10/09/2007 11:00PM

Six New York shippers will test Dreaming of Anna

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - Nine 3-year-old fillies have been entered for the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, the Grade 1 turf race that will be run for the 24th time Saturday at Keeneland.

Dreaming of Anna, winner of the Virginia Oaks and Pucker Up, will be facing six fillies who most recently raced in New York, including four out of the Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont Park last month. Dreaming of Anna will be ridden by Garrett Gomez for the first time when she breaks from post 7 in the 1 1/8-mile race. The 2-year-old filly champion of 2006, she has rebounded from a three-race losing streak to win her last three, including the Virginia Oaks and Pucker Up, and figures as a slight favorite, especially with Gomez accepting the call from trainer Wayne Catalano.

From the rail, and with jockeys, this is the way the QE II field will line up: Bit of Whimsy, Javier Castellano; Good Mood, Julien Leparoux; Street Sounds, Robby Albarado; Classic Neel, Calvin Borel; Touch My Soul, Rene Douglas; Coquerelle, Christophe Lemaire; Dreaming of Anna, Gomez; Costume, Rafael Bejarano; and Sharp Susan, Kent Desormeaux.

All starters carry 121 pounds. TVG will provide live television coverage.

The QE II occasionally has produced a starter for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf despite a mere two-week span between races. Three QE II winners have gone on to compete in the Breeders' Cup since the Filly and Mare Turf was first run eight years ago: Riskaverse (2002), Collect the Cash (2000), and Perfect Sting (1999).

Beyond Dreaming of Anna and her recent feats, the key race for handicappers poring over the QE II is the Garden City, won by Alexander Tango. Bit of Whimsy was second, Sharp Susan was third, Costume was fourth, and Street Sounds was eighth - although beaten less than three lengths for it all.

The QE II will be the ninth of 10 races on a program that also includes the $200,000 Perryville Stakes (race 7), a Grade 3 race that drew a field of eight 3-year-olds. The Perryville is run at the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs and 184 feet on Polytrack.

First post Saturday is 1:15 p.m. Eastern, with the QE II set for 5:15. The national telecast of the LSU-Kentucky football game, which kicks off at nearby Commonwealth Stadium at 3:30, will be shown in its entirety on the video infield board and television monitors throughout the track.