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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Elate could be any kind

Elate_Maiden_615 X 400
Photo: NYRA Photo

While it was Connect, taking the Cigar Mile, and Mo Town, winning the Remsen, that rightly garnered most of the attention at Aqueduct back on November 26, it could be a maiden special weight for juvenile fillies which turns out to have the most impact on the 2017 racing season. Unveiled in that race was a Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider homebred daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, and considering the success in which that sire has had with his fillies (Rachel Alexandra and Songbird), it seems prudent to pay attention when one breaks her maiden in impressive style. Elate did just that on Cigar Mile day.


Lengthening her advantage with every good-looking stride, the Bill Mott-trained filly whistled home by more than a dozen lengths in that career debut. Now, 11 weeks later, she is ready to make her highly anticipated return to the races, when she heads the field for Saturday’s $100,000 Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.


In typically understated fashion, her Hall of Fame trainer talked about the performance after her initial start, "She ran a nice race," said Mott. "She looked good this morning. The fact that she drew away the way she did and Jose [Ortiz] asked her to run a little bit through the stretch, she did everything she was supposed to do."


As many good horses as Mott has been around over the years, you are not going to get much more from him following a maiden win, but anyone that was there that Thanksgiving weekend at Aqueduct has been eagerly awaiting the return of one of the most impressive juvenile fillies of 2016.


Produced by the stakes winning Distorted Humor mare, Cheery, Elate was given a Beyer Speed Figure of 88 for her one-mile, debut score at the Big A. For comparison’s sake, that number was higher than both graded stakes races for juveniles that day, with the impressive Grade 2 Remsen win by Mo Town coming in closest with an 86. While that one occupies a high ranking on most expert’s Kentucky Derby lists, Elate looks to begin her road to the Kentucky Oaks in the Suncoast.


Scheduled to be ridden once again by Jose Ortiz, Elate will get her first taste of two-turn racing on Saturday. While she should rule a red-hot favorite at Tampa, the Suncoast has drawn a field of nine. Chief among her competition is the Gerald Bennett-trained R Angel Katelyn, who has compiled an excellent career mark of 5-4-1-0, including two consecutive stakes wins locally. Make no mistake, though, Elate is strictly the filly to beat.


Regally bred on both sides of her pedigree, you may find her unfolding story familiar. Six years ago, Mott brought another highly regarded, impeccably bred filly to Tampa for the Suncoast. That one had also made only one start, winning a maiden in the fall in New York by a dozen lengths. Bet down to 8-5, she finished a dull ninth of ten. Two Breeders’ Cup victories, and three consecutive Eclipse Awards later, and Royal Delta is on her way to the Hall of Fame.


Clearly, Elate has oodles to live up to if she wants to be mentioned in the same breath as Royal Delta, but maybe she can get an early jump on that Mott great by winning the Suncoast. Having been there that afternoon at Aqueduct, I can tell you firsthand that her future looks nothing but bright.



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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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