For much of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. I), there seemed to be no denying classy champion Dreaming of Anna, who was seeking her fourth consecutive stakes victory.
But after a ground-saving trip from Javier Castellano, Bit of Whimsy (seen here in the paddock at Colonial Downs) made a late rally along the rail, angled three-wide and caught the 2006 Juvenile Fillies Eclipse Award winner in the final 16th to win by 2 1/4 lengths on Keeneland’s Haggin turf course Oct. 13.
Bred in Kentucky by Virginians Bonner Young and Joyce Rowand, Bit of Whimsy had won her only graded stakes in the June 2 Sands Point Stakes (gr. III). The following month the 3-year-old Distorted Humor filly was beaten soundly by Dreaming of Anna at Colonial Downs. She was second in her most recent start, the Sept. 8 Garden City Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont.
This time, trainer Barclay Tagg instructed Castellano to lay off the pace even more, knowing that Dreaming of Anna would have the lead to herself. After a speedy three-quarters in 1:11.24, Castellano revved up Bit of Whimsy for a late run from seventh position. She was third at the top of the lane but gaining ground.
The final time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:48.73.
Now with three wins in six career starts, Bit of Whimsy, out of El Prado mare Kristi B, has earned more than $400,000.