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Competitive field of nine entered for QE II

Alterite easily scored in her U.S. debut at Belmont (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Alterite, a 1 1/2-length winner of the Garden City in her North American debut last month, headlines a deep field of nine sophomore fillies entered for Saturday's 30th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup to be contested at 1 1/8 miles on Keeneland's turf.

Alterite, who is one of seven graded or group winners in the field, will try to give trainer Chad Brown his second consecutive victory in the race. Brown, who won with Dayatthespa in 2012, would join Woody Stephens, John Veitch and Joe Orseno as the only trainers to win the QE II in consecutive years.

John Velazquez, who was aboard Alterite for the Garden City victory, has the call Saturday.

Returning to challenge Alterite on Saturday are two fillies she left in her wake in the Garden City: third-place finisher Concise and seventh-place runner Caroline Thomas.

Concise has been knocking on the door of success in her three starts stateside, and her connections are hopeful the door will swing open on Saturday.

"She's an improving filly," said Jane Buchanan, racing manager for trainer Graham Motion's stable. "She breezed Saturday at Fair Hill (in Maryland) and shipped here after the work."

The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid broke her maiden on an all-weather surface in her second start at Kempton Park in England but has not won since. She joined the Motion barn in early summer and made her U.S. debut at Saratoga with a fast-closing second against allowance/optional claiming company.

"There are more opportunities over here for a filly to earn black-type," Buchanan added.

In her U.S. stakes debut Concise finished fourth, beaten less than a length, in the Lake Placid at Saratoga. The bay miss was third, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths and a nose, in her most recent start in the Garden City.

Edgar Prado, who rode Concise for the first time in the Garden City, will have the mount Saturday.

Caroline Thomas was awarded the win in the Lake Placid despite finising second to Nellie Cashman (NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Caroline Thomas just missed by a nose in the Lake Placid but was elevated to first place via the disqualification of the winner. Next out came the Garden City, where the Barclay Tagg-trained chestnut was forced to race five wide rounding the turn into the lane and finished seventh, fourth lengths behind the winner. The Giant's Causeway filly, who is out of 2007 QE II winner Bit of Whimsy, had Rosie Napravnik in the irons for the Lake Placid and retains that rider for Saturday.

No daughter of a QE II winner has come back to win the race. In addition to Caroline Thomas, one other filly will have the chance to do so this year. That filly is Say, a daughter of 2002 winner Riskaverse.

Say is actually wheeling back off a week break, having finished sixth in last Saturday's First Lady against older fillies and mares at Keeneland in her U.S. bow. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, the Galileo filly is following in the path of Together, the 2011 QE II winner who was second in the First Lady the week before.

A Group 3 winner in Ireland, Say will be ridden by James Graham.

Others with a chance in the QE II include Sarach, who captured the Honeymoon Handicap and finished just 1 3/4 lengths behind in fourth in the American Oaks over the summer, and stakes victress Emotional Kitten, who was third in the Del Mar Oaks and runner-up in the American Oaks in her past two.

Lake George and Regret star Kitten's Dumplings, Ontario Colleen heroine Leigh Court and Pucker Up scorer I'm Already Sexy complete the QE II field.

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