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European Shippers Althiqa, Empress Josephine Headline Deep Field For Keeneland’s First Lady

by Press Release | 10.06.2021

Godolphin’s Althiqa (GB), already a two-time Grade 1 winner in the U.S. in two attempts, headlines a talented field of 13 fillies and mares entered Wednesday for the First Lady (G1) Presented by UK HealthCare.

Scheduled as Saturday’s eighth race at Keeneland with a 4:44 p.m. post time, the First Lady is a “Win and You’re In” race for the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Del Mar on Nov. 6.

Trained by Charles Appleby, Althiqa already was multiple group-placed in Europe as well as a Group 2 winner in the United Arab Emirates before coming to North America, where she took the Just a Game (G1) at Belmont in June and the Diana (G1) in July at Saratoga.

Althiqa will be ridden Saturday by Jamie Spencer and exit post three.

She will have to contend with another European invader in the Aidan O’Brien-trained Empress Josephine (IRE).

Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Empress Josephine has made her past four starts in Group 1 company and won the Tattersalls Irish One Thousand Guineas. John Velazquez has the mount Saturday from post position two.

Heading the U.S. contingent are the Estate of Harvey Clarke and Paul Braverman’s Harvey’s Lil Goil and Susan and John Moore’s homebred Princess Grace.

Trained by Bill Mott, Harvey’s Lil Goil won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana here last fall and followed that with a third-place finish in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf in which she was defeated by a neck.

A winner in one of four starts in 2021, Harvey’s Lil Goil will be ridden by Junior Alvarado from post position eight.

Princess Grace, a four-time graded stakes winner, has won six of seven career starts for trainer Mike Stidham and enters the First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare off a victory in the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (G3) on Sept. 11.

Kent Desormeaux has the mount on Princess Grace, who will start from post position 10.

Trainer Chad Brown, who has saddled the past three First Lady winners and four overall, will be represented by three runners: Juddmonte’s Viadera (GB) and Peter Brant’s Regal Glory and Blowout (GB).

Viadera, a three-time graded stakes winner in the U.S., comes into Saturday’s race off a victory in the Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga. Florent Geroux has the mount Saturday and will leave post position 13.

Regal Glory, a multiple graded stakes winner, captured the De La Rose at Saratoga in her most recent start. Jose Ortiz will ride Saturday and exit post position six.

Blowout, who figures to be the pacesetter, is one for two in 2021 with the victory coming in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) at Churchill on May 1. She was fourth in the Fourstardave (G1) against males at Saratoga. Blowout will start from post position nine and be ridden by Flavien Prat.

The field for the First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare, with riders and weights from the inside, is:

  1. Abscond (Adam Beschizza, 124 pounds)
  2. Empress Josephine (IRE) (Velazquez, 121)
  3. Althiqa (GB) (Spencer, 124)
  4. Star Command (Brian Hernandez Jr., 124)
  5. Hendy Woods (Tyler Gaffalione, 124)
  6. Regal Glory (Ortiz, 124)
  7. Daddy Is a Legend (Julien Leparoux, 124)
  8. Harvey’s Lil Goil (Alvarado, 124)
  9. Blowout (Prat, 124)
  10. Princess Grace (Desormeaux, 124)
  11. Dalika (GER) (Miguel Mena, 124)
  12. La Signare (FR) (Ricardo Santana Jr., 124)
  13. Viadera (GB) (Geroux, 124).
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