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Oct 21, 2011

Queen Elizabeth II Turf comes Together


Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Together, just one week after her last race, captured Saturday's 28th edition of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on the turf at Keeneland. The filly defeated seven other three-year-old females in the $400,000 stakes.

Winter Memories was sent off as the 7-5 favorite with Del Mar Oaks winner Summer Soiree the 5-2 second choice. Together, trained by Aidan O'Brien, was the 9-2 third pick.

Summer Soiree, ridden by Ramon Dominguez, set the pace in the 1 1/8-mile grass race. Marketing Mix was running second with Together racing close to the lead and the favorite sitting last through the early going.

On the turn for home Summer Soiree still had the lead with Marketing Mix in second as Together moved on the outside into third. Jockey Colm O'Donoghue put Together on the lead with a furlong to run and continued driving to the wire.

Together registered her first win of the year with a 1 1/4-length victory over Marketing Mix with Nereid making a late run to finish third. Coming in fourth was Winter Memories followed by Summer Soiree, Star Billing, More Than Real and Kathmanblu.

The Irish-bred Together covered the QEII in a moderate 1:48.83 on a firm turf course.

"I had a great trip. She broke real smart from the gates, and she showed good speed early and she traveled really well throughout," the winning jockey noted. "She did everything really good."

Together was coming off a second-place finish last Saturday in Keeneland's First Lady Stakes. The QEII win was worth $240,000 to put the filly's career earnings at $835,619 with three wins in 16 starts.

"I think she's always been consistent. She's always run at the highest level," O'Donoghue added.

Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Together finished fifth in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf behind More Than Real and Winter Memories.

Together returned $11.20, $5.80 and $4.00, Marketing Mix paid $8.60 and $5.20, and Nereid paid $5.40 to show.

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