The Round Two Division of the ESR Queen of the Turf Challenge consists of three six horse field races, one from each of the opening round qualifying races, two second, two third, and two fourth place finishers. The Maiden Special Weight race will be run at One Mile over the Big Apple Turf Course. Only the winners will advance to the Contest Final.
This is the field for the Group A Semi-Final.
AMARETTO RED – the casino trained 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Amercain out of the G3 winning mare ROULETTE RED (Redoute’s Choice), winner of the G3 Vanguard at nine furlongs, was the second place finisher in the Group A race after an all-out stretch drive that left her just 1 ½ lengths behind ANIMAL WELFARE; the AUS-bred filly has enough tactical speed to be the beneficiary of some fast early fractions but will need to improve as she exits one of the slower divisions of the first round…chance off best
FOREIGN HOPE – the nycowboy hopeful is a scratch-bred 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Oasis Dream out of a Rainbow Quest x Caerleon mare; the ENG-bred filly exits the Group F race in what was perhaps the slowest of the qualifying races; after sitting the perfect trip the contest hopeful finished second to IOS CADET who was left unattended on the front end throughout; the Euro-bred filly has a pedigree that suggests she might prefer longer distances and her debut race may suggest the same when she raced close to the leader in her debut, but never really challenged at any point of the race, suggesting she could take command in longer routes…needs an aggressive trip
GIRL HAS NO NAME – one of three entries for the cadet racing stables, the 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Invincible Spirit out of the G3 winning mare FACELESS CADET (Empire Maker), winner of the G3 Gallery Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth, exits the Group B race, one of the fastest races in the first round, and perhaps the best of the three cadet representatives; the IRE-bred filly had to navigate from far back in her qualifier in a race that might have been good enough to win several of the qualifying round races…one to beat
HAWTHORNE CADET – the second of the cadet trio, the 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Nathaniel out of the stakes winning mare MOD CADET (Dynaformer) was the third place finisher of the Group E race; the ENG-bred weaved her way through a wall of fillies cutting into a fast early pace with every stride but was held off by early pace setters FRUITY PEBBLES and DESTROYA in the final yards; eligible to improve off her debut, the late charging filly would benefit from a speed duel in the early going…dangerous
BRIGADIER SNITZEL – the 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Snitzel out of the G2 winning / multi -graded stakes producing mare ACONITUM CADET (Makfi) completes the trinity for the cadet racing stable; the AUS-bred filly, based on her pedigree on both sides, has the best potential for the most success in this field, but her even fourth place performance in the Group C qualifier suggests she may need more development before she meets her full potential…your call
SLADE QUEEN – the aladar 2 Year Old scratch-bred Bay Filly by Slade Power, out of a Teofilo x Oasis Dream mare, was victimized in the Group D qualifier when she engaged in an early speed battle with DILLY DANA only to get swooped up by three deep closers, resulting in each having any chance of a top three finish; the IRE-bred filly should once again impose her prowess on the front end, and if left unattended, could have a very different result this time around…one to catch
Handicapping the Field
The Group A Semi-Final contains six fillies, all similar in ability, any of which can take home the top prize with a good trip and a little luck. BRIGADIER SNITZEL has the pedigree to suggest she is the best horse in this field. The question is whether her talent is ready to come forward this early in her career.
AMARETTO RED and FOREIGN HOPE both finished second in their opening round qualifiers and are the logical choices in this field, but both horses emerge from the two slowest races in the opening round.
HAWTHORNE CADET had the benefit of a fast early pace but came up short unable to catch the pace setters but should benefit greatly from that performance.
GIRL HAS NO NAME may have run the most impressive race of the six in this field and should be given top priority in this field.
SLADE QUEEN battled at every pole before falling victim to a suicide pace. She should be quick from the gate in this one and I’m not sure she meets much resistance in this field.
GIRL HAS NO NAME looks like the one ready at this time to bring her best race forward
SLADE QUEEN will have to be kept in check or will have things much her own way
AMARETTO RED could pick up the pieces should the pace fall apart