New Money Honey stuck outside in QE II
Field of 11 3-year-old fillies set for Grade 1 test
LEXINGTON, Ky. – New Money Honey has been assigned the outside post as the likely favorite in a terrific field of 11 3-year-old turf fillies entered for the highlight of the second week of the Keeneland fall meet, the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on Saturday.
New Money Honey, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last fall and the Belmont Oaks in July, will be ridden by Javier Castellano and breaks just outside of her Chad Brown-trained stablemate Uni (post 10, Irad Ortiz Jr.) in the 1 1/8-mile QE II.
There is no shortage of threats to New Money Honey, including Proctor’s Ledge (post 2, Corey Lanerie), a winner of back-to-back turf stakes at Saratoga this summer, the Grade 3 Lake George and Grade 2 Lake Placid.
“She is only going to get better as she goes,” Brendan Walsh, the trainer of Proctor’s Ledge, told Keeneland publicity this week. “We freshened her up after Saratoga to focus on here. I am very happy with her, and now it is just a matter of getting her to the big day. It is going to be a big test for her.”
The $500,000 QE II goes as the ninth of 10 races, with first post set for 1:05 p.m. Eastern and the feature at 5:30.
From the hedge, this is the field for the 34th QE II, the sixth and last Grade 1 of the 17-day meet: Con Te Partiro, Proctor’s Ledge, Daddys Lil Darling, Dream Dancing, Unforgetable Filly, La Coronel, Wuheida, Madam Dancealot, Beau Recall, Uni, and New Money Honey.
With sunny skies and a high of 81 in the forecast, a crowd of 35,000 or so can be expected Saturday.
Class relief for Linda
Not even counting the featured Franklin County Stakes, the Friday card at Keeneland is a good one. Three straight allowances directly precede the Franklin County as races 6 through 8 on the 10-race program, starting with a $71,000 filly-and-mare turf route contested under a thirdlevel condition.
Linda, the runner-up in the Grade 3 Valley View and the winner of the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere last fall for trainer Ian Wilkes, will make a rare foray outside of stakes company as a solid favorite in race 6. The two subsequent allowances both are $67,000 first-level races at seven furlongs, with race 7 for 2-year-olds and race 8 for fillies and mares.
McCraken on point for Fayette
McCraken was scheduled to breeze again Thursday at Churchill Downs for Wilkes as the standout 3-year-old continues to point to his first race against older horses in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes on Oct. 28, closing day of this 17-day fall meet.
After a narrow defeat in the July 30 Haskell Invitational and a seventh-place finish in the Aug. 26 Travers, McCraken had had three breezes since mid-September leading into
this latest work. In the Fayette, McCraken is expected to face Honorable Duty, the winner of the Sept. 30 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs, with both expected to advance to the Grade 1 Clark on Nov. 24.
Star in the making
How good was the sixth race on Sept. 16 at Churchill, a maiden sprint for 2-year-old fillies? Not only did the winner, Princess Warrior, wheel back to run second as the favorite in the Grade 1 Alcibiades last Friday, but the runner-up, Mia Mischief, won a six-furlong maiden race here Sunday by 16 1/4 lengths.
Mia Mischief, by the red-hot sire Into Mischief, earned an 85 Beyer Speed Figure for owners Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt and trainer Steve Asmussen.
Grand Arch retired at 8
Grand Arch, the winner of the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile here two years ago, has been retired to the Margaux Farm of owners Jim and Susan Hill because of a minor injury, according to trainer Brian Lynch.
An 8-year-old Arch gelding, Grand Arch earned nearly $1.9 million from 29 career starts. He started in the Shadwell three straight years, finishing second to Wise Dan in 2014, winning in 2015, and running ninth in 2016. He raced just once this year, finishing seventh in an ungraded turf stakes at Belmont in July.