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