10/15/2011 5:48PM

Keeneland: Together takes Queen Elizabeth II on a week's rest for Coolmore and O'Brien

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Jockey Colm O’Donoghue keeps Together's mind on her business during the QE II stretch run.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Leave it to Aidan O’ Brien to rewrite the record book. No filly had even dared try to run in Keeneland’s back-to-back Grade 1 turf races for females until O’Brien tried it on consecutive Saturdays with a 3-year-old named Together, who made the iconic Irish trainer look like the genius he is when she stormed to a 1 1/4-length triumph this latest Saturday in the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.

Ridden by Colm O’Donoghue for the Coolmore group of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier, Together raced in mid-pack before moving up to third by the quarter pole, and then pulling away from Marketing Mix in the stretch. Nereida finished third, another 3 1/2 lengths back, with Winter Memories, the 7-5 choice in a field of eight, finishing fourth after trailing for much of the 1 1/8-mile journey.

The win for Together came a week after she finished second versus older fillies and mares in the First Lady. She returned $11.20 as third choice after finishing in 1:48.83 over a firm course.

“They got anything picked out for next Saturday?” quipped in-house television host Tom Leach in his post-race interview of O’Donoghue.

Together is an Irish-bred by Galileo, who also is the sire of Frankel, the unbeaten winner of Ascot’s version of the QE II in Great Britain on Saturday.

“I got a great trip,” said O’Donoghue. “She’s always been consistent, always run at the highest level. She’s by Galileo, and she’s got that speed and energy and strength. She’s just a wonderful filly.”

Before 27,712 sun-splashed fans, Summer Soiree, the 5-2 second choice, sped off to an open lead under Ramon Dominguez and held it until shortly after the field straightened away, when Together and Marketing Mix, a 10-1 shot under Garrett Gomez, easily went past. Those two had it to themselves down the lane, with Together edging clear through the final furlong.

Together now has 3 wins and 5 seconds from 16 career starts and is a logical candidate to run back nearly three weeks later in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

The triumph was the third in a Grade 1, and the third in any Keeneland stakes, for O’Brien, who was not present. O’Brien, who turns 42 Sunday, won the Shadwell Turf Mile in 2002 with Landseer and in 2006 with Aussie Rules.