(Magic Attitude winning the Belmont Oaks / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
Lael Stables’ Magic Attitude (GB), the likely favorite for Saturday’s 37th running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana, arrived at Keeneland Tuesday morning following an overnight van ride from the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.
A Group 3 winner as well as a Group 1 runner-up this year in France, Magic Attitude dazzled in her U.S. debut, winning the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) on Sept. 19 by 2¼ lengths with a last-to-first move in the stretch.
“I was thinking they are going slow and they are all going to kick,” trainer Arnaud Delacour said of the 1¼-mile race. “It was a good effort from her and I think she appreciated the firm ground.”
The 1 1/8-mile Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup comes three weeks after the victory at Belmont, repeating a time frame Magic Attitude had this summer between her runner-up finish at Chantilly in France in the Saxon Warrior Coolmore Prix Saint Alary (G1) and fifth-place finish in the Prix de Diane (G1).
“It probably will be her last race of the year, and the question is the three weeks (between races),” Delacour said. “Will she bounce back well? So far, she has been showing all the right things, and she had a nice maintenance move the other day (a half-mile in :51 on the dirt at Fair Hill).”
Also arriving Tuesday morning was Lael Stables’ Chalon, who is entered in Friday’s 24th running of the $150,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) going 5½ furlongs on the Keeneland turf course.
The 6-year-old mare, who has compiled a 22-9-8-1 record for earnings of $991,895, will be making her turf debut in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County.
At Keeneland, Chalon has three runner-up finishes in four Grade 2 races on Keeneland’s main track in her career. She was scratched from Saturday’s Skipat (L) at Pimlico.
“We have always wanted to try her on the grass and there is no better place to try than here at Keeneland,” Delacour said.
HIGHER POWER COULD GET BREEDERS’ CUP AUDITION IN HAGYARD FAYETTE
Hronis Racing’s Higher Power, third in last year’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita, could get an audition Saturday for this year’s Classic to be run here Nov. 7.
“He may go in the (Hagyard) Fayette (G2) if he trains well or he could straight into the Classic,” said Juan Leyva, assistant to trainer John Sadler. “The main goal in coming here early was to get him acclimated. The last time he shipped was to Gulfstream Park (for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational-G1), and he didn’t acclimate well at all.”
Entries for the Hagyard Fayette will taken Wednesday.
“It seems like he enjoys it here,” Leyva said of Higher Power, who worked 5 furlongs in 1:00 on Sunday.
Higher Power is a graduate of Keeneland’s 2019 April Two-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale.
Leyva also said another Sadler runner, Karen and Paul Eggert’s Ollie’s Candy, runner-up in Sunday’s Juddmonte Spinster (G1), remains on track for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) here Nov. 7. Ollie’s Candy is to be offered during the prestigious Book 1 of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale on Nov. 9.
“She had a rough trip Sunday,” Leyva said. “She was bottled up on the inside, where she doesn’t like to be, and ate a lot of dirt. She made her move, but it was a little too late.”
(Trainer Rusty Arnold / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)
Keeneland Racing Analyst Tom Leach talked to trainer Rusty Arnold about Navratilova, his entrant in Wednesday’s JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2). …
Korea Racing Authority’s Knicks Go set a 1 1/16-mile track record of 1:40.79 when he won Sunday’s third race by 10¼ lengths as the 4-5 favorite. It was the 4-year-old colt’s first Keeneland victory since he captured the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at odds of 70-1 two years ago. The previous track record for the distance was Speech’s 1:41.26 from the July 11 Central Bank Ashland (G1). …
Trainer Todd Pletcher’s two Sunday stakes winners – Valiance in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) and Mutasaabeq in the Bourbon (G2) – are scheduled to ship Wednesday to Belmont Park to prepare for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, according to Keeneland assistant Amelia Green. Also returning to Belmont with them is Grade 1 winner Halladay, who was scratched from Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1). …
KMN Racing’s Sneaking Out, second as the favorite in Saturday’s Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), remains at Keeneland with plans to be determined, according to Christina Jelm, who is overseeing trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s horses here. …
Joseph Allen’s Nathan Detroit, who rallied to be third in Sunday’s Bourbon, gave trainer Reeve McGaughey his first graded stakes placing. The son of Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey said there are no immediate plans for Nathan Detroit’s next start.
JUDDMONTE FARMS SPONSORS SUNDAY’S BEST TURNED OUT AWARDS
In selected races during Keeneland’s 2020 Fall Meet, grooms of racehorses determined to have the best overall appearance in the Saddling Paddock are recognized with Best Turned Out (BTO) awards. On Sunday, Juddmonte Farms sponsored the awards, which honored these grooms and awarded them $500 each:
Race 3: Victor Vargas, groom of Easy Shot.
Race 5: Lorenzo Galindo, groom of Lady Goldstart.
Race 7: Jose Beccera, groom of Directional.
Race 9 (Juddmonte Spinster-G1): Juan Salcido, groom of Valiance, who won the race by three-quarters of a length at odds of 6-1.
Race 10: Pedro Morales, groom of Information Mosaic.
PROSPECTIVE FIELDS FOR SATURDAY STAKES
$500,000 QUEEN ELIZABETH II CHALLENGE CUP (G1) PRESENTED BY DIXIANA (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday) – Invitees: Antoinette (trainer Bill Mott), California Kook (Peter Miller), Harvey’s Lil Goil (Mott), Hendy Woods (Mark Casse), Lucky Betty (William VanMeter), Magic Attitude (GB) (Arnaud Delacour), Micheline (Mike Stidham), Red Lark (IRE) (Paddy Gallagher), Speaktomeofsummer (Christophe Clement), Sweet Melania (Todd Pletcher), Tamahere (FR) (Chad Brown).
$200,000 HAGYARD FAYETTE (G2) (Entries taken Wednesday; race Saturday) – Aurelius Maximus (Steve Asmussen), Captivating Moon (Chris Block), Coastal Defense (Dale Romans), Crafty Daddy (Kenny McPeek), Higher Power (John Sadler), Miranaque (ARG) (Maria Munoz), Mr Freeze(Romans), Multiplier (Peter Miller), Rated R Superstar (Cipriano Contreras), Tax (Danny Gargan).
FALL MEET LEADERS
Through Oct. 4 (3 days of 17-day season)