Updated on 09/15/2011 1:14PM

Affluent outduels 'Apples'

Suzie Picou-Oldham
Affluent wins the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - California invaders Affluent and Golden Apples staged a thrilling stretch duel Saturday in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland, with Affluent edging away in the final yards to win the Grade 1 race for 3-year-old fillies.

Affluent, trained by Ron McAnally and ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye, rallied from midpack to prevail by a neck over Golden Apples. Snow Dance, the pacesetter throughout in a field

of 10, finished third, another 2 1/4 lengths back, while Voodoo Dancer, the 17-10 favorite, had a perfect trip yet still finished seventh.

"Coming back here and winning a Grade 1 was fantastic," said Delahoussaye, who was a riding champion at Keeneland in the late 1970's.

Affluent, who was the runner-up in the Del Mar Oaks, returned $14.20 as third choice after finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.03 over a good turf.

McAnally said Affluent, owned by Jan Whitham, would not run in the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. An Affirmed filly, Affluent has won four of 10 starts and $622,800.

Before a meet-high crowd of 26,458, Snow Dance was stalked on the early lead by longshots Light Dancer and Casual Feat, while Affluent and Voodoo Dancer each enjoyed good stalking trips. Meanwhile, Golden Apples, winner of the Del Mar Oaks, overcame a sluggish start to become a major contender down the stretch after saving ground under Garrett Gomez.

But Delahoussaye had the most in the end, only showing Affluent his whip in the frantic final stages. "I won by just enough to win," he said.

Earlier Saturday, Delahoussaye also won the secondary feature when Deeliteful Irving ($5.40), trained by Todd Pletcher, was up in the final strides to post a nose victory in a three-horse photo in the $84,825 Franklin Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile on turf .

Silver Spear, who surged to a short lead in deep stretch, a neck before Wudantunoit in a field of six 3-year-olds. Baptize, the probable heavy favorite, was one of three early scratches.