06/15/2017 4:13PM

Elate outlasts Modacious in four-horse Light Hearted


Modacious and Elate were both sent off at even money in the four-horse Light Hearted on Thursday at Delaware Park, with Modacious a slight favorite. But when it came down to business nearing the stretch of the one-mile, 70-yard race for 3-year-old fillies, Elate proved much the best, drawing away to score by 5 1/2 lengths.

Elate is trained by Bill Mott and was ridden by Feargal Lynch. The victory sets her up nicely for the Grade 3, $300,000 Delaware Oaks on July 8 if Mott chooses to send her back for that race.

Analyze set a slow early pace of 25.16 and 50.88 in the Light Hearted while being tracked from the outside by Modacious. Elate raced on the outside just behind those two.

Elate moved up to challenge three wide on the far turn and got the better of Modacious in upper stretch. She paid $4.20 and completed the course in 1:43.12. Teresa Z finished third, two lengths behind Modacious.

Elate, a daughter of Medaglia d'Oro bred and owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, won her career debut at Aqueduct by 12 1/2 lengths last November. She finished second in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and third in the Grade 3 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park over the winter, but was pulled up in the stretch of the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland on April 8 and was vanned off.

She returned to the races at Churchill Downs on May 5, finishing second to Stonetacular in a first-level optional-claiming race.

The Light Hearted was reduced from seven to four fillies by the scratches of Dancing Rags, Sine Wave, and Tapa Tapa Tapa. Sine Wave races Saturday in the Alma North at Laurel Park. Dancing Rags raced yesterday in the Christiana at Delaware Park.

Ghost Hunter sets course record

In race 6 on Thursday, Ghost Hunter set a course record of 1:47.96 for about 1 1/8 miles on turf when he defeated Ring Weekend by a half-length.

The prior record of 1:48.25 was set last July by American Patriot in the Kent Stakes. The early fractions of 24.31 and 48.89 were moderate, but the tempo picked up from there with six furlongs going in 1:12.15 and a mile in 1:36.00.

There has been a lack of rain in the Northeast in recent weeks and turf courses throughout the region are playing quick.

While Ring Weekend went wide on the final turn, Ghost Hunter had traffic problems down along the inside. He had to await an opening, tried to split Bern' James Bern and Ring Weekend in upper stretch, then was taken back to the inside by jockey Antonio Gallardo. He accelerated nicely once clear.

Ghost Hunter paid $5.80 as second choice to Grade 1 winner Ring Weekend. A 7-year-old son of Ghostzapper, Ghost Hunter has now won 15 races since being claimed by Jamie Ness for $25,000 in June 2014. Gallardo has been aboard for 12 of those wins.