(Princesa Carolina Seeks First Graded Stakes Win in Saturday’s G1 QE II / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Three Chimneys Farm’s homebred Princesa Carolina will seek her first graded stakes victory in Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1), and trainer Kenny McPeek says she is ready for the challenge. In her most recent start, the Tapit filly scored her first stakes victory with an impressive 1½-length triumph in the Fifth Third Insurance Dueling Grounds Oaks on Sept. 8 at Kentucky Downs.

“Her last race was so powerful that I think she deserves a chance at this level,” McPeek said. “She is a big, strong filly and I think the farther (the distance) the better. I wish the distance was even longer.”

The 1 1/8-mile turf test has attracted a field of nine 3-year-old fillies and is carded as the ninth race with a 5:30 p.m. post.

Prior to the Dueling Grounds Oaks, Princesa Carolina (pronounced Caroleena) was runner-up to QE II entrant Café Americano in the Pucker Up (G3) at Arlington Park. She has been second or third in three other stakes. Stabled at Keeneland in McPeek’s Rice Road division, Princesa Carolina tuned up for the QE II with a strong gallop Sunday on Keeneland’s turf course.

“We wanted something long and (relatively) slow,” McPeek said. “She didn’t need a fast workout. She went at a two-minute (for a mile) clip.”

Last year, McPeek was represented in the QE II by Princess Warrior, who finished fourth as the longest shot on the board. In 2017, McPeek nearly earned his first victory in the race when Daddys Lil Darling was beaten a half-length in finishing second.

“It would be big to win,” McPeek said. “We would love to check that box. And Princesa Carolina always gives a big effort.”