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Tannery Arrives for QE II Challenge Cup

When Together won last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), she became only the second Irish-bred in the 28-year history of the race to triumph, joining Danish in 1994.

The wait for the next Irish-bred winner might not be that long should Tannery step up Saturday and find the winner’s circle after the $400,000 race at 1 1/8 miles on the turf for 3-year-old fillies.

A daughter of Dylan Thomas (IRE), Tannery arrived at Keeneland Tuesday night after a day that began with a trip to New York from Monmouth Park for a flight to Louisville and then a van ride to Lexington.

The QE II will mark the second U.S. start for Tannery, who was purchased privately this summer by Richard Santulli after running her first 10 races in Europe.

“We had watched videos of her races and she was pretty tenacious,” trainer Alan Goldberg said from Monmouth Park. “She would give you all she had.”

A Group 3 winner at the Curragh in July, Tannery arrived in Goldberg’s barn a week before her U.S. debut in the Garden City (G1) at Belmont Park on September 15.

“I don’t think she was crazy about the turf that day,” Goldberg said of the filly’s third-place finish behind QE II rivals Samitar (GB) and Somali Lemonade. “The ground was very hard that day.”

Told of a good chance of showers early Friday, Goldberg said, “That would be great.”

Overseeing Tannery at Keeneland is Sharon Huston, who was aboard the filly for a one-mile gallop over the training track.

“She really liked that track,” Huston said after Tannery returned to Barn 40. “She acts like she has been here all her life.”

Also arriving Tuesday night for the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup was Godolphin Racing’s Better Lucky, trained by Tom Albertrani. Overseeing the filly’s preparations here is assistant Josh Flores, who walked the filly around the shedrow at Barn 23.

Albertrani, who won the 2011 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) with Brilliant Speed, moved Better Lucky to the turf three starts back following a 5¼-length romp in the mud at Belmont Park.

“After she won on the mud, he thought if she ran well on the mud that she might like the grass,” Flores said of the Ghostzapper filly, who won her initial grass start in the Sands Point (G2).

Better Lucky finished second a neck behind QE II rival Centre Court in the Lake George (G2) at Saratoga and then finished fifth in the Lake Placid (G2), beaten only 2¼ lengths.

“She had a wide trip that day and maybe she ran back too quick (three weeks) from the Lake George,” Flores said. “She runs better fresh.”


 

 

 

 

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