with the acceleration she showed today when she did get through. I think that part of her has improved as the year’s gone on. She’s learning how to use her speed. We’ve had a good year. Anything we do from here on out is icing on the cake.”