Dreaming of Anna Faces Stiff QE II Test
Photo: Four-Footed Fotos
Pucker Up winner Dreaming of Anna tries to extend her 3-race winning streak in the Queen Elizabeth II.
Champion filly Dreaming of Anna will put her three-race win streak on the line and get her final prep for the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) Oct. 13 on Keeneland’s Haggin Turf Course.

The 2006 Juvenile Fillies Eclipse Award winner, Dreaming of Anna began the year with three consecutive losses but has since captured a trio of stakes, all on the turf. The latest was the Sept. 8 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park, a 4 1/4-length score for trainer Wayne Calabrese. It was the 3-year-old’s first graded stakes triumph since capturing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs last year.

A daughter of Rahy, out of Broad Brush mare Justenuffheart, Dreaming of Anna has done her best work while on the front end. All of her seven career wins have come while setting the pace. The Frank Calabrese homebred has already earned more than $1.5 million. She is being pointed to the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.

If Dreaming of Anna, who will leave from post seven with Garrett Gomez aboard, is to take the 1 1/8-mile event, she will have to do it against a talented field of eight other challengers. All but two starters have a graded stakes victory.

Half made their last start Sept. 8 on the Belmont turf in the $250,000 Garden City Stakes (gr. IT), won by Alexander Tango. But QE II starters Bit of Whimsy, Sharp Susan and Costume (GB) finished two-three-four, respectively, in the Garden City, while Street Sounds came in eighth.

Distorted Humor   filly Bit of Whimsy scored her only graded stakes win at Belmont in June, stalking the pace and rallying to take the Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a half-length under Edgar Prado. Javier Castellano, who was aboard in the Garden City, will get the mount this time for trainer Barclay Tagg.

WinStar Farm’s homebred Sharp Susan led at the top of the stretch in the Garden City before gamely giving way. The most experienced QE II starter, the daughter of Touch Gold has raced 12 times, winning four. She has only been off the board in one of seven tries in 2007, taking top prize three times, including the Lake Placid Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Aug. 17. William Mott trains and regular rider Kent Desormeaux will ride.

Juddmonte Farms’ Costume, trained primarily this year by John Gosden, made her only American start in the 1 1/8-mile Garden City, coming from off the pace to finish well. The Danehill filly has placed in five of seven lifetime starts.

Another intriguing European is Coquerelle, an Irish-bred filly who has done most of her racing in France. The daughter of Zamindar won the first four starts of her career, including the Montjeu Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) in May at Longchamp, but most recently finished 12th in a group I try June 10. Trainer Jean-Claude Rouget has given her nearly four months off.

Also in the field are Touch My Soul (FR), Classic Neel and Good Mood (IRE), who won the Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill June 16.

$500,000 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT, Race 9, 5:15 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Bit of Whimsy (KY), 121, Javier Castellano
2. Good Mood (IRE), 121, Julien R. Leparoux
3. Street Sounds (ON), 121, Robby Albarado
4. Classic Neel (KY), 121, Calvin H. Borel
5. Touch My Soul (FR), 121, Rene R. Douglas
6. Coquerelle (IRE), 121, Christophe P. Lemaire
7. Dreaming of Anna (KY), 121, Garrett K. Gomez
8. Costume (GB), 121, Rafael Bejarano
9. Sharp Susan (KY), 121, Kent J. Desormeaux




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