With Abel Tasman’s loss in the Cotillion Stakes (G1) last Saturday, the 3-year-old filly championship could still be up for grabs. Elate will look to add to her credentials for that award by facing her elders for the first time in the Beldame Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park this Saturday.
Elate comes into the Beldame off of an effortless 5 ½-length score in the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga this summer. Trained by Bill Mott, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro races for Adele B. Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm.
Well thought of since the day she arrived in Mott’s barn as a 2-year-old, the filly seemed to be living up to those expectations when she broke her maiden at first asking by 12 ½ lengths in late November. When she made her first start as a 3-year-old, the bar was set very high and she was sent off as the the 1-5 favorite in the Suncoast Stakes. But the brilliance she had displayed in her debut did not carry over, as she finished a distant second. This trend continued through her next three starts — a third in the Honeybee Stakes (G3) was followed by her being pulled up in the Ashland Stakes (G1) and subsequently finishing second in a first-level allowance race at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks (G1) Day.
Mott never gave up hoping that Elate would regain her former brilliance, though, and his patience seemed to begin paying off when she romped in the Light Hearted Stakes at Delaware Park in June. That win gave him the confidence to send her back into Grade I company, where she would face Abel Tasman in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1).
Elate sat a perfect stalking trip before battling Abel Tasman all the way down the stretch, only to lose by a short head. While Abel Tasman went back to California for some rest, Elate took advantage of her absence in that easy Alabama win.
Her chief rival in the Beldame is like to be the Kelly Breen-trained Money’soncharlotte, who is owned by George Hall. The 5-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast struggled to find her form at three and four, but has put together a 4-race winning streak coming into the Beldame. Among those four wins was a 1 ¼-length victory in the Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park in July. Perhaps her biggest advantage will be her speed in a race that seems absent of much early pace on paper.
Eskenforemoney and Verve’s Tale are the remaining graded stakes winners in the field.
Owned by StarLadies Racing and Lisa Trout, Eskenformoney is trained by Todd Pletcher. The daughter of Eskendereya’s graded stakes win came in the Rampart Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park last December. She is winless through six starts this year.
Verve’s Tale is owned by Charles Fipke and trained by Barclay Tagg. The daughter of Tale of Ekati won the Comely Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct last November before going on a four-race losing streak that ended in her last start when she won the Summer Colony Stakes by a nose.
Rounding out the field are the allowance winners Bombshell and Bishop’s Pond, as well as the maiden Presumptuous.
Carded as the ninth race on the program, approximate post time for the $400,000 Beldame Stakes is 5:11 pm ET.