Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup is on tap for Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky this Saturday, October 10. A purse of $500,000 will be on the line for three year old fillies willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Keeneland's turf track.
A field of nine sophomore fillies have been confirmed for the QE II Challenge Cup - race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:30 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all nine entries for this intriguing Grade 1 stakes.
Sentiero Italia 6-5 - has six career starts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin with four wins - the best of which coming last time out as favorite in the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes on this track September 12. It followed another win in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga August 14, an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational and an Allowance score by two lengths against older horses May 28. She looked untouchable in her last two starts and hopes to make it three graded stakes wins in a row Saturday as overwhelming morning line favorite. Joel Rosario has the mount aboard the obvious one to catch from the outside post 9.
Feathered 5-1 - Todd Pletcher trained filly has 11 career starts with three wins, four seconds and a third place finish. She enters off an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Saratoga August 30 which followed a good second in the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes on that same track in July, another good second behind Spanish Queen in the Grade 1 American Oaks May 30 on Santa Anita turf and a career best effort - a gate-to-wire win in the Grade 3 Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs May 1 in her first start on turf. Feathered has two wins and two seconds in her last four starts overall and is in the best form of her career ahead of this weekend. Javier Castellano rides the co-second betting choice from gate 8.
Miss Temple City 5-1 - has placed in seven of eight career starts for trainer Graham Motion and enters off an OK third behind Sentiero Italia and Blond Me in the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes here September 12 after a second behind Sentiero Italia in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga August 14. Before that was her only off-the-board finish - an OK fourth at 50-1 odds in the prestigious Group 1 Coronation Stakes overseas at Ascot in June, a win in the minor Hilltop Stakes at Pimlico May 14, a good second in the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland in April and a third in the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant Stakes at Gulfstream in January. Miss Temple City has been competitive virtually every time out and is expected to be again Saturday. Drayden Van Dyke has been tabbed with getting Miss Temple City her first graded stakes score from post 3 Saturday as 5-1 second betting choice.
Prize Exhibit 6-1 - British bred James Cassidy trained filly has 17 career starts already with five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. She enters this weekend off a respectable second against older horses in the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Del Mar September 6, a third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks August 15 and a career-best effort - a win in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap July 19. Before that was another win after closing from ninth in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes at Santa Anita June 27. She failed to hit the board in four of her previous five starts however including a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile fillies in October. Prize Exhibit has placed in her last four starts overall and is in very good form ahead of this weekend. Santiago Gonzalez has been tabbed with keeping the roll going from gate 2.
Her Emmynency 8-1 - has three wins and two second place finishes in six career starts for trainer Michael Stidham and enters off a decent second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks August 15. Before that was a career worst effort - a sixth place finish in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap July 19. She finished second behind Sunset Glow in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante in August, 2014 and had two good wins after that before her ugly outing two starts back - the minor Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita in October and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Arlington June 20 - her first start of 2015. Her Emmynency, outside of one bad outing has been in every race in her career. Florent Geroux gets the call hoping to maintain that trend - from gate 4.
Blond Me 8-1 - Irish bred filly has two wins and three seconds in six career starts - the only blemish came in her debut. She made her North American debut last time out and finished a good second behind Sentiero Italia in the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes here September 12 after having posted a runner-up finish August 22 at home and consecutive wins this past summer. Blond Me has two wins and three second place finishes in her last five starts overall - impressive. She hopes to keep the roll going from post 7 Saturday with Junior Alvarado guiding her.
Olorda 15-1 - German bred Chad Brown trained filly won the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux at Longchamp in France May 3 and followed that with a respectable third in the Group 1 Pour Moi Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary on that same track May 24. She debuted in North America with a disappointing eleventh in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational July 4. Olorda now has two wins and two third place finishes in six career starts and will be looking for a strong bounce back after an unflattering first start here. Irad Ortiz has been tabbed to ride this intriguing filly from gate 6.
Return to Grace 15-1 - Mark Casse trained filly has two wins, two seconds and a third place finish in six career starts and enters off her fist stakes score - the minor Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs September 19. Before that was a good second in the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington August 15 and a third in the Grade 3 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs in June. Return to Grace has been competitive so far and hopes for a first graded stakes score Saturday from post 5 - with Joe Rocco in the reins.
Mizz Money 30-1 - Bernard Flint trained filly made quite a statement two starts back with a win in the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes at 14-1 odds at Arlington August 15 but followed that with a somewhat disappointing sixth last time out in the minor Indiana Grand Stakes September 9. Her other two graded stakes starts resulted in off-the-board finishes. Other good results include a win in the minor Allan LaCombe Memorial Stakes in March and runner-up finishes in a pair of minor stakes this past summer. Mizz Money has placed in just one of her last three starts overall but that result was a big one. She hopes to channel some of that form this Saturday from the rail with Robby Albarado aboard.
Race 9 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:30 PM.
||Prize Exhibit (GB)
||Miss Temple City
||Drayden Van Dyke
||Return to Grace
||Joseph Rocco, Jr.
||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
||Blond Me (IRE)