News and STORIES

Cambier Parc Takes QEII Challenge Cup

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Monday October 14, 2019
OXO Equine's Cambier Parc finished first on Saturday to take the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Presented by Lane's End (G1) at Keeneland. She was too fast for the rest of the field from start to finish. 

Taking the Lead Early 

Cambier Parc broke from post 3 with jockey John Velazquez. They came into the race as the 9/5 favorite, and she took the lead quickly after breaking from the post. It was the first time in her career that she had a lead so early. 

Her Majesty, The Queen's Magnetic Charm was trailing close behind on the outside. Cambier Parc posted opening fractions of :23.70, :49.18, and 1:14.41. 

As Cambier Parc straightened for home, she pulled away from Magnetic Charm, who was falling back. She continued to extend her lead as she moved through the stretch until Castle Lady decided to run late for the challenge. 

Cambier Parc was able to hold off Castle Lady and finished a length ahead with a final time of 1:49.54 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the firm turf course. 

Velazquez spoke about Cambier Parc's performance after the race. 

"When she got to the lead, she relaxed really well," Velazquez said. "The strategy was to use her going into the first turn. She relaxed in front. She had plenty to come running in the lane. Once she got to the lead, she relaxed, and she opened up a length, a length and a half, and she decided to wait for the horses. 

"I had to keep reminding her to keep running. I didn't want to get surprised by another horse on the outside. I think if another horse got closer, she would have gone again."

Castle Lady was able to hold on and finish second by 1 3/4 lengths. Princesa Carolina finished in third by a neck and a nose over Cafe Americano and Varenka. The rest of the order was completed by Regal Glory, Kelsey's Cross, and Magnetic Charm, who was worn out by the end. Lady Prancealot was a trainer scratch on the day. 

Third Win in Four Starts

The QEII Challenge Cup was Cambier Parc's third win in her past four starts. She took the Wonder Again Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park in June, and she finished first in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) in August.

The Chad Brown trainee was purchased for $1.25 million at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, and her record is 8-5-0-1, with total earnings at $797,460. She is the 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro. 

"We talked about (the race strategy) in the paddock," Brown said. "There wasn't a lot of pace in the race. We've used her as a lead horse sometimes in her works, and she's good that way. I gave (Velazquez) the option to go to the lead, and he took it. She really responded.

"My team did a great job preparing her here for this race," Brown continued. "She's had a long year, starting in (the Edgewood Stakes [G3]) at Gulfstream in the winter. I appreciate (OXO Equine's) Larry Best giving me the opportunity with this horse. She's a really well-bred, great-looking horse that anyone would love to have. I'm lucky to have her."

Cambier Parc will likely be taking the rest of the year off, according to Brown. 

Cambier Parc paid $5.60 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.80 to show. Castle Lady returned $4.60 to place and $3.60 to show, while Princess Carolina brought back $5 to show.