LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kitten's Dumplings rallied from last place and edged favorite Alterite by a neck Saturday in the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.
With Julien Leparoux aboard, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Kitten's Joy ran 1 1/8 miles on the turf course in 1:48.43 for her sixth win in 12 starts and paid $11.80, $4.60 and $3.60. Ninth at the first pass, she was seventh in the backstretch before Leparoux swung her outside on the far turn and followed Alterite as they chased leader Leigh Court, who finished fourth.
Kitten's Dumplings rush down the stretch earned trainer Mike Maker and Leparoux their first wins in the Grade I race for 3-year-old fillies.
''She always comes from behind,'' Leparoux said. ''We had the pace today; they went very fast up front. I tried to settle her behind, and she made a big run at the end.''
Alterite paid $3.20 and $2.60 with jockey John Velazquez, who missed a chance to pass Pat Day as the career leader in earnings in the U.S. and Canada. Jockey Rosie Napravnik rallied Caroline Thomas for third to return $5.20.
''She ran the best she could, that's for sure,'' Velazquez said of Alterite. ''She didn't give up at all. When the other horse (Kitten's Dumplings) passed her, she tried to come back again. (Kitten's Dumplings) was just better than mine today.''
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- Julien Leparoux