Multiple graded stakes winner Lady Eli is battling laminitis that developed after the filly stepped on a nail following her most recent victory in the July 4 Belmont Oaks at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

In a statement, trainer Chad Brown said the filly “stepped on a nail on the horse path on the way back to our barn and injured her left front foot. Despite our efforts, including a talented team of veterinarians, Lady Eli’s injury has led to her developing laminitis.

“We have assembled the best possible team of veterinarians and farriers to stabilize her and assist her through these difficult times,” Brown’s statement said.

Laminitis—the separation or failure of laminae, which connect the hoof wall to the coffin bone within—is a painful condition that can cause permanent structural changes in a horse’s foot, sometimes leading to repeated bouts of disease and lasting lameness. In severe cases the coffin bone can rotate or sink downward, sometimes even puncturing the sole. Many severely affected horses are euthanized.

But not all cases result in euthanasia or loss of use. Some affected horses can return to work , sometimes even to their previous level of activity. In 2013, Thoroughbred racehorse Paynter overcame a bout of laminitis and a serious illness and returned the racetrack in winning fashion.

Ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., and owned by the Sheep Pond Partners, the 3-year-old daughter of