10/13/2009 11:00PM

Well Monied among five QE II dropouts

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The prospective field for the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on Saturday at Keeneland incurred a handful of 11th-hour defections when the connections of the California standout Well Monied were among several to decline invitations to the Grade 1 turf race Wednesday.

"Our filly got a little lung infection, and we've had to stop on her," said trainer Howard Zucker. "We're disappointed, because we were all excited about coming there. We've had to cancel about 100 reservations."

Well Monied, winner of the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap and runner-up in the Grade 1 American Oaks, will race again next year as a 4-year-old, said Zucker.

The connections of Acting Lady, Hooh Why, Mary's Follies, and Starlarks also turned down an opportunity to run in the 1 1/8-mile stakes. In the meantime, the connections of Lady Shakespeare, a Woodbine-based filly trained by Roger Attfield, accepted an invitation to boost the field back to seven.

Even without Well Monied and the others, the 26th QE II will have some of the top names in the 3-year-old filly turf division. Gozzip Girl, fourth as the 2-5 favorite after an extremely tough trip in the Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont last out, figures to be favored over the respective one-two Garden City finishers, Miss World and Shared Account.

Hameildaeme, Hot Cha Cha, and Blind Date are also entered.

The QE II anchors a 10-race Saturday card that also includes the Grade 3, $150,000 Perryville, which drew a field of seven 3-year-olds. Warrior's Reward (post 3, Calvin Borel) figures as the choice over El Brujo (post 1, Robby Albarado) and Not for Silver (post 6, Jeremy Rose) in the Perryville, which is run over Polytrack at the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs and 184 feet.

Sam P. attempts comeback

Sam P., the ninth-place finisher in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, is tentatively scheduled to return to action Friday amid controversy after being away since last fall, when he was owned by a partnership headed by the Starlight Stable of Jack and Laurie Wolf.

The Wolfs have said in court proceedings that when they sold Sam P. last year, it was with a stipulation that the 5-year-old horse never race again because of his infirmities. A circuit-court judge ruled in their favor earlier this year by issuing an injunction against the new owner, the Triton Farm of George Hofmeister, but an appeals court judge lifted the injunction, pending a final decision on an appeal.

Jack Wolf said Wednesday that he has been pressing to have the injunction enforced through legal means and was hoping to hear something before Friday. If that doesn't happen, new trainer Buff Bradley said Sam P. will run in the seventh race, a $56,000 turf allowance, with Nelson Clemmons, lessee, listed as owner.

Nine likely for Bryan Station

Keeneland is expecting about nine 3-year-olds for the last stakes of this week, the Grade 3, $125,000 Bryan Station on Sunday. Likely starters in the one-mile turf race include El Crespo, Get Stormy, and Strike Again. Entries were to be drawn Thursday.

Four stakes will be run here next week, highlighted by the Grade 2 Raven Run on Oct. 24.

Jockeys gather for fundraiser

Old Friends, the racehorse retirement home located near Keeneland, is hosting a "Jockey Palooza" outing at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday as a fundraiser.

About a dozen jockeys will be on hand to sign autographs and mingle with the dinner crowd, including Robby Albarado, Calvin Borel, Kent Desormeaux, Chris McCarron, Craig Perret, and Randy Romero. More information is available at oldfriendsequine.org or by calling (502) 863-1775.

* Keeneland and nine central Kentucky farms partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in hosting nine Kentucky children with life-threatening medical conditions and their families Wednesday in the Lafayette Room. Each child, ages 3 to 18, got to meet with jockeys and present a winner's trophy after a race.

* Former longtime Keeneland chairman Ted Bassett, along with co-author Bill Mooney, will be available for signings of his autobiography Saturday in the Keeneland gift shop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

* Stall applications for the holiday and winter-spring meet at Turfway Park are due Saturday.