Stephanie's Kitten, the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Turf winner and the winner of the G2-Lake Placid at Saratoga in her last start, leads a field of eight in Saturday's Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland (Post time: 5:21pm Eastern; TV: TVG). Strangely enough, the QEII will be the favorite's first ever start over the Keeneland turf course; she finished first and third in a pair of Grade 1 races over the Keeneland Polytrack in the last year (G1-Alcibiades and G1-Ashland). A victory in the QEII on Saturday would make Stephanie's Kitten a Grade 1 winner on both turf and synthetic surface.
The QEII won't be a cakewalk for Stephanie's Kitten as she's drawn into a very tough field of rivals comprised of multiple graded stakes winning fillies. Among the fillies joining Stephanie's Kitten in the QE II are:
- 2-Tannery (IRE) (10/1): A winner of the Group 3 Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh in late July and 3rd in the G1-Garden City at Belmont in her North American debut.
- 4-Centre Court (7/2): A solid turf filly that ran off a pair of stakes victories this summer (G3-Regret and G2-Kale George) before finishing second to Stephanie's Kitten in the Lake Placid at Saratoga.
- 6-Somali Lemonade (6/1): Won the G3-Jessamine at Keeneland last fall but hasn't been able to find her way to the Winner's Circle in the year since. She ran a good second to Samitar (GB) in the G1-Garden City last time out and could be finally rounding back into decent form. Tough to back her, however, given all the failure over the last year.
- 7-Samitar (GB) (7/2): The winner of the G1-Irish 1000 Guineas has run a couple of very good races since shipping over from Ireland in July. She finished 3rd, beaten a head, in her debut effort in the G2-Lake George but she got roughed up quite a bit in the early stages.
- 8-Dayatthespa (3/1): This filly has done little wrong in 2012, winning all four of her starts including scores in the G3-Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream and the G3-Appalachain at Keeneland in the spring. She's only finished out of the top two once in her seven career races when she finished 9th in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Turf.
Below are the entries, post positions and morning line odds for the G1-QEII Challenge Cup at Keeneland.
|G1-QEII Challenge Cup; Post time: 5:21pm Eastern|
|1||Better Lucky||S. Bridgmohan||T. Albertrani||12/1|
|2||Tannery (IRE)||E. Trujillo||A. Goldberg||10/1|
|3||Treasured Up||B. Hernandez||A. Stall||20/1|
|4||Centre Court||J. Leparoux||G. Arnold||7/2|
|5||Stephanie's Kitten||J. Velazquez||W. Catalano||5/2|
|6||Somali Lemonade||J. Rocco||M. Matz||6/1|
|7||Samitar (GB)||R. Dominguez||C. Brown||7/2|
|8||Dayatthespa||J. Castellano||C. Brown||3/1|