07/13/2015 2:36PM

Lady Eli's racing future uncertain due to laminitis

Barbara D. Livingston
Lady Eli wins the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks by 2 3/4 lengths on July 4 to remain undefeated.

ELMONT, N.Y. – The racing career of the undefeated 3-year-old filly Lady Eli is uncertain after her connections announced Monday that she has developed laminitis in her front feet.

Trainer Chad Brown said Monday that Lady Eli stepped on a nail while walking back from the test barn to her own barn at Belmont Park following her victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks on July 4, injuring her left front foot.

“Despite our efforts, including a talented team of veterinarians, Lady Eli’s injury has led to her developing laminitis,” Brown said. “Thankfully, we have assembled the best possible team of veterinarians and farriers to stabilize her and assist her through these difficult times. I ask that all of her fans keep this magnificent racehorse in their prayers, and hopefully she will be back on the racetrack flashing her brilliance again.”

Laminitis is a hoof disease that can sometimes prove fatal, though the Grade 1 Haskell winner Paynter returned to race five times, including finishing second in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes, after being diagnosed with laminitis in all four of his feet.

Brown told Daily Racing Form that Lady Eli is currently stabled at Belmont Park in what he described as “stable but guarded condition.”
Further, Brown noted that Lady Eli has “been fitted with special shoes for support on both front feet.”

Lady Eli, a daughter of Divine Park, has won all six of her career starts, including a 2 3/4-length victory in the Belmont Oaks, in which she defeated 13 rivals and ran nearly two seconds faster than did her male counterpart, Force the Pass, in winning the Belmont Derby.

After the race, Brown said Lady Eli was the best turf filly he has been around, counting several whom he trained – including the champion Stacelita – and several champions with whom he worked when he was an assistant to Bobby Frankel.

In one of his quotes following the Belmont Oaks, Brown said that Lady Eli “breathes different air” than other horses.

As a 2-year-old, Lady Eli went 3 for 3, capped by a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Other victories recorded by Lady Eli include the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at 2 and the Grade 3 Appalachian and listed Wonder Again Stakes at age 3. She has earned $1,449,800. Lady Eli was purchased for $160,000 as a 2-year-old in training in April 2014 by Sheep Pond Partners, a group led by Jay Hanley and Sol Kumin.

lovmyhors2 More than 1 year ago
I am really sorry for everyone involved with the great Lady Eli. I have her in my prayers and in my heart We will miss her and hopes she makes it back to racing but if not hope to see her babies
Edward Nelson More than 1 year ago
Maybe belmont shouldn't have nails lying around where the horses are walking.
Eddie Robins More than 1 year ago
Thoughts and prayers for a quick and full recovery for my favorite racing filly since Ruffian. If Ruffian was the Queen of the Fillies, Lady Eli has surely become Princess of the Fillies to me. Undefeated on the track, unshakeable from our hearts - thoughts and prayers for the redoubtable young filly. Get well quick Lady Eli -- your fans have rooted, yelled and screamed as you've stormed down the center of the track to win stakes races -- and we now root with silent prayer that you'll be out galloping again real soon. May you win, closing tenaciously, in-hand and geared-down at the wire, in this great stakes race to recovery.
Christopher More than 1 year ago
I agree with everything you said except 1 thing, Zenyatta is the Queen.
lovmyhors2 More than 1 year ago
Loved Ruffian too Liked what you said
Harvey Connors More than 1 year ago
I can't believe this. What a talent. I was looking forward to her racing the boys in the future. Besides racing again, I hope she lives through this.
Alfonso Urdaneta More than 1 year ago
I'm speechless... This is simply disheartening... She has been absolutely brilliant... I hope and pray she recovers if not for racing at least to walk and be retired as a mare....
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
GOD BLESS the whole situation.
Janet More than 1 year ago
My prayers go to all the connections of Lady Eli. my heart breaks for all of you. This is so sad.
dave o More than 1 year ago
there,s no reason these tracks don't have a riding mower equipted with big magnet and NO blade just to travel around the saddle area and track to barns,i,m sure they would pick up lots of nails from all the shoeing,s.......ever see a roofer walk around a house with a magnet on a broom handle,, it gets all the nails
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
I would have to agree. I don't know how many flat tires I've had in my life where I've found roofing nails, aluminum siding screws, and all kinds of other debris that some inconsiderate fool left behind. To think for one second that some farrier had a hole in his/her leather carrier for tools... makes me sick to my stomach. Lady Eli has/had that "something special" gene in her DNA that made me excited to watch her run for a $1,000,000.00 and she deserved the $1.5 M for running 2 seconds faster. I just hope that they cater to her every need and figure out a way to get her through this laminitis. I would think that she would benefit with some form of cannabis oil from the Indica strain (low THC/high CBD). I would take her out to Colorado for some alternative treatment and give her 6 six months to pass her "tests" before she's race ready anyway. Some may think that this is funny, but; NY is still way far behind the rest of the Country when it comes to getting humans what we need to survive cancers, seizures, and many other disorders. There are topical alternative medicines that would be safe to try on these horses. They really know very little about how laminitis is contracted and how to cure it effectively. When they use the words "...pray for her..." you know this is true.
Bradford Solomon More than 1 year ago
Right on Jack, I don't know about Laminitis per say. But the Cannabis plant is a miracle cure for many ailments. Sending my prayers for Lady Eli!
Olivia More than 1 year ago
My heart,love and prayers go out to Lady Eli and her connections. I hope she will recover soon.
David More than 1 year ago
What was the maintenance crew at Belmont doing when she stepped on a nail walking back from the test barn??
Ls Gina More than 1 year ago
Sigh. Well wishes to Lady Eli and her connections.