Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lady Eli romps in G3 Miss Grillo

The New York Racing Association, Inc.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Lady Eli romps in G3 Miss Grillo


By Sean Morris


ELMONT, N.Y. - Highly regarded 2-year-old filly Lady Eli ran to the reputation she had earned during training hours on Sunday afternoon at Belmont Park, taking the Grade 3, $200,000 Miss Grillo at 1 1/16 miles on the Widener turf course with a devastating late kick.


Trained by Chad Brown for Sheep Pond Partners, Lady Eli opened up at 3-5 and was sent off at 6-5 in her debut on August 25 at Saratoga Race Course, which she won by a nose despite being stymied for much of the stretch. In the Miss Grillo, she was backed at 7-2, which she made look like a bargain.


The daughter of Divine Park, ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., tracked a dawdling early pace set by Greywalls of 25.47 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 51.48 for the half, and 1:15.86 for three-quarters. When the inevitable sprint for home commenced, Lady Eli dashed to the front and drew away from her competition to win by an effortless three lengths.


Despite the pedestrian pace, Lady Eli completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.50, running her final 2 ½ furlongs in a blistering 27.64 seconds.


"Outstanding performance," said Brown. "[Lady Eli] had trained like a horse with a ton of ability; that's why she opened up as such a short price in her debut. To start your career 2-for-2, as impressive as those races have been, is great. You can't ask for more."


Lady Eli, who is likely to make her next start in the the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, returned $9.80 on a $2 win wager and boosted her bankroll to $169,800.


Margaret Reay checked in second after shadowing the pacesetter, 1 ¼ lengths in front of the Brown-trained pair of Tammy the Torpedo and Partisan Politics, who finished third and fourth, respectively.


"[Jockey] Joel [Rosario] said he thought Tammy the Torpedo didn't like being up to close to such a slow pace, and Partisan Politics was a very troubled fourth," said Brown. "[Jockey] Javier [Castellano] got off [Partisan Politics] and thought she was the best in the race. It's going to be interesting to see with her win in the P.G. Johnson and fourth [in the Miss Grillo] if she can get in [to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies]. I'd like to take all three if they can get in."


Greywalls, Ancient Goddess, My Cara Mia, Lady Bling, Skinner Box, Nicky's Brown Miss and Titanium Jo completed the order of finish.



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