In the 2018 Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1), trainer Chad Brown enjoyed a 1-2-3 finish headed by champion Sistercharlie (IRE) to mark a stakes sweep that is believed to be a first for Keeneland.
Such a scenario could play out again Saturday afternoon in the 36th running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1) for 3-year-old fillies. Brown will send out morning-line favorite Cambier Parc (8-5) and co-third choices Regal Glory (6-1) and Café Americano (6-1).
“You like to keep them separate, but when you get to a Grade 1, you have to give them a chance to step up,” said Whit Beckman, who is overseeing Chad Brown’s Keeneland string and had sent the trio out for half-mile dirt works last Saturday.
OXO Equine’s Cambier Parc and Peter Brant’s Café Americano met once before in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) and finished third and sixth, respectively.
Beckman has been with the fillies all through their careers and has watched them develop.
“We always thought a lot of Cambier Parc,” Beckman said. “She started out on dirt and then moved to turf, and she has separated herself as one of the top 3-year-old turf fillies this year.”
John Velazquez, who was aboard for her victory in the Del Mar Oaks (G1), has the call Saturday as he shoots for a record-extending fifth victory in the race.
Café Americano, who did not race as a 2-year-old, has won three of four starts with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard for all her victories. Ortiz will be in the saddle Saturday.
“She broke her maiden nicely at Gulfstream and then she really stepped up at Arlington when she won the Pucker Up (G3),” Beckman said.
Paul Pompa’s Regal Glory brings a three-race win streak into Saturday’s race with Luis Saez, who has been aboard for those victories, in the saddle.
“We always thought a lot of her too and she always shows up,” Beckman said of the Animal Kingdom filly, who has compiled a 7-5-2-0 mark and has a runner-up finish here in last spring’s Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association.
By: Keeneland News