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Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes

Grade I race
Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup
Location Keeneland Race Course
Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Inaugurated 1984
Race type Thoroughbred - Flat racing
Website Keeneland
Race information
Distance 1⅛ miles (9 furlongs)
Track Grass, left-handed
Qualification Three-year-old fillies
Weight Assigned
Purse $500,000

The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup is an American Thoroughbred horse race race for three-year-old fillies held annually since 1984 at Keeneland Race Course near Lexington, Kentucky. Run at a distance of one and one-eighth miles on the turf, the Grade I race currently offers a purse of $500,000. It is an important prep race to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

The race was inaugurated on October 11, 1984, in honor of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who attended the Keeneland races, during her private visit to Central Kentucky, and who presented a trophy on that date.

Since inception, the race has been contested at various distances:

  • 1984 - 1 1/16 miles on dirt
  • 1985-1989 - 1 1/16 miles on turf
  • 1990-present - 1 1/8 miles on turf

The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup was a Listed race in 1984 and 1985, a Grade III race in 1986 and 1987, and a Grade II race from 1988 through 1990 after which it became a Grade I event.


Time record: (at current 1⅛ miles distance)

  • 1:45.80 - Memories of Silver (1996)

Most wins by an owner:

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Winners of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup






2009 Hot Cha Cha James Graham Phil Sims Nelson McMakin 1:53.09
2008 Alwajeeha John Velazquez Kiaran McLaughlin Shadwell Stable 1:48.09
2007 Bit of Whimsy Javier Castellano Barclay Tagg J.B. Young/Gerald McManis 1:48.73
2006 Vacare Carlos Marquez, Jr. Chris M. Block Lothenbach Stables, Inc. 1:48.42
2005 Sweet Talker Rafael Bejarano Helen Pitts Eliah & Lisa Kahn 1:51.20
2004 Ticker Tape Kent Desormeaux James M. Cassidy Jim Ford Inc. et al. 1:51.35
2003 Film Maker Edgar Prado H. Graham Motion Courtlandt Farm 1:47.82
2002 Riskaverse Mark Guidry Patrick J. Kelly Fox Ridge Farm 1:49.84
2001 Affluent Ed Delahoussaye Ron McAnally Janis R. Whitham 1:50.03
2000 Collect The Cash Shane Sellers Joseph F. Orseno Stronach Stables 1:47.80
1999 Perfect Sting Pat Day Joseph F. Orseno Stronach Stables 1:50.60
1998 Tenski Richard Migliore Linda L. Rice Richard L. Golden 1:48.60
1997 Ryafan Alex Solis John H. M. Gosden Juddmonte Farms 1:46.60
1996 Memories of Silver Robbie Davis James J. Toner Joan G. & John Phillips 1:45.80
1995 Perfect Arc John Velazquez Angel Penna, Jr. Brazil Stables 1:49.80
1994 Danish Julie Krone Christophe Clement Harry McCalmont 1:48.80
1993 Tribulation Jean-Luc Samyn James J. Toner Joan G. Phillips/A. Seelbinder 1:53.60
1992 Captive Miss Julie Krone Philip M. Serpe Zeke Minassian 1:48.60
1991 La Gueriere Brian Peck A. Peter Perkins Wimborne Farm 1:49.80
1990 Plenty of Grace Jerry D. Bailey John M. Veitch Darby Dan Farm 1:51.40
1989 Coolawin Jose Velez, Jr. Carl A. Nafzger James B. Tafel 1:43.20
1988 Love You by Heart Randy Romero John M. Veitch Darby Dan Farm 1:44.80
1987 Graceful Darby Jerry D. Bailey John M. Veitch James W. Phillips 1:47.20
1986 Lotka Walter Guerra Woody Stephens Henryk de Kwiatkowski 1:50.00
1985 Contredance Eddie Maple Woody Stephens Henryk de Kwiatkowski 1:47.00
1984 Sintra Keith Allen Steven Penrod Cherry Valley Farm 1:43.40


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