Larry Best's Cambier Parc made it back-to-back Grade 1 wins on Saturday, adding the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup to her resume with a 3/4-length score at Keeneland. The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro won the G1 Del Mar Oaks in her prior start, and was favored at 9-5 in the QEII. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by John Velazquez, Cambier Parc ran nine furlongs over the firm turf in 1:49.54.
“We talked about (the race strategy) in the Paddock,” Brown said. “There wasn't a lot of pace in the race. We know from her works – we've used her as a lead horse sometimes in her works, and she's good that way. I gave (jockey John 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. She's had a long year, starting in a race at Gulfstream in the winter. I appreciate (owner) 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 jumped well from the gate and immediately strode out to take the lead. She had early company from Magnetic Charm through fractions of :23.70 and :49.18, but dispatched that rival turning for home all alone.
Varenka made a four-wide bid while Castle Lady got through near the inside, and it was Castle Lady who was the biggest threat to the frontrunner in the late stages. A very game Cambier Parc held on by three-quarters of a length at the wire, while Castle Lady had to settle for second. Princesa Carolina checked in third, followed by Cafe Americano and Varenka.
“When she got to the lead, she relaxed really well,” said Velazquez. “The strategy was – there was no pace – 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.”
Bred in Kentucky by Bonne Chance Farm, Cambier Parc is out of 2007 Canadian Horse of the Year Sealy Hill, by Point Given. She commanded a final bid of $1.25 million at the Keeneland September sale, and has won five of her eight starts, including two Grade 1 races, to earn a total just shy of $800,000.
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