By Richard Rosenblatt
Maybe, just maybe, Elate is saving her best for last.
In what will be the final run of her successful career as a racehorse, the 5-year-old mare is taking on the boys in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in a bid to become the second female to win the marquee race at the two-day, $30 million world championships.
The only female to win the Classic, of course, was the great Zenyatta, who made her “un-be-lievable” last-to-first run in the 2009 edition before a cheering crowd at Santa Anita.
And now, here’s Elate for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, in position to pull this off against a wide-open field that includes McKinzie, Code of Honor and Vino Rosso, all of whom could wind up as the betting favorite. Elate is 6-1 on the morning line.
“We’re throwing her in deep water,’’ Mott said this week. “We seldom run the fillies against the colts unless we think we’ve got a top class horse and one that would fit the race.
“I think she fits the conditions of the race very well and she’s proven it. Of course we’re running against good competition so she still has to run her very best race to compete.”
Elate has a lot on her side. First, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has won three times at the 1 ¼-mile Classic distance. Second, regular rider Jose Ortiz has the mount. Third, Elate will not have to contend with Midnight Bisou, the sensational 4-year-old filly who has beaten Mott’s mare three times.
Elate comes into the Classic, though, off a second-place finish to Blue Prize in the Spinster (G1), but Mott has been happy with her training since that race.
After the Classic, Elate is bound for her next career as a broodmare at Claiborne Farm, where she was born.
“I know Elate is going to a good home and she’s ready to start her new career, and the same with Yoshida,” Mott said, referring to his other starter in the Classic, who is winless in five starts this year.
Elate comes into her first race against males with a record of 7-7-2 from 18 career starts and earnings of $2,438,775 for owners Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider.
|Updated Nov 01, 2019 17:00 EST . |
All odds are fixed odds prices.
|2||Seeking the Soul||20/1||+2000|
|4||War of Will||20/1||+2000|
|11||Code of Honor||4/1||+400|
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.