Week­end stakes might pro­duce starters

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By By­ron King Fol­low By­ron King on Twit­ter @DRFBy­ronKing

Al­though the Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Chal­lenge races have all been com­pleted, the pos­si­bil­ity ex­ists for more horses to join the fray for the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Del Mar af­ter run­ning in Grade 1 stakes at Keeneland and Woodbine this week­end.

Up first is Satur­day’s Grade 1, $500,000 Queen El­iz­a­beth II Chal­lenge Cup from Keeneland, which drew a deep, ac­com­plished field of 11 that in­cludes such elite U.S.-based 3-year-old fil­lies as New Money Honey, Uni, La Coronel, Dream Danc­ing, and Proc­tor’s Ledge, plus a pair of tal­ented Euro­pean in­vaders in Un­for­getable Filly and Wuheida.

Sun­day’s Grade 1, $500,000 E.P. Tay­lor at Woodbine, for fil­lies and mares, has an even more in­ter­na­tional field. Again tal­ent runs deep, with Quidura, Rainha Da Ba­te­ria, Fourstar Crook, and Kit­ten’s Roar head­ing the North Amer­i­can con­tin­gent. They will be joined by tal­ented over­seas raiders Blond Me, Rain God­dess, and Nezwaah.

Sev­eral from each race are pos­si­bil­i­ties to join the Filly and Mare Turf, ac­cord­ing to the Breeders’ Cup rac­ing de­part­ment. New Money Honey, Un­for­getable Filly, and Wuheida from the Queen El­iz­a­beth II are con­sid­ered pos­si­ble Breeders’ Cup starters, while Quidura, Nezwaah, and Kit­ten’s Roar head the Breeders’ Cup prospec­tives from the E.P. Tay­lor.

Trainer Mike Maker is cam­paign­ing Kit­ten’s Roar in the same way he pre­pared Al’s Gal to win the E.P. Tay­lor in 2016. Like Al’s Gal, Kit­ten’s Roar lost in the Bev­erly D. at Ar­ling­ton be­fore win­ning a stakes at Kentucky Downs. Al’s Gal won a head-bob­bing photo by a nose in the E.P. Tay­lor in 2016 be­fore run­ning ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

This year’s E.P. Tay­lor seems a stronger re­newal than last year’s.

Nezwaah may have the best chances of the Euro­peans, hav­ing won two of three races this year, in­clud­ing the Group 1 Pretty Polly at The Cur­ragh in July. She then ran fourth be­hind su­per­star En­able in the Group 1 York­shire Oaks on Aug. 24 over good-to-soft ground that was likely wet­ter than she prefers.

The fi­nal Grade 1 turf race of 2017 re­stricted to 3-year-old fil­lies, the Queen El­iz­a­beth II seems less likely to gen­er­ate Filly and Mare Turf starters and is serv­ing as more of a yearend goal for many of the horses.

The last Queen El­iz­a­beth II win­ner to take on her el­ders in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf was Kit­ten’s Dumplings in 2013. She ran ninth.

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