Two-time graded stakes winner Technical Analysis and Shantisara headline a field of 10 3-year-old fillies entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 38th running of the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.
The 1 1/8-mile grass test will go as the eighth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 4:44 p.m. EDT post time. First post Saturday is 1 p.m.
Chad Brown, who has saddled three winners of this race to match the feat of Jimmy Toner and John Veitch, trains both Technical Analysis and Shantisara.
A winner of four of six career starts, Technical Analysis enters Saturday’s race off victories in the Lake Placid (G2) and Lake George (G3) at Saratoga. Technical Analysis will leave from post 2 and be ridden by Jose Ortiz.
Shantisara has won two of three starts since coming to North America, recording victories in the Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington and the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational at Belmont Park. Flavien Prat has the mount on Shantisara, who will exit post 3.
Headlining the European contingent Saturday is Empress Josephine for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Empress Josephine is following in a trail blazed 10 years ago by Together for the same connections. Together ran second in the First Lady (G1) and a week later closed her career with a victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.
Empress Josephine finished third in Saturday’s First Lady under John Velazquez, who retains the mount and will break from post position 4.
Velazquez has won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup a record five times, beginning in 1995 with Perfect Arc. His other winners are Alwajeeha (2008), Crown Queen (2014), Time and Motion (2016) and Cambier Parc (2019).
Also coming from Europe is James Wigan’s Cloudy Dawn, winner of the Prix de Lieurey (G3) at Deauville, and Katsumi Yoshida’s Nicest, most recently third in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks (G1). Brian Hernandez Jr. rides Cloudy Dawn from post 9. Julien Leparoux will be aboard Nicest from post 5.
|Rank||Silks||Horse / Sire||Rating||Trainer / Jockey||Last Start||Status|
B. Hernandez, Jr.