ELMONT, NY – Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider’s homebred Elate backed up her Grade 1 Alabama success in fine fashion, defeating older females in her first attempt to take Saturday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park.
Settled into third after breaking from the rail under rider Jose Ortiz, Elate watched patiently as Bishop’s Pond and Money’soncharlotte took turns taking the field through fractions of :23.36, :47.08, and 1:12.10. Exiting the far turn still behind the leaders in third – and now flanked on either side by Eskenformoney and Verve’s Tale – it appeared as if traffic might prevent Elate from breaking free. A small gap opened in front of her in mid-stretch, and all it took was a small shake of the reins from Ortiz for her to cut loose. The Bill Mott trainee quickly put a great distance between herself and her competition, crossing the wire by 8 1/4 lengths under a hand ride in a final time of 1:50.21 for the 1 1/8-mile main track event.
“She just blew by them,” Ortiz said. “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 1/16 pole and we would have been away. I had a lot of horse.”
Money’soncharlotte won the three-way photo finish for second, edging out Eskenformoney by a nose. Verve’s Tale was a neck further back, with Bishop’s Pond, Bombshell, and Presumptuous completing the order of finish.
The win increased Elate’s career earnings to $770,325 with a record of 9-4-3-1. Now with three straight strong performances in graded stakes races (including the Alabama and the Grade 1 CCA Oaks), her connections will most likely ship her to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on November 3.
“I was quite impressed with the acceleration she showed today when she did get through,” Mott said. “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.”
Elate returned $2.60 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Money’soncharlotte brought back $4.40 to place and $3.20 to show, while Eskenformoney paid $2.60 to show.