Bob Baffert

Lady Eli, alive and kicking, wins Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita

Lady Eli, alive and kicking, wins Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita

As the fabulous filly Lady Eli sank closer to death, Cherie DeVaux all but became her roommate. The assistant trainer to Chad Brown provided around-the-clock care and companionship in the stall of a thoroughbred afflicted with the potentially fatal hoof disease laminitis.

For Lady Eli’s connections, the Fourth of July two years ago had offered a dramatic display of gravity’s pull of emotions. Spirits soared when she remained unbeaten through six races with a Grade 1 stakes win at Belmont Park, then plunged when a nail was found in her foot after the stroll back to the barn.

The metal intruder apparently triggered the illness that kept Lady Eli away from the track for nearly 14...

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