A limited number of offspring of the Irish stallion Sir Prancealot have competed over American turf, but Saturday’s GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup will feature a pair of 3-year-old Irish imports by the sire, both campaigned by California-based Slam Dunk Racing. Beau Recall (Ire) and Madam Dancealot (Ire) will go postward for trainers Simon Callaghan and Richard Baltas, respectively.
“It is just a coincidence both are by Sir Prancealot,” said Nick Cosato, the managing partner for Slam Dunk. “We were looking at them as individuals, but if we get a few more Sir Prancelots, it no longer will be a coincidence. He is a new sire and we wanted to see how they would handle firm turf over here.”
A Group 3 winner in England, Madam Dancealot was imported to America ahead of the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last November. She finished 13th that day but has flourished in her sophomore season, capturing the July 23 GII San Clemente H. and recently running third in the Aug. 19 GI Del Mar Oaks. Beau Recall was just a neck in front of her when second in the Oaks, adding to a formidable American race record that has also included runner-up finishes in the GIII Senorita S. and GII Honeymoon S. this spring.
“They have both panned out,” Cosato said. “We got Beau Recall for a good price after she just broke her maiden and we brought her over here with the idea of running in a starter race down the hill [at Santa Anita]. But they didn’t write any such races, so we put her in over her head and she won. She has far exceeded our expectations.”
Both fillies had their final works for Saturday’s race at Santa Anita on Sunday and flew to Lexington Tuesday. They limited their Wednesday morning activity to light exercise on Keeneland’s all-weather training track. The QEII attracted a competitive field of 11 entrants.