In company with stablemate Mrs McDougal, the undefeated Lady Eli turned in an ‘A+’ work this morning over the turf course at the Oklahoma training track, covering five furlongs in 1:01 as she remains on schedule for her return in the Grade 2, $ 400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa on August 27.
Clockers caught the 4-year-old daughter of Divine Park in opening splits of :24 2/5 and :37, galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 2/5 and up in 1:27 under exercise rider Walter Malasquez.
“I’m very pleased with her progress,” reported Chad Brown, who trains Lady Eli for Sheep Pond Partners. “She’s right on target. She doesn’t care for soft-ish ground but she still worked well. An ‘A+’ work.”
Since her return to training in July, Lady Eli has stayed on a Sunday-Monday schedule, but Brown said he wanted to take advantage of Saturday morning’s sunny weather.
“I was very happy to work today,” he said. “When a weather pattern moves through the area like this, when there’s a chance [of rain] every day, when you have a clean strip you should take advantage of it.”
Lady Eli was undefeated in six starts in 2014 and 2015, highlighted by victories in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita Park and the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational last July. She was sidelined while recovering from laminitis following the Oaks, and returned to serious training at Belmont Park.
Sunday’s move was Lady Eli’s third at Saratoga in preparation for the 1 1/16-mile Ballston Spa.
Brown, who won last year’s Ballston Spa with Dacita, said he also was pleased with the way Mrs McDougal worked, but did not know where she would start next. The 4-year-old Medaglia d’Oro filly won the Grade 2 Lake George at the Spa last summer and most recently finished seventh in the Grade 1 Diana.
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