With all the Queens that took to the track for the latest qualifying heats of the Arlington Gold Cup, you could be forgiven for expecting the race to be a bit of a drag but watching two of these older ladies battle it out proved to be great value entertainment.
Worldwater Stables’ Rusty Queen was certainly not short of work, having already amassed twenty-one starts this term and had been the model of consistency, winning three and finishing in the money a further fourteen times. Chrisman’s Queen’s Jewel had equally strong form credentials. The six year old mare had already bagged a Kentucky Fillies Classic Qualifier earlier in the season but perhaps the biggest indicator was her second place finish behind current Championship standings leader, Divine Liz, in her only previous attempt in an Arlington Gold Cup Qualifier so far this term. The two mares showed a great deal of resilience to maintain their efforts all the way to the wire in this marathon event with the year older Queen’s Jewel showing more sparkle and eventually prevailing by a half length. Rusty Queen lost nothing in defeat, achieving another fine second, suggesting she will make the final with every chance. Queen’s Jewel’s stablemate, Macka Beast stayed on well to take third while another worthy of note was Black Lotus’ The Fame Monster who seemed to relish conditions but did not get the best of luck in running and is surely capable of better.
A second instance of this race surprisingly featured Divine Liz. Perhaps conditions were less than ideal for her here but owner, Tri M Fent Stables chose to run her in this instance while stablemate Ferocious Liz took part in the first. Nonetheless, Divine Liz was a warm order here and did not disappoint her supporters. The seven year old bay mare readily accounted for Chrisman’s Salty Girl with Mudflaps’ Ashley’s Tsunami back in third spot.
This was Divine Liz’s second win from three attempts in qualifying heats for the final of this event, enough to see her at the head of the current standings on twenty-six points, three ahead of both Queen’s Jewel and Karl Khoder’s Queen Gaga who are tied for second.
It was a red-letter day for favorite backers which had begun half an hour earlier in the Arlington Gold Cup Qualifier 4-7yo Colts with Mudflaps’ gray gelding, Rapscallion. The six year old, who finished fourth in the final of this event last term and had already netted two qualifiers for this event this time around, has been in fine form of late. He came here looking to complete a three-timer and duly obliged. He just got home, narrowly ahead of Black Lotus’ Ice Dragon who forced him to pull out all the stops. Owner, Chrisman, is hard to keep out of the frame in these events these days filled third place with his six year old, Ap Terminator.
This win sees Rapscallion jump to the top of the current standings for November’s final, leap-frogging Ap Terminator who drops back to second, two points adrift of the new leader. Ap Terminator’s stablemate, Quiet Messiah is a further six points behind in third.