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Shantisara Leads Chad Brown-Trained Exacta In Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup
Credit: Keeneland Photo

Shantisara Leads Chad Brown-Trained Exacta In Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

LEXINGTON, KY – Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, and Robert LaPenta’s Shantisara rocketed past stablemate Technical Analysis at the 3/16 pole and drew off for a record-setting 5-length victory in the 38th running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana for 3-year-old fillies Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.


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Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Flavien Prat, Shantisara covered the 1 1/8 miles on a turf course rated as yielding in 1:48.86. The win gave Brown his record fourth victory in the race following Dayatthespa (2012), Rushing Fall (2018), and Cambier Parc (2019) to break a tie he held with Jimmy Toner and John Veitch.

Today is the second Saturday in a row that Brown has run 1-2 in a Grade 1 race at Keeneland. In the First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare, Blowout and Regal Glory provided owner Peter Brant and Brown with the exacta.

Technical Analysis led the field of nine through fractions of :23.91, :48.63, and 1:12.78 while under mild pressure from favored Empress Josephine, with Shantisara and Burning Ambition tracking as a joint third.

As the field turned for home, Prat went right on the attack and wasted little time wresting control and erasing any doubt of the outcome. Shantisara’s margin of victory is the largest in the history of the race, eclipsing the 4 1/2-length victory by Hot Cha Cha in 2009.

“It was a good run,” Prat said. “I was really pleased with the draw (post 3), to be honest. I thought the good horses were around me, and I was able to keep tracking them. She made a really good move around the turn – she came really handy around the turn – and when I asked her to make a move, she responded well. She broke well and I was able to tuck her in right away and she switched off nice. I was traveling super and, like I said, when it was time to go, she was there for me”

Shantisara is a daughter of Coulsty out of the Dalakhani mare Kharana. Saturday’s $300,000 winner’s share increased her earnings to $788,108 with a record of 9-5-2-0.

Since joining Brown’s barn in the spring from Europe, Shantisara has won 3 of 4 starts with stakes victories coming in the Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington Park and the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational at Belmont Park.

“I expected her to run really well because (of) the way she breezed last time (5 furlongs in 1:03.40 over the turf at Keeneland a week earlier),” assistant trainer Baldo Hernandez said. “She improves all the time. She’s coming along. This filly, she has a really good talent. She handled the turf really well here.”

Shantisara returned $7, $3.80, and $3. Technical Analysis, ridden by Jose Ortiz, returned $4.20 and $3.80 and finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of Burning Ambition, who paid $6.20 to show under Florent Geroux.

“She broke good, went to the lead, and was a little keen early on,” Ortiz said. “We set pretty decent fractions and I had plenty turning for home, but the other horse was just better. My filly was very relaxed … I have no excuses; she ran her race.”

It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Nicest, with Queen Goddess, Closing Remarks, Cloudy Dawn, Flippant, and Empress Josephine following in order. Lady Speightspeare was scratched.

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