Miracle mare Lady Eli catalogued for Keeneland November
Daughter of Divine Park made comeback after stepping on a nail
Lady Eli, a five-time Grade 1 winner on the turf in the US, is set to come under the hammer at the Keeneland November Sale this year.
The six-year-old daughter of Divine Park has been catalogued for the past two renewals of the auction but was withdrawn each time.
This year she has been entered by vendor Hill 'n' Dale Sales in foal to War Front, sire of 17 Group/Grade 1 winners including this year's Tattersalls Gold Cup hero Lancaster Bomber and July Cup scorer US Navy Flag.
Trained by Chad Brown, Lady Eli distinguished herself as one of the all-time leading fillies or mares on turf in North America, having compiled a record of ten wins and three seconds from 14 starts with career earnings just shy of $3 million.
Undefeated at two, Lady Eli signed off her multiple Graded stakes-winning juvenile campaign with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, in which she defeated top-level winner Sunset Glow.
She stopped the clock for the mile in the fastest time ever for the race and a full second faster than the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner on the same day.
Lady Eli was unbeaten in three starts in her three-year-old campaign, including the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks, but returning to the barn after the race she stepped on a nail, which sidelined her for more than 13 months.
After a miraculous recovery she added another Grade 1 victory to her resume at four with an impressive performance in the Flower Bowl Stakes. Later that season she finished just a nose second to Queen's Trust in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.
Lady Eli notched two more Grade 1 victories at five, in the Gamely Stakes and Diana Stakes, and her final run came when seventh to Wuheida in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, where she lost a shoe and suffered cuts to her hind legs.
“I can’t say enough about this horse,” said Brown. “She's the best turf horse I have ever trained. She has the heart of a champion. She is equine perfection. She is the personification of world-class talent, courage, precocity, soundness and, above all, the will to win.
“Lady Eli always brought her best game. She didn’t need a race track, a condition, a position in the race or a distance, and she certainly never needed an excuse. It’s unlikely I will ever have another one like her.”
Partner Sol Kumin of owners Sheep Pond Partners said: “She's an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime animal. She gave me, my family, my partners and, just as importantly, racing fans around the world the most memorable performances, which will live within me forever.”
It promises to be a thrilling round of breeding-stock sales in North America this year, as it was announced this week that the brilliant sprint filly Lady Aurelia has been catalogued for the Fasig-Tipton November Sale.
Read all about the Keeneland September Yearling Sale...