INGLEWOOD, Calif. (October 14, 2011)—Nereid will try to become the second consecutive American Oaks winner trained by John Shirreffs to repeat in the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Saturday at Keeneland.
A Grade I for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf, the Queen Elizabeth II is the ninth of 10 races at Keeneland. Scheduled post time is 2:45 p.m. PDT. Track gates at Hollywood Park open at 10:30 a.m. for simulcasts.
Shirreffs, who won the 2010 renewal with Harmonious, who earned her first Grade I victory in the American Oaks during Hollywood Park’s Spring/Summer meet, will saddle both Nereid and Star Billing.
Owned by Eric Kronfeld, Nereid, a daughter of Rock Hard Ten, finished on even terms with Cambina in the American Oaks July 16. She’s won three of five and earned $198,800.
Star Billing, who was third, beaten by a head in the American Oaks, will be seeking her first Grade I score. The Dynaformer filly has won two of five and banked $202,400 for owner-breeder George Krikorian. Her sole stakes win came in the Grade III Senorita May 7 at Hollywood Park.
From inside out, the field for the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup: Star Billing, Victor Espinoza rides, 121 pounds; Together, Colm O’Donoghue, 121; Winter Memories, Javier Castellano, 121; Marketing Mix, Garrett Gomez, 121; Nereid, Joe Talamo, 121; More Than Real, Corey Nakatani, 121; Kathmanblu, Julien Leparoux, 121 and Summer Soiree, Ramon Dominguez, 121.
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