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Oct 14, 2011

Winter Memories featured in Queen Elizabeth II



Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Winter Memories heads a field of eight three- year-old fillies for Saturday's 28th edition of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at 1 1/8-miles on the turf at Keeneland. The $400,000 stakes has a scheduled post-time of 5:45 p.m. (et).

Owned by Phillips Racing Partnership, Winter Memories will start from post three with Javier Castellano back to ride. The gray filly is trained by James Toner.

"Everything has gone to plan, except for one hiccup," Toner said of the fourth-place finish in the Lake Placid at Saratoga two months ago.

Winter Memories has just the one loss this year in five starts for $397,500. She began 2011 in April with a win at Keeneland with a neck victory in the Appalachian. She followed with wins in the Sands Point, Lake George and last month in the Garden City Stakes at Belmont Park.

"What a thrill that was," Toner said about the filly's neck victory in the Garden City. "You don't see that kind of move often. And from an emotional standpoint, having her go from not expecting to do anything and a split- second later she is winning."

Winter Memories has started all eight lifetime races on the turf with six wins and a second for $698,100. Her dam, Memories of Silver, won the 1996 QE II and set a course record of 1:45.81, a mark that still stands.

Toner trained Memories of Silver and 1993 winner Tribulation. Castellano rode Bit of Whimsy to victory in the 2007 QE II.

Here is the complete field in post position order: Star Billing, Victor Espinoza; Together, Colm O'Donoghue; Winter Memories, Javier Castellano; Marketing Mix, Garrett Gomez; Nereid, Joe Talamo; More Than Real, Corey Nakatani; Kathmanblu, Julien Leparoux and Summer Soiree, Ramon Dominguez.

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