Evening Jewel and Check The Label who have won seven consecutive graded stakes between them, will meet in
a showdown of star 3-year-old fillies Oct. 16 in the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland.
A field of eight was drawn for 1 1/8-mile turf race, with Marilyn
Braly’s California shipper Evening Jewel and Lael Stables’ East
Coast-based Check the Label expected to vie for favoritism. Also in the
mix is American Oaks (gr. IT) victor Harmonious, Lake George (gr. IIT) winner Perfect Shirl
, grade III winner Snow Top Mountain, and European invader Zagora
, a two-time group III winner in France making her North American debut.
Evening Jewel has won three
consecutive starts since missing by a nose in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I)
and being switched to turf by trainer James Cassidy. The daughter of Northern Afleet
began her win streak in the May 31 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) at
Hollywood Park, and followed with a pair of victories at Del Mar—the
July 25 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) and Aug. 21 Del Mar Oaks (gr.
IT). Victor Espinoza, aboard for all of those wins, will fly in for the