LEXINGTON, Ky. — Chad Brown sent fewer horses to Keeneland this fall than he did in the spring, when he had six wins and five seconds from 16 starts. But his local string made quite an impact Wednesday when Rushing Fall romped in the Jessamine Stakes, and it could again wow the Kentucky bluebloods when New Money Honey and Uni represent the high-profile stable in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.
New Money Honey, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last fall and the Belmont Oaks in July, is widely regarded as the current leader in the niche of North American 3-year-old turf fillies. Whether she can continue to reign supreme is what will be decided when a field of 11 goes postward Saturday in the 34th running of the $500,000 QE II before perhaps the largest crowd of the 17-day fall meet.
Uni, as a last-out winner of the Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont Park, is one of the numerous viable threats to New Money Honey in the 1 1/8-mile QE II. Imported this spring from France, the British-bred chestnut has done well in all three U.S. starts, and it would be no major surprise if she topples her stablemate from the divisional throne.
The Brown duo was assigned the outside posts, with Uni and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. breaking from post 10 and New Money Honey (Javier Castellano) from post 11.
If not one of the Brown fillies, well, most of the other QE II fillies have shown themselves entirely capable of victory with a top effort. That group includes Proctor’s Ledge (post 2, Corey Lanerie), winner of the Lake George and Lake Placid at Saratoga this summer; Daddys Lil Darling (post 3, Robby Albarado), a record-setting winner of the Dueling Grounds Oaks in her last start; Wuheida (post 7, William Buick), a highly regarded Godolphin homebred; the talented Mark Casse pair of Dream Dancing (post 4, Julien Leparoux) and La Coronel (post 6, Jose Lezcano); and the respective 2-3 finishers behind Dream Dancing in the Del Mar Oaks, Beau Recall (post 9, Joe Talamo) and…