Q.E. II Challenge Cup @ Keeneland

The 9th race is the feature event at Keeneland Racecourse Saturday, with the running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.  It is a race (by invitation only) for fillies, three years-old and upward, run at a distance of a mile & 1/8th on the turf course.  It is a Grade One Stakes Race, with a purse of $500,000 dollars.  Here are the eight who accepted the invitation:

#1  NYALETI.  Jockey: Corey Lanerie.  Trainer: Mark Johnston.  ML 5-1

#2  PRINCESS WARRIOR.  Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.  Trainer: Ken McPeek.  ML 15-1

#3  FATALE BERE.  Jockey: Kent Desormeaux.  Trainer: Leonard Powell.  ML 5-1

#4  DADDY IS A LEGEND.  Jockey: Robby Albarado.  Trainer: George Weaver.  ML 6-1

#5  MISSION IMPASSIBLE.  Jockey: Florent Geroux.  Trainer: Jean-Claude Rouget.  ML        6-1

#6  SECRET MESSAGE.  Jockey: Jorge Vargas.  Trainer: Graham Motion.  ML 12-1

#7 CAPLA TEMPTRESS.  Jockey: Julian Leparoux.  Trainer: Bill Mott.  8-1

#8  RUSHING FALL.  Jockey: Javier Castellano.  Trainer: Chad Brown.  ML 7-5

The field is led by RUSHING FALL, who has won five of six career races including the 2017 Grade 1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, with a narrow defeat by a neck in her only other start.  With a great jockey, trainer combination she deserves to be the Morning Line favorite at odds of 7-5.

But we at the Daily Racing Blog don’t butter a lot of bread betting on short odds horses, so we will look for better value elsewhere in the field.  We’ll take our shot with both #3 FATALE BERE, and #7 CAPLA TEMPTRESS.  Though we suspect FATALE BERE will take some money and probably go off as the second favorite.

So that leaves CAPLA TEMPTRESS as the value play.  She finished a dismal 7th in her most recent outing.  But two races back she finished second to RUSHING FALL in the Grade 2 LAKE PLACID at Saratoga, and Julian Leparoux who was in the saddle that day is back aboard.  And let us not forget that Hall Of Fame trainer Bill Mott knows when and where to place his horses.  He accepted the invitation, he won’t be a wallflower.

So DRB is going to play a trifecta key, using the #7 with 1-3-4-6-8.  We’ll also do an exacta box with 3-4-7-8.  And depending on Post Time odds we will bet the #7 to Win and Place.  As always, good luck and good value.




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