LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 12, 2017) – Trainer Wesley Ward respects the talented field of 3-year-old turf fillies invited to compete in Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1), but he is quite confident in his starter, Hat Creek Racing’s Con Te Partiro.
“It’s like playing Michael Jordan at home, though,” Ward said. “This is our home turf, so we’ve got home-turf advantage, which I’m excited for. She’s trained her whole life here, so we’re excited to have a race here, which I think is a big advantage.
“We drew a beautiful post on the inside,” Ward added. “(Jockey) Mike (Smith) will kinda let her float away from there and he’ll maintain his position on the rail around the first turn and try to weave his way through when they get to the second one.”
By Scat Daddy, Con Te Partiro won her career debut at Keeneland in April 2016. She took the Bolton Landing at Saratoga before running second in the Juvenile Turf Sprint on the undercard of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita.
After a fourth in the Soaring Softly to begin her 3-year-old season, Con Te Partiro won the Sandringham at Royal Ascot in June.
The filly has made one start since that race, traveling to Del Mar for the Del Mar Oaks (G1) on Aug. 19. She was fourth in that race behind QE II rivals Dream Dancing, Beau Recall (IRE) and Madam Dancealot (IRE).
Con Te Partiro galloped over the Keeneland turf course Thursday morning.