Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider's homebred Elate made it back-to-back wins in the G2 Delaware Handicap this Saturday, posting another convincing victory in the Delaware Park feature race. The 5-year-old Medaglia d'Oro mare was geared down in the final sixteenth of a mile by jockey Jose Ortiz, completing 1 1/4 miles in 2:02 2/5. Trained by Bill Mott, the 1-5 favorite Elate defeated Escape Clause and Blue Prize by about four lengths at the wire.
Elate was quick out of the gate to be forwardly-placed down the stretch for the first time, but local prep winner Gotham Gala was hustled to the lead with Escape Clause hot on her heels. Good One Honey also played a role from her outside post position, shuffling Elate back to fifth through opening fractions of :24 and :48 flat.
Rounding the far turn, Escape Clause took command briefly but was quickly collared by Elate. The long-striding Elate easily dismissed that rival and was all alone galloping toward the wire in the stretch, enough so that Ortiz geared her down to a gallop in the final sixteenth of a mile. Blue Prize rallied from the rear of the field to challenge Escape Clause for the place, but the game Manitoba-bred dug in and refused to give up second on the wire; Blue Prize had to settle for third.
Bred in Kentucky by her owners, Elate is a third-generation homebred out of the stakes-winning Distorted Humor mare Cheery. She had a slow start to her 5-year-old season, but starting with Churchill's G2 Fleur de Lis, the mare has now won two in a row. Elate was also an easy winner in the 2018 edition of the Delaware Handicap, and her overall record stands at 7-5-2 from 16 starts for earnings of over $2.1 million.
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