Thursday, October 9, 2014

Queen For a Day


Saturday’s feature race at Keeneland is the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup for three year old fillies, on the turf at 1 & 1/8 miles. This is the 30th rendition of the QE2 and the race is named in honor of the Queen of England who visited Keeneland on October 11th, 1984.


The race is sponsored by Lane’s End Farm. Owner William Farish was formerly the US Ambassador to Great Britain.


The purse this year has been increased to $500,000.


As of this writing, a field of 9 will contest the race.


From the rail out –


  1. Sistas Stroll – lightly raced filly by Stroll and trained by Tom Proctor a $20,000 purchase at KeeSept. She is undefeated on turf and at the distance, with her last win being a Grade 3. She has won on both firm and soft turf which shows a unique versatility for the surface. Is stepping up into deeper water here, but she could still have some upside.


  1. Minorette – A grade 1 winner out of a stakes winning mare and a half sister to 3 more stakes winners. Chad Brown trainee ran flat in her last star in mid August, but has had 5 nice works since then. Could certainly rebound with Rosario in the tack.


  1. Speed Seeker - A $10K purchase at OBS Aug, this filly is trained by Joan Scott. James Graham picks up the mount. Winner of a Grade3 at Woodbine and has been freshened since August 23rd.


  1. Aurelia’s Belle – Well-travelled filly trained by Wayne Catalano. Very well bred and out of a Danzig mare from the family of broodmare of the Year Courtly Dee, though most of the family’s success has come on dirt, she has the right genes. This filly can run on anything, but most of her wins have come on synthetic. Blinkers on in her last two, earned her a win. If you draw a line through her last on soft ground, she has a chance.


  1. Personal Diary – A Victoria Oliver charge that had preformed well enough in Allowance Company, but sprang an upset in the Grade 1 in the DelMar Oaks at today’s distance. She likes to come from out of it and needs to work out a trip. If you think the DelMar turf will play like the Keeneland turf, then maybe this filly is worth taking a look at for a piece.


  1. Ball Dancing – Another in here trained by Chad Brown, this filly made a splash in her first start in this country when winning the Grade 2 Sand’s Point at Belmont with Lasix added. Lots of talent here.


  1. Sea Queen – Speedy filly with a win over the track. Clement trained, she can stay out of trouble and get the perfect trip Has never won a graded stake but it’s only a matter of time. Lots to like.


  1. Crown Queen – Trained by Bill Mott, she is a half sister to Champion Royal Delta who never ran on turf. Her races as a 2 year old last year were uninspiring, but she has put it all together this year with her last win in the Grade 2 Lake Placid. Bullet works since her last and regular pilot John Velazquez, I like the way she’s coming into this spot.


  1. Daring Dancer - You can never underestimate Graham Motion. This filly has a win over this course, but her last race at Belmont was flat. Only one work since then and she loses her John Velazquez to Alan Garcia. But she has talent.




Weather may play a role in the race as rain is forecast for the next several days. That being said, most of these fillies have proven to run well on less than firm courses. But should the course get very soft, I give a bigger chance to Minorette because she is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare.


I do like the two “Queens” in here. Crown Queen‘s works for this are sparkling and she may just be getting better and better. Sea Queen could sprint to the front and be long gone. And if Ball Dancing doesn’t bounce off her sharp win she will be tough.


There’s your super box…Minorette / Ball Dancing / Sea Queen / Crown Queen


Sounds like a party in the palace to me!


Good luck if you are wagering, and fast and safe to all our equine friends.

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