The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes is an American Grade 1 flat horse race
for three-year-old thoroughbred fillies run over 1
1/8 miles on turf at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.
Inaugurated in 1984, the race is run in early October each year and
currently boasts a purse of $500,000.
As part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge, the Queen Elizabeth II
Challenge Cup Stakes is one of the most important 'Win and You're
In' races, where the winner receives an automatic berth in the same
year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. As such, it consistently
attracts many of America's top three-year-old fillies.
Named after British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Elizabeth
II Challenge Cup Stakes has been run over various distances and
surfaces since it's inception. For instance, it was run over 1 1/16
miles on dirt in 1984, over 1 1/16 miles on turf from 1985 to
1989, and 1 1/8 miles on turf from 1990 until now.
In 1984 and 1985 the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes was a
listed race and in 1986 was awarded a Gr 3 status. In 1988 it was
awarded a Gr 2 status and in 1991 it received a prestigious Gr 1
The fastest time ever recorded over the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge
Cup Stakes' current distance was 1:45.80 set in 1996 by Memories of
Silver. Trainer John M. Veitch has celebrated a record three wins in
1987, 1988 and 1990, while jockeys Jerry D. Bailey and Julie Krone
have two wins each to their names.