In the span of two months, Waratah Thoroughbreds’ Miss World has gone from a maiden to a grade I winner. On Oct. 17, the daughter of Bernstein will try to climb her highest hurdle yet, as she faces a short but strong group of 3-year-old fillies in the prestigious $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland.
Two of the main rivals Miss World will face are fillies she just defeated in the Garden City (gr. IT) Sept. 12 at Belmont—runner-up Shared Account and fourth-place finisher, Gozzip Girl. But it will be no easy task beating them again, especially multiple graded stakes winner Gozzip Girl, who had a disastrous trip in the Garden City while nearly going down after clipping heels on the first turn.
A field of seven was entered for the nine-furlong QE II. Post time is slated for 5:05 p.m. EDT.
Trained by Christophe Clement, Miss World was winless in four starts as a juvenile and was again beaten in her 3-year-old debut in June. But the bay filly has figured things out since then, breaking her maiden at Belmont in July, scoring a first-level allowance the following month, and then pulling a 13-1 upset in the Garden City while coming from off the pace under Cornelio Velasquez.
Two of Miss World’s victories have come over an off turf, including the Garden City when the ground was labeled soft. And with rain expected most of the next three days in Lexington, there is a good chance the going will be soft once again for the QE II.
Bred in Kentucky by Kilboy Estate, Miss World is out of the Kingmambo mare Moonstar. The $160,000 Keeneland yearling purchase has already earned more than $260,000 from eight starts. Rajiv Maragh will have the mount once again.
Farnsworth Stables’ Gozzip Girl was never a serious factor in the Garden City after clipping heels down the backstretch, as she stayed in the hunt for most of the way but lost ground in the stretch to lose by more than five lengths as the 2-5 favorite. The troubled trip undoubtedly affected the daughter of Dynaformer, who had won four of her previous five starts, her only defeat coming by a neck in the April 4 Ashland (gr. IT) at Keeneland.
All four of Gozzip Girl's victories this season came in stakes company, including her impressive score in the grade I American Oaks July 5 at Hollywood when shipping to California for the first time. Prior to that, she tallied in the Sands Point (gr. IIT) May 30 at Belmont over a soft ground.
The Tom Albertrani trainee has worked three times at Belmont since the Garden City and is scheduled to arrive in Lexington Oct. 16. Kent Desormeaux has the mount once again on the probable favorite.
Sagamore Farm’s Shared Account set the pace in the Garden City and took the lead into the stretch before giving way grudgingly to lose by 1 3/4 lengths. The Pleasantly Perfect filly has been in good form since Graham Motion switched her to turf this summer, as she has hit the board in all four starts, including a one-length score in the Aug. 21 Lake Placid (gr. IIT) at Saratoga. Like Miss World and Gozzip Girl, she has shown an affinity for a soft turf course. Edgar Prado will be in the irons.
Stepping up to graded stakes company for the first time this season is Charles Fipke’s Woodbine shipper Lady Shakespeare, a winner of four straight for Roger Attfield. Last out in the Aug. 30 Ontario Colleen Stakes, Lady Shakespeare came from the back of the pack to drive to victory. Emma-Jayne Wilson flies in for the ride.
Also in with chances are Hot Cha Cha, winner of Arlington Park’s Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) last out; Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) victor Blind Date; and English-bred Hameildaeme, fourth in both the Pucker Up and Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) in her last two tries.
$500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT, Race 9, 5:05 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Hameildaeme (GB), A O Solis, 121, J Lloyd
2. Miss World (KY), R Maragh, 121, C Clement
3. Hot Cha Cha (KY), J Graham, 121, P A Sims
4. Gozzip Girl (KY), K J Desormeaux, 121, T Albertrani
5. Shared Account (KY), E S Prado, 121, H G Motion
6. Lady Shakespeare (KY), E Wilson, 121, R L Attfield
7. Blind Date (MD), R Albarado, 121, H A Smith