An international cast of eight 3-year-old fillies are signed up for Saturday's $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland. The nine-furlong contest is one of the most prestigious in the division.
Luas Line, an Irish-bred daughter of Danehill, figures to get plenty of attention off her victory in the Garden City Breeders' Cup (gr. IT) last out. She has won three in a row for European conditioner David Wachman and owner Mrs. Evelyn Stockwell.
Singhalese took the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) this summer for trainer James Cassidy, a turf filly specialist who saddled Ticker Tape to take last year's edition of the Queen Elizabeth. Singhalese, who was bred in Great Britain, ran second in the Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park most recently.
Three Degrees was second to Singhalese (both are daughters of Singspiel) in the Del Mar Oaks and should be respected here. Naissance Royale, another from Ireland, took her American debut in the Lake Placid (gr. IIT) and is conditioned by top turf trainer Christophe Clement. Gorella, from France, is a multiple stakes winner who was most recently second to the highly touted Starcraft in a group I affair in France.
Karen's Caper is another with European connections who will try the Queen Elizabeth. She is a European group winner racing for Stonerside, and is conditioned by John Gosden.
The field for the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, in post position order with riders:
1) Singhalese (Mike Smith)
2) Luas Line (John Velazquez)
3) Isla Cozzene (Brice Blanc)
4) Karen's Caper (Robby Albarado)
5) Gorella (Gary Stevens)
6) Three Degrees (Alex Solis)
7) Naissance Royale (Edgar Prado)
8) Sweet Talker (Rafael Bejarano)