Horse Racing
David Grening | Daily Racing Form 349d

BC F&M Turf goes to Wuheida, Lady Eli a troubled seventh

Horse Racing

DEL MAR, Calif. -- Lady Eli was unable to write a storybook ending to her brilliant career as significant trouble early in the race resulted in her finishing seventh behind Wuheida in Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Del Mar.

Trainer Chad Brown reported after the race that Lady Eli had cuts on the back of both of her hind legs and lost her left hind shoe in the early stages of the race.

The incident happened early on as horses were coming out of the chute.

"She ran the whole race with three shoes and being cut up," Brown said. "She had an excuse. Very unfortunate for what's most likely her last race to really have all chance taken away before the first turn. It's one of those things. It's horse racing. Hopefully, she'll be okay and recover from this. She should."

Lady Eli, who won 10 of 14 career starts, is scheduled to be sold on Tuesday at the Keeneland bloodstock auction.

Meanwhile, Wuheida, under William Buick, worked out a dream trip, sitting an up-close third behind a moderate pace, took over turning for home, and won the race by a length over the late-closing Rhododendron. It was three-quarters of a length back to Cambodia in third.

Dacita finished fourth, and she was followed, in order, by Queen's Trust, last year's Filly and Mare Turf winner, War Flag, Lady Eli, Senga, Grand Jete, Nezwaah, Zipessa, Birdie Gold, Goodyearforroses, and Avenge.

The win was the first for Wuheida since October 2016 when she won the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly. She was winless in four prior starts this year and was forced to miss the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth at Keeneland on Oct. 15 due to a bruised foot discovered two days before the race.

Wuheida's foot issues, while forcing her to miss the Queen Elizabeth, only kept her out of training for about a week. After arriving at Del Mar last weekend, she had a strong five-furlong work in 1:01.86.

"I was delighted with what I saw," said Charlie Appleby, who trains Wuheida for Godolphin Racing.

Appleby was delighted with the trip Buick worked out on Wuheida. He had her tucked along the inside while Zipessa, under Joe Bravo, set fractions of 23.86 seconds for the quarter and 47.50 for the half while being stalked by Avenge.

Buick was able to tip Wuheida to the outside turning for home, she struck the front in midstretch, and was never seriously threatened even as Rhododendron made a strong inside rally to get second.

"I was happy once I got into the position I got into and could get into a nice rhythm," Buick said. "She really quickened in the straight."

Wuheida, a Great Britain-bred 3-year-old daughter of Dubawi, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.91 and returned $24.40 as the third choice.

Appleby thought Buick had Wuheida where she needed to be "and just angled her out. When it was time to send her for home, he had plenty of horse underneath him."

For Appleby, it's his second Breeders' Cup win from three starters.

Joe Osborne, a chief executive in the Godolphin operation, said Wuheida would return to Europe and would most likely remain in training next year, with a final decision to be made by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, the head of Godolphin Racing.

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