LEXINGTON, KY (October 10, 2012) – Grade 1 winners Samitar (GB) and Stephanie’s Kitten headline a field of eight 3-year-old fillies entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 29th running of the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1).
The QE II will go as the ninth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 5:21 p.m. (ET) post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.
Martin Schwartz’s Samitar enters the QE II off a victory as the odds-on favorite in the Garden City (G1) at Belmont Park on September 15. Trained by Chad Brown, Samitar will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez and break from post position seven.
Stephanie’s Kitten, owned and bred by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, won the Darley Alcibiades (G1) on the main track here last fall and followed that with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2). This year, the Wayne Catalano trainee has won the Edgewood at Churchill Downs and the Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga.
John Velazquez, who won the QE II in 1995 on Perfect Arc and in 2008 with Alwajeeha in 2008, has the mount on Stephanie’s Kitten, who will break from post position five.
Four other U.S. graded stakes winners as well as Tannery (IRE), a Group 3 winner in Europe, also are in the field.
Godolphin Racing’s Better Lucky won the Sands Point (G2) at Belmont in May; G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Centre Court won the Regret (G3) at Churchill in June and the Lake George (G2) at Saratoga in July; Jerry Frankel, Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ Dayatthespa won the Herecomesthebride (G3) in March at Gulfstream Park and the Appalachian (G3) here in April; and Caroline Forgason’s Somali Lemonade won the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) here last October.
The field for the QE II, from the inside out, is as follows: Better Lucky (Shaun Bridgmohan), Tannery (IRE) (Elvis Trujillo), Treasured Up (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Centre Court (Julien Leparoux), Stephanie’s Kitten (John Velazquez), Somali Lemonade (Joe Rocco Jr.), Samitar (GB) (Ramon Dominguez) and Dayatthespa (Javier Castellano). All starters carry 121 pounds.