Looking for 'Magic' in the QEII


Magic Attitude (GB) winning the GI Belmont Oaks Inv.

Newcomer Magic Attitude (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) marked her U.S. debut with an emphatic score in the Sept. 19 GI Belmont Oaks Invitational S. and will try to remain undefeated at the highest level in this country in Saturday's GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup S. at Keeneland. A winner of one of three starts in France for trainer Fabrice Chappet and owner Haras du Saubouas, the English-bred returned off an eight-month layoff to take ParisLongchamp's G3 Prix Vanteaux in May before finishing runner up in the G1 Prix Saint Alary at Chantilly in June. Transferred to her new trainer Arnaud Delacour following a fifth in the July 5 G1 Prix de Diane, the Lael Stables runner overcame a wide trip to win the 10-furlong Oaks Sept. 19 and will reunite with Javier Castellano, who was aboard for her U.S. unveiling.

Fellow Grade I-winner Red Lark (Ire) (Epaulette {Aus}) also tries to add another top tier tally to her record. Winless in three starts in Ireland last term, the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners runner won her second U.S. start going nine furlongs on the Santa Anita turf in February before finishing off the board in her next two black-type appearances at that Arcadia oval. Second in the GIII Wilshire S. June 20, the Paddy Gallagher trainee was third–beaten a length–in a Del Mar optional claimer July 12 before attaining a career high in the GI Del Mar Oaks Aug. 22.

One of two fillies by Triple Crown hero American Pharoah in the field, Sweet Melania kicked off the season with a wire-to-wire win in Belmont's one-mile GIII Wonder Again S. June 20 before getting nipped in the Aug. 28 GIII Lake George S. at Saratoga. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Robert and Lawana Low representative already has registered a win over the surface, having taken last fall's GII Jessamine S. at Keeneland.

Also, sired by American Pharoah, Harvey's Lil Goil tries to recapture the form that saw her win the nine-furlong GIII Regret S. at Churchill Downs. Third returning to the dirt for the 10-furlong GI Alabama S. at Saratoga Aug. 15, the Bill Mott pupil just missed by a neck in the Dueling Grounds Oaks over 10 1/2 furlongs at Kentucky Downs Sept. 10. Mott also saddles Belmont Oaks runner-up Antoinette (Hard Spun).

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