Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s homebred Elate, who endured a tough spring and an even tougher loss at the hands of Abel Tasman last time, put it all together in resounding fashion in Saturday’s $600,000 Alabama (G1) at Saratoga.
With Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Abel Tasman awaiting the September 23 Cotillion (G1) at Parx, the Alabama presented an opportunity for others to break through at the top level. Elate was arguably unlucky not to have a Grade 1 laurel from the July 23 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), where she fought tooth and nail with Abel Tasman in tight quarters and missed by a head.
In the Alabama, Elate had much smoother sailing. The Bill Mott trainee raced within striking distance of early leader It Tiz Well, accosted her turning for home, and drew off by 5 1/2 lengths. Under Jose Ortiz, Elate completed 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.19 and returned $10.60 to win as the 4-1 third choice.
It Tiz Well, coming off a score in the Delaware Oaks (G3), battled gamely to retain second from the closing Salty. Actress, last in the opening stages, made late headway for fourth in the field of nine. Unchained Melody was pulled up but reportedly in good shape back at the barn.
Elate is the second straight Alabama winner sired by Medaglia d’Oro, after champion Songbird in 2016. The improving filly could serve up another stiff challenge to Abel Tasman – stay tuned for a rematch.
Photo courtesy NYRA/Coglianese Photography