Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Analysis

Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

A field of eight goes in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland (photo credit Keeneland.com)

The Chad Brown trained Rushing Fall is the 7-5 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland, the final Grade 1 race at the fall meeting.

The filly has won five of her six career starts including both of her starts over the Keeneland turf course. Javier Castellano has the return call and will break from the eight post in a field of eight.

Her main rival appears to be Capla Temptress (8-1), who is looking to bounce back off a seventh-place finish in the Sands Point (G2) at Belmont Park over yielding footing. She is one of three Grade 1 winners in the field, taking the Natlama at Woodbine last September.

The other Grade 1 winner among the eight is Fatale Bere (5-1), who won the Del Mar Oaks by a neck in her last start. The Leonard Powell trainee has won five of her 10 career starts and will break from the three post with Kent Desormeaux in the irons.

Among the Euro invaders is Group 2 winner Mission Impassible (6-1) for the Jean-Claude Rouget barn and the Mark Johnston trained Nyaleti (5-1), who was fifth in the Celebration Mile Stakes (G2) at Goodwood in her last start.

E.P. Taylor, Canadian International Top Action at Woodbine

There is plenty of top class Grade 1 action on turf at Woodbine on Saturday. A field of 11 go in the $800,000 Canadian International (G1) led by the Euro invader Thundering Blue, who is the 2-1 morning line favorite.

A competitive field of nine fillies and mares battle in the $500,000 E.P. Taylor (G1) at 1 ¼ miles on the turf. Chad Brown saddles the 5-2 morning line favorite Santa Monica, who was the runner up in the Glen Falls (G2) at Saratoga in her last outing on Sept. 1.

Brown also saddled Elysea’s World (7-2), the winner of the Violet (G3) at Monmouth Park in her last outing and Pollara (6-1) who won the Prix de Royaumont (G3) at Chantilly and makes her North American debut.

Saturday’s Best Plays Report will include my strongest plays from Belmont Park, Keeneland and Woodbine.

Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Analysis:


Keeneland Race 9 The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup G1 (Post time 5:30 ET)

7 Capla Temptress   8-1

8 Rushing Fall   7-5

5 Mission Impassible   6-1

3 Fatale Bere


Capla Temptress

The Bill Mott trainee is one of three Grade 1 winners in the field, taking the Natalma last September at Woodbine. She had trouble in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) where she checked in seventh while beaten 4 ¼ lengths. She was a solid fourth at Longchamp in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (G1) in her first start in ’18 off a five-month layoff. In her two starts since Mott has taken over she caught soft turf in the Lake Placid (G2) where she was a good second and then was seventh in the Sands Point (G2) which was over yielding ground.

It looks as if she will catch firmer ground here which she seems to prefer. She was beaten 2 ¾ lengths by Rushing Fall two back on soft ground and may be able to turn the tables here over firmer footing and certainly is going to offer more bang for the buck.

Rushing Fall

This is her Breeders’ Cup as her trainer Chad Brown does not think the 1 3/8 miles of the Filly & Mare Turf (G1) is suitable for her. She has won five of six including both of her trips over the grass here. She won the Jessamine (G3) in her first start against winners here last fall and then at the spring meeting won the Appalachian (G3). She can handle any type of ground and is going to be imposing in here, but she is going to be a short price. Brown won this race in 2012 with Dayatthespa.

Mission Impassible

This filly invades from overseas for the Jean-Claude Rouget barn. The filly was fifth beaten seven lengths in the Prix Rothschild (G1) at Deauville in her last start. Two back she won the Prix de Sandringham (G2) at Chantilly. The runner up Crown Walk won the Prix Chloe (G3) in her next start and the third-place finisher Efaadah returned to win the Prix de la Porte Maillot (G3) at Longchamp in her next outing. Geroux picks up the call and she may end up a decent enough price to toss her in the mix. We have not seen a Euro invader win this race sine Aiden O’Brien saddled Together in 2011.


WIN: Capla Temptress to win at 5-1 or better.

EXACTA: 7,8 / 3,5,7,8

TRIFECTA: 7,8 / 3,5,7,8 / 3,4,5,7,8

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