(Keeneland / Coady Photography)
From the Keeneland Media Team:
Since moving to the turf, Dennis Park’s Lucky Betty has posted an allowance victory plus a third-place finish in the Edgewood (G2) Presented by Forcht Bank on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs last month.
That uptick in form earned Lucky Betty an invitation to this Saturday’s 37th running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana.
“I ran in a Grade 1 before in the Apple Blossom (at Oaklawn Park), but this is the first time I legitimately have a chance in a Grade 1 at Keeneland,” trainer Will VanMeter said Wednesday morning.
The decision to move the Keeneland sales graduate to the grass came after a seventh-place finish in an allowance at Churchill Downs in June.
“After that bad race at Churchill, we felt we were not getting the best out of her,” said VanMeter, who has 18 horses at Keeneland and is in his seventh year of training on his own. “Her style is conducive to the turf. She has great acceleration the last quarter of a mile, and she is bred for both dirt and turf. Her dam won twice on the grass.”
Declan Cannon, who has been aboard for six of Lucky Betty’s seven starts, will have the mount Saturday and break from post position five.