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Breeders Cup 2015

Caroline Thomas Up For QE II Challenge

It is said that success breeds success, and trainer Barclay Tagg hopes that is the case when he saddles Caroline Thomas for Saturday’s 30th running of the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) for 3-year-old fillies.

Tagg won the race in 2007 with Bit of Whimsy, and Caroline Thomas is Bit of Whimsy’s first foal.

“They are both lovely fillies and they both come from out of it,” Tagg said. “They look alike, too. If you put their pictures next to each other, you could not tell them apart.”

When Bit of Whimsy won in 2007, the daughter of Distorted Humor had won two of five starts and had a Grade 3 victory in the Sands Point on her record. Caroline Thomas, by Giant’s Causeway, has won three of 10 starts with a victory in the Grade 2 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid on her record.

“This is a tough race and she is going to need some luck,” Tagg said. “In a lot of her races, the leaders have been getting away with :50 halves and 1:13 or 1:14 for six furlongs, so she needs a pace to run at.”

Caroline Thomas got that pace in the Lake Placid in which she was ridden for the first time by Rosie Napravnik, who will be back aboard Saturday.

“Rosie is great,” Tagg said. “She can ride for me anytime.”

“I loved the way she ran that day,” Napravnik said. “She got a pace to run at and sat in a good spot for me. I am very eager to ride her back.”

Tagg also has Sure Thing Stables’ Unbelievable Dream here to compete in next Friday’s 23rd running of the $150,000 Pin Oak Valley View (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

“She’s been doing very well,” Tagg said of the Kitalpha filly who won the Appalachian (G3) here in the spring.

Third in her most recent start in the Riskaverse at Saratoga, Unbelievable Dream will attempt to become the first filly to sweep the Appalachian and Pin Oak Valley View. With Napravnik up Thursday morning, Unbelievable Dream worked five furlongs around the “dogs” in 1:01.60 with fractions of :12.20, :24.40 and :36.80.




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