Great weather, and firm turf is in the forecast for tomorrow at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky. The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup S. – Grade 1 has a competitive field of 9 talented fillies going a distance of one-eighth mile on turf. This is an important prep race to the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf which will be held at Santa Anita Race Track on Saturday, November 2nd.
This race was first inaugurated on October 11, 1984 in honor of English Royalty Queen Elizabeth II who was in attendance for this first race. The time record for this race at the current one-eighth mile distance was set my Memories of Silver in 1996. Her daughter Winter Memories ran this race back in 2011. She was went off as the favorite at 7-5, but unfortunately came in 4th with filly Together winning this race.
Please meet the field for the Running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup S. – Grade 1:
Post 1 – Sarach Trainer – R. Mandella Jockey – M. Garcia ML – 10-1
Post 2 – Say (IRE) Trainer – A. O’Brien Jockey – J. Graham ML – 10-1
Post 3 – Caroline Thomas Trainer – B. Tagg Jockey – R. Napravnik ML–12-1
Post 4 – Alterite (FR) Trainer – C. Brown Jockey – J. Velazquez ML – 9-5
Post 5 – Emotional Kitten Trainer – W. Ward Jockey – G. Gomez ML – 6-1
Post 6 – Concise Trainer – G. Motion Jockey – E. Prado ML – 12-1
Post 7 – Kitten’s Dumplings Trainer – M. Maker Jockey – J. Leparoux ML– 3-1
Post 8 – Leigh Court Trainer – J. Carroll Jockey – G. Boulanger ML – 10-1
Post 9 – I’m Already Sexy Trainer – W. Catalano Jockey – F. Geroux ML – 8-1
Here are several things to keep in mind for this race. Brisnet.com forms are a great resource for obtaining useful information:
- There are 5 fillies within this race whom are already graded stakes winners, so this race really looks wide open; with very attractive odds on some great fillies
- Owner/Trainer Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey + “Kitten Horses” + Keeneland + Turf is hard to ignore. They have both Emotional Kitten and Kitten’s Dumplings in this race
- Don’t ignore Julien Leparoux + Keenland + Turf
- If you are about speed, there is only 1 filly in this race that has posted numbers above 100, and she’s done it twice. I’m Really Sexy posted a Brisnet speed score of 101; also at one-eighth mile going wire to wire in the G-3 Pucker Up on September 14th, which is the best turf speed amongst the competition. She also posted a sharp workout on October the 6th as well as a bullet workout going on September 26th . She has improved in numbers from her last race in rating as well as in class. She’ll be one of the speed fillies in this race so she’ll have company along side Sarach from Post 1, and “speedster” Leigh Court in Post 8. Leigh Court is another filly who also won her last race going wire to wire. She is moving up in class from her last start (this will be harder competition), but has had a very sharp bullet workout on October the 4th . Her speed ratings meet the speed par of this race; which is 95. She could be another filly that once she runs, you’ll have to catch her
- Closers Kitten’s Dumplings and Caroline Thomas will need an honest pace to get a piece of “victory pie”. Pace will definitely make the race
- Say – Blinker on. She also ran 6 days ago in the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes at Belmont Park, finishing 6th on “yielding” turf. Weather was extremely bad; she did make a move on the backstretch going 3 wide before letting up so this may indicate current form. She has run back on a week’s rest in the past, and has done well each time so this should not be a problem. Her Brisnet Speed score of 88 could be pardoned since last week’s weather was rainy and the turf was yielding. What is interesting, is her connections did the same scenario with “Together”, who won this race 2 years ago after making her American debut against elder females in the First Lady. She came in 2nd, and a week later ran in the QE II and won the race paying $11.20 to win. Will ‘Say’ be able to follow with the same success? She’s a multiple graded stakes winner back in Europe, and “added” blinkers could improve her run. Her mother, Riskaverse won this race in 2002
- Morning line favorite Alterite a European shipper won her first race in the US in the Garden City – Grade 1 on September 16th at Belmont Park. She’s also a graded stakes winner in Europe and leaves us wondering if her form will stay consistent in the US. Still tough to say since she could need a couple more starts to figure her out. High jockey + 33% trainer + 2nd time lasix + 94 Brisnet Speed rating. This morning line favorite is one filly difficult to ignore
- Caroline Thomas reunites with one of the best female jockeys of all time, Rosie Napravnik, a plus for this filly. Caroline Thomas’s mother, Bit of Whimsy won this race back in 2007
- Emotional Kitten has improved numbers in race rating, and class rating from her last race. She is the only filly who has won at Keeneland, while breaking her maiden over the main course. 24% Trainer: Shipper + Hot Jockey + One of the best turf speeds + finished 3rd in last race. She has not won a graded stakes yet, but she has ran second to Del Mar Oaks winner Discreet Marq and American Oaks winner Emollient. She could be in striking position if the leaders falter and like I previously said, a “Kitten” horse on turf, at Keeneland… watch out!
It’s a great field of talented fillies good luck to everyone!