LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 15, 2016) – The Phillips Racing Partnership of John Phillips’ Time and Motion collared Hawksmoor (IRE) in deep stretch and held off a furious late bid from Harmonize by a head to win the 33rd running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1) for 3-year-old fillies before a Saturday afternoon crowd of 29,319. The attendance marked the second-largest crowd during a Keeneland Fall Meet and came 80 years to the date after Keeneland opened its inaugural season of racing.
Trained by James Toner and ridden by John Velazquez, Time and Motion covered the 1 1/8 miles on a firm turf course in 1:50.24.
Time and Motion represents the sixth victory in the QE II for Phillips family members dating to 1993.
For Toner, it was his third victory in the race with triumphs in 1993 with Tribulation for James Phillips and Arthur Seelbinder and in 1996 with Memories of Silver for John and Joan Phillips.
The three victories tie him with John Veitch, who saddled Phillips family member winners Graceful Darby (1987), Love You by Heart (1988) and Plenty of Grace (1990).
For Velazquez, the win extended his record for victories in the race to four. His other wins came with Perfect Arc (1995), Alwajeeha (2008) and Crown Queen (2014).
Favored Catch a Glimpse took the lead out of the gate and led the field of eight through fractions of :22.99, :47.46 and 1:12.41 with Hawksmoor racing a half-length back to her outside.
On the far turn, Hawksmoor went after Catch a Glimpse and took command at the head of the lane as Time and Motion swung three wide for a clear shot at the leaders.
Time and Motion drew even with Hawksmoor inside the sixteenth pole and slowly inched away from her. Meanwhile, Harmonize had rallied from last widest of all and just failed to catch Time and Motion while edging Hawksmoor by a nose for second.
The victory was worth $300,000 and increased Time and Motion’s earnings to $923,150 with a record of 9-5-1-1 with all races on the turf. Time and Motion is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapit out of the Kris S. mare Ellie’s Moment.
Time and Motion returned $8, $4.60 and $3.80. Harmonize, ridden by Junior Alvarado, returned $8.40 and $5.20 with Hawksmoor returning $7.20 to show under Corey Lanerie.
On Leave finished fourth, another 4¾ lengths back, and was followed in order by Mokat, Stays in Vegas, Catch a Glimpse and Queen Caroline.
Racing continues Sunday with a nine-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. ET. The Pick 6 carryover for tomorrow is $52,038.22. Get your picks here.
Quotes from the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup
Jimmy Toner (winning trainer of Time and Motion) on importance of winning the race for the Phillips family
“You don’t know how big this is. This is my third time for them. It’s been 20 years since Memories of Silver won. I was hoping I didn’t have to wait another 20 years. It was today or God knows when.”
John Velazquez (winning rider)
“I had a great trip. We came out of there running to make sure we weren’t too far back. Once those three horses (Catch a Glimpse, Hawksmoor [IRE] and Stays in Vegas) went on to (the lead in) the first turn, they set a good pace in front of me. Then I saved all the ground in the first turn. Going into the second turn, the horse on the outside I anticipated was going to come in front of me (Queen Caroline) (did) so (I thought) let me get out of here and go around her. I went around her and when I saw the quarter pole, (Florent) Geroux was already tapping on his horse (Catch a Glimpse). I thought, well, he’s done then. So I’ve gotta worry about the horse next to him.
“I thought I had the horse. When I got to the horse in front of me (Hawksmoor), my horse didn’t want to pass; she wanted to stay with her. ‘No, Mommy. Come on. Stay on it. We gotta pay attention here.’ That other horse (Harmonize) came on the outside of us, and that’s what made her go forward. It was worth it.”
Junior Alvarado (rider of runner-up Harmonize)
“I was in front of one horse the first half of the race. I was following John Velazquez (aboard Time and Motion) and Jose Ortiz (aboard On Leave), two of the favorites. I was hoping some space would open up to follow them so I didn’t have to go wide. Getting close to the quarter pole, I saw Jose still stuck on the rail and Johnny had to drift out, so I knew I had no more choice. I had to go out.
“I put her on the outside; it took a little momentum to get going. But once she gets going … I had my hopes coming down the lane that I might get it. She ran huge. Can’t take anything away from the winner. They both ran a winning race today. It was a wide-open race. They were all pretty even. I would have loved to win but love the way she ran today.”
Corey Lanerie (rider of third-place finisher Hawksmoor [IRE])
“It was good. She jumped away well and put me right in the race. She was a little keen – more than I expected – but it never took away from her (performance). When I asked her, she gave me everything she had.
“I could feel them (Time and Motion and Harmonize) the whole way. That race was about three jumps too far.”
Florent Geroux (rider of beaten favorite Catch a Glimpse, who finished seventh)
“She went a little quicker the first quarter than we wanted, but we slowed it down pretty good the second quarter. We went from :23 (:22.99) to :47 (and change) but obviously we wanted to go a half in :50 and change. She got tired.”
Mark Casse (trainer of Catch a Glimpse)
“She’s run hard all year. Maybe she just didn’t bring her A game today. We’ll go home and regroup. I was surprised that the other horse (Hawksmoor [IRE]) was right on top of us and she ended up running really well (finishing third. I don’t think the time was too fast. We just had a bad day.”