San Clemente form underlines Lady Eli's stature
Star turf filly Lady Eli, who is currently waging war on laminitis, received another compliment in absentia on Sunday -- the top two from the San Clemente (G2), Prize Exhibit and Sunset Glow, were among those she defeated handily in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Santa Anita.
Prize Exhibit has improved since that late-running fourth in her American debut, as her consecutive graded victories in the June 27 Senorita (G3) and San Clemente attest.
But Sunset Glow, best of the rest behind Lady Eli in the Breeders' Cup, may have peaked as a two-year-old. Runner-up to Cursory Glance in the Albany (G3) at Royal Ascot last summer, Sunset Glow went on to land the Sorrento (G2) and Del Mar Debutante (G1). Lady Eli dismissed her on the back of those efforts, and again in their mutual reappearance in the April 12 Appalachian (G3), where Sunset Slow was third (caught late for second).
Appalachian runner-up Miss Temple City advertised Lady Eli's form at Royal Ascot, finishing an honorable fourth in the Coronation (G1). She was beaten all of two lengths by French 1000 Guineas (G1) heroine Ervedya, with the close seconds from the Irish 1000 Guineas (G1) and Newmarket's 1000 Guineas (G1) (Found and Lucida) second and third respectively. If you take formlines literally, that is some testimony to Lady Eli.
You can also see how her internationally-based Breeders' Cup victims have since stacked up. The Richard Hannon-trained Osaila, third at Santa Anita, has since won the Nell Gwyn (G3) and the Sandringham (under top weight of 133 pounds) at Royal Ascot. And Qualify, eighth in the Breeders' Cup, famously stunned the Oaks (G1) at Epsom for Aidan O'Brien. To be fair, both Osaila and Qualify had been well beaten in classics this spring as well, but the overall picture supports the claim that Lady Eli has dusted some talented opponents.
All of which adds up to another excuse to wish Lady Eli a complete, and speedy, recovery.
Photo of Lady Eli courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography.