Shadwell Stable's Alwajeeha stalked the pace under John Velazquez, took over coming out of the turn, and held off a host of rivals to win the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) by 1 1/4 lengths Oct. 11 at Keeneland. The victory was especially sweet for Velazquez, who was involved in a bad spill just eight days before in Lexington.
Keeneland will offer a record $5.4 million in stakes purses, one of the richest stakes programs in North America, for its 2008 fall race meeting to be held Oct. 3-25, the Lexington oval announced June 3.
For much of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. I), there seemed to be no denying classy champion Dreaming of Anna, who was seeking her fourth consecutive stakes victory. But after a ground-saving trip from Javier Castellano, Bit of Whimsy made a late rally along the rail, angled three wide and caught the 2006 Juvenile Fillies Eclipse Award winner in the final 16th to win on Keeneland's Haggin turf course Oct. 13.
The lone grade I of the weekend, the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup Saturday at Keeneland, saw a field of nine 3-year-old fillies entered for the 1 1/8-mile turf event.
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