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Quick Turnaround for Together

Only four 3-year-old fillies have taken on older rivals in Keeneland’s First Lady (G1), but only Together (IRE) has attempted to come back a week later and take a shot at the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1).


Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, Together ran second in last Saturday’s First Lady, and her start in the

1 1/8-mile QE II will be her fourth in six weeks.


On September 3, Together ran second in the Matron (G1) at Leopardstown in Ireland and on September 24 was seventh in the Sun Chariot (G1) at Newmarket. Two weeks later, Together was at Keeneland.


Is such a schedule normal routine for trainer Aidan O’Brien?


“It depends on the horse, whether they can take it or not,” said Kieran Murphy, an assistant to O’Brien who is overseeing Together’s preparation this week. “She can take it.”


Murphy said Together returned to the track on Monday.


“She has been cantering on the main track and exercising for about an hour each day and she is doing well,” Murphy said.


With the Breeders’ Cup World Championships only three weeks away at Churchill Downs, might Together have another U.S. run in her?


“We won’t know until after this race,” Murphy said. “We will have to see how she comes out of it.”


Together ran fifth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs, finishing behind three rivals she will face Saturday: More Than Real, Winter Memories and Kathmanblu.


Only one of the eight QE II starters will be making her Grade 1 debut and that is Glen Hill Farm’s Marketing Mix. Trained by Tom Proctor, Marketing Mix broke her maiden on the main track here in April in her second start and enters the QE II off a victory in the Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington Park on September 17.


“This is the best 3-year-old filly turf race in the country,” said Proctor, who offered a tidbit for thought regarding his filly. “You know, horses that come out of the Pucker Up usually do well in this race.”


The past five Pucker Up winners have run in the QE II with Hot Cha Cha (2009) and Vacare (2006) picking up victories. Dreaming of Anna (2007) was second in the QE II and Dade Babe (2010) and Closeout (2008) finished fourth.



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