The undefeated Lady Eli will once again put her perfect mark on the line at the Belmont Oaks Invitational against a very good field.
The winner of this race will earn a spot in the Breeders' Cup in the turf fillies and mares division and will most likely end up running in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Classic, the top race for lady turfers in the world.
The question isn't if, but by how much Lady Eli will be favored by. She'll be an odds on favorite for sure, though we would bet the price will be just a bit higher than the 1 to 5 she was at the Wonder Again Stakes, the prep for this race.
That said, there is still a good field going up against Lady Eli, perhaps the best of her career. On top of that, it is going to be the biggest field of her career she goes against, too. Trainer Chad Brown is saddling not just Lady Eli, but at least one (Strict Compliance), if not two (Consumer Credit) other ladies in this field.
FAVORITE TO FOLLOW
There's no such thing as talking too much about Lady Eli for this race. We have only seen her run in one Grade 1 race in her young career, but she blasted the field at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf race, turning a 112 Beyer Speed Rating in the process.
She's a closer by nature, so don't expect to see her setting the pace in this race. However, the one time that she really ran up against a great field at the Breeders' Cup, she started just off of the pace instead of at the rear of the field, proving that she has the ability to be a little more resilient than just a one-trick pony.
UNDERDOG TO WATCH
Sentiero Italia is an intriguing filly, knowing that she has only run in three races in her career. She's 2-for-3 in those races, but she was a really easy winner at an allowance race here at Belmont Park in May.
Still, the fact that she hasn't run against much of anyone is a bit of a concern. We know that she has run from on the pace and from off of the pace, and she has had success doing just about everything.
We wouldn’t want to bet on this filly at anything less than 10 to 1 or so, but against a big time field, she could be a surprise.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
There could be a few surprises in this race. Jasmine Blue is a bit of a question mark, knowing that she has run up against international fillies in her career, while Sentiero Italia has never faced this type of a field. Spanish Queen won the American Oaks, which makes her an intriguing option as well.
However, in the end, this is all about Lady Eli. She is going to come from the back of the pack as always in this one, but just as she has always done, she'll end up capturing the glory. It won't be a fantastic payday, as you're lucky if you get 3 to 5 on her head, but winning at bad odds are a lot better than losing at good odds.
Play Lady Eli to win the Belmont Oaks Invitational
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