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Summer Soiree Formidable Force on Turf

Summer Soiree made a habit of running off the TV screen in wire-to-wire victories earlier this year on dirt at Oaklawn Park and on Polytrack at Turfway Park. Her debut on turf produced a similar result: an 8½-length victory in the Grade 3 Boiling Springs at Monmouth Park on June 25.


That speed will be put to the test Saturday when Summer Soiree faces seven other 3-year-old fillies in the 28th running of the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland.


“The first time she was on turf was in the race at Monmouth,” said John Panagot, stable manager for trainer Graham Motion’s Herringswell Stables. “(The turf start) was kind of planned after the (Kentucky) Oaks (a 10th-place finish) didn’t work out too well.


“She had run well on the Polytrack and was bred a little bit for the turf. You are not sure how training on the all-weather surface at Fair Hill would translate. But after she ran, everything made sense.”


Owned by Team Valor International, Summer Soiree took the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in her next start in August.


“She ran so big at Monmouth, we wanted to give her a shot at a Grade 1,” Panagot said. “This (the QE II) has been the plan all along. Graham gave her time because she shipped out to California and back and then figured to close out the year with the Queen Elizabeth.”



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