Hendy Woods among intriguing cast for QEII Challenge Cup

The Grade I, $500,000 QEII Challenge Cup is Saturday’s spotlight race at Keeneland racecourse in Lexington, KY. Nine three-year-old fillies will slug it out over 1 1/8-miles on the grass in this one, including former Grade I winners MAGIC ATTITUDE and RED LARK. Post time for the QEII Challenge Cup, Race 9 on a 10-race program, is 5:30 p.m. ET.

#6 HENDY WOODS (10-1) has the most upside in Saturday’s QEII Challenge Cup; she’s raced just five times to date. Three of her first five efforts were victories, including a minor stakes at Indiana Grand. HENDY WOODS was a respectable second in Churchill’s Grade II Edgewood Stakes on Kentucky Derby day. Julien Leparoux takes over in the irons on this live longshot.

#4 MAGIC ATTITUDE (5-2, morning-line favorite) was a much-the-best winner in the Belmont Oaks in her lone U.S. start. The slow pace and wide trip didn’t matter as she swept past her rivals in that Grade I event. MAGIC ATTITUDE will once again be ridden by Javier Castellano, but this appears to be a much tougher field. She’ll also have one less furlong to work with in Saturday’s QEII Challenge Cup.

#1 HARVEY’S LIL GOIL (3-1) could take this with a repeat effort of her Grade III Regret score at Churchill at this surface and distance. Her only other turf race this year was a hard-fought loss in the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs.

The play: $2 exacta box 1/4/6, $2 exacta 4/1,6, $4 win 6 ($20)

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