Undefeated four-year old filly, Lady Eli, returned to work at Belmont Park over the weekend as she makes her comeback from the laminitis that has held her out of competition for an entire year. The Sheep Pond Partners product covered four furlongs in :52 1/5. It was her first work since March 21 at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida. Thankfully, everything seemed to go well and it won’t be long before we see this legend back on the track.
Trainer Chad Brown was quick to pump the brakes on the excitement. “She went fine,” the trainer noted. ” It was a slow work—about :52 and change—but we just wanted to stretch her legs and see how she reacted. Next we we’ll start to pick it up with her. We’re being careful with her because we have a long way to go.”
There was buzz in the air back in the spring when reports emerged that the Lady Eli would participate in the Beaugay Stakes on May 14th, but Brown and his team noticed some immflamuation that caused them to rest the champion further. “We backed off and gave her some time walking. We took our time with her and then moved her to New York,” Brown recalled. “Since she arrived at Belmont, she has been jogging and walking, and her tendons have been good. We gave her a little extra galloping to make sure she had enough foundation.”
The plan for now is to get her back to Saratoga Racecourse and determine her next competition. “She will go to Saratoga,” Brown continued. “We kept her here last summer because she was battling laminitis. If we’re going to run her at Saratoga we’d like to get her settled in up there. Hopefully if everything goes well by end of July, she’ll have a handful of works under her belt.”
Since making her maiden special weight debut in August 2014, Lady Eli has gone on to win the Miss Grillo, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filles Turf, Appalachian, Wonder Again and the Belmont Oaks. With her recovery well on its way, it will only be a matter of time before we see her on the track doing what she does best.