Breaking from post four in the one-turn mile test under Eibar Coa, the Van Nistelrooyfilly took command soon after being bumped at the start. On a main track rated fast, she set a pace of 23.54 and 47.72 while being tracked by Hope Bay.
Even-money choice Sunday Holiday, far back for the first half-mile, made a smart move along the rail under jockey Kent Desormeaux to reach contention as Meriwether Jessica made her move from the outside under Alan Garica when they turned for home.
In the stretch run, Sunday Holiday was boxed in with nowhere to go. Then Elusive Lady kicked away when roused by Coa to win easily in 1:38.40. Meriwether Jessica finished a length ahead of Sunday Holiday in third.
“I thought I would be able to track somebody, but she broke sharp and just went on with it,” Coa said. “She was comfortable the whole time. I really liked the way she finished.”
Trainer by John Kimmel, Elusive Lady broke her maiden at 6 1/2 furlongs last time out at Belmont Park Sept. 29, defeating next-out winner Throbbin' Heart by three-quarters of a length. That followed a sixth-place finish in her debut at Saratoga one month earlier. Her two victories have earned $96,538 for owner Goldmark Farm with the Tempted's winning share of $65,160.
“I thought the distance was not going to be a problem today," Kimmel said. "She’s had a good month in between starts. She wasn’t blowing very hard in the winner's circle. She certainly didn’t look very stressed out.”
Donald Ming bred Elusive Lady in Florida. She is a $90,000 Keeneland September yearling graduate out of Song of Royalty, by Unbridled's Song.
Sent off as the third choice in a field reduced to five, Elusive Lady paid $13.60, $5.80, and $2.70. Meriweather Jessica, a New York-bred facing open company for the first time in four starts for trainer Linda Rice, returned $6.90 and $2.90. Sunday Holiday, favored off her third-place finish behind Indian Blessing and Backseat Rhythm in Belmont's Frizette (gr. I) three weeks ago, was $2.10 to show. The $2 exacta was worth $68.50.
Hope Bay and According to Plan trailed, while Dagger scratched.
Kimmel said he would likely run Elusive Lady back in the Demoiselle (gr. II) for 2-year-old fillies at nine furlongs Nov. 24.
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