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Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Preview

Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Preview

Gary Barber, Michael Ambler and Windways Farm’s Catch a Glimpse and Phillips Racing Partnership’s Time and Motion will meet for the fourth time as part of a top-notch field of nine 3-year-old fillies going postward in Saturday’s 33rd running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1). Run at 1 1/8 miles on the grass, the QE II will go as the ninth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 5:30 p.m. ET post time. First post Saturday is 1:05 p.m.

Top Choice

#1 Catch A Glimpse – Last time out her eight race win streak was snapped by Time and Motion in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga.  Now she’s out for revenge, and I think she can do it here but this is a top notch field she’ll be up against.  However, the major factor in that Saratoga loss may have been the soft turf as the rains came down hard for most of the day, including during the race.  If the turf at Keeneland is firm I think it will help, and I like that she’s drawn the rail here as she should break sharp and go straight to the front like always.  Even though this is not a race that involves the Breeders’ Cup it still might be one of the better turf races of the year.

Horses to Use in Multi Race Wagers

#7 Time and Motion – This filly is really something special, and last time out she showed just how special she is when she ended the winning streak of Catch A Glimpse to win the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes.  The hope is now this will become a fantastic rivalry between the two as Catch A Glimpse beat her two races back in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks as well as in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last year as two year olds.  It’s a total toss up to see who gets the best of each other in this one, and it’s going to be fun to watch once again.

#4 Harmonize – Heading into the Del Mar Oaks her races this year had been lack luster, but she put it all together in that one to pick up a nice Grade 1 win.  Now…is she ready to try her luck against Time and Motion and Catch a Glimpse again?  She’s been defeated twice by both of those main rivals so it’s obvious she’ll have to run strong to turn the tables on them in this spot.  However, with a trainer like Bill Mott anything is possible.

#2 On Leave – Rides into this tough spot on a four race winning streak, and really hasn’t even been close to losing this year.  Last time out she was a wire to wire winner of the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park so you can obviously see she’s ready to take a major swing at Grade 1 competition.  Even though she was a wire to wire winner in her last race that doesn’t mean she’s a speed only horse as in her other wins she’s come from off the pace.  That versatility combined with her talent level makes her very dangerous.

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Party Crashers

#3 Stays in Vegas – Has finished third in three straight stakes races, and two of those losses have come by a head including last time out in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks.  I have the ultimate respect for these connections, and you can bet she’ll be right there in the end battling it out like usual.  Not confident enough to put her on a pick 4 ticket, but if her odds float up to the high double digits she’s worth a gamble.

#5 Hawksmoor – With any overseas horse coming over to the United States this time of year you have to label it as a bit of mystery until we see what they can do.  Her resume isn’t outstanding, but it’s not terrible either as she’s won a stakes this year and finished third in anoter.  It’s very hard to compare the races over there to here, so we’ll see if she likes the American style of racing in this one.

Throw Outs

#6 Try Your Luck – Very hard race to throw anyone out as all nine horses are solid, and have resume’s that any owner would like to see.  Try Your Luck is no difference as she hit the line first in the Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington two races back, and last time out was a winner by seven lengths in the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs.

#8 Queen Caroline – Comes into this one on a four race win streak, including three straight stakes wins.  However, all the stakes wins came at small tracks so she does have a little proving to do in this spot.  We’ll see how she matches up with the top fillies in the division.

#9 Mokat – Two races back Mokat was all the rage with an amazing move at Del Mar when winning the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes.  However, next time out in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks she was beaten by two of the fillies in today’s race so for that reason I’ve tossed her here.  However, I admit this is a dangerous move because she is very talented.


Catch a Glimpse, the 2015 Canadian Horse of the Year, got the better of Time and Motion in their first two meetings, once here in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) that Catch a Glimpse won and Time and Motion finished fifth, and again in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) in which they ran 1-2 with Catch a Glimpse winning by a half-length.

In the most recent start for both, Time and Motion prevailed by a neck in the Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga. That ended an eight-race win streak for Catch a Glimpse, who has won five of six races this year. Time and Motion has won four of five races in 2016.

Trained by Mark Casse, Catch a Glimpse will be ridden by Florent Geroux and break from post position one.
Time and Motion is trained by two-time QE II winner James Toner, whose victories came with Tribulation (1993) and stakes record-holder Memories of Silver (1996). John Velazquez, who has won the race a record three times, has the mount Saturday and will break from post position seven.

Ready to challenge Catch a Glimpse and Time and Motion again is Larkin Armstrong’s Harmonize.
Trained by Bill Mott, who won this race in 2014 with Crown Queen, Harmonize has chased Catch a Glimpse three times and Time and Motion twice. Winner of the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) here last fall, Harmonize comes into Saturday’s race off a victory in the Del Mar Oaks (G1).

Junior Alvarado will ride Harmonize and break from post position four.

The field for the QE II with riders from the inside is: Catch a Glimpse (Geroux), On Leave (Jose Ortiz), Stays in Vegas (Flavien Prat), Harmonize (Alvarado), Hawksmoor (IRE) (Corey Lanerie), Try Your Luck (Julien Leparoux), Time and Motion (Velazquez), Queen Caroline (Alex Cintron) and Mokat (Kent Desormeaux). All starters will carry 121 pounds.

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