The Aidan O'Brien-trained Empress Josephine will try to win her first race since coming to the United States when she leaves the starting gate on Saturday in the 2021 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kent. Bred in Ireland, Empress Josephine is a Group 1 winner in her native country. She made her first U.S. start one week ago, finishing third in the First Lady at Keeneland. For Saturday she has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the 2021 Queen Elizabeth II odds. Shantisara is the 7-2 second choice in the 10-horse Queen Elizabeth II field. Post time is 4:44 p.m. ET.
Before you make any Queen Elizabeth II picks or bets, you NEED to see the latest picks from racing insider and Beyer Speed Figure maker Bob Weir.
A two-time qualifier for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas, Weir has produced multiple five-figure days at the track over the years, including a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar in 2014. This year, he has crushed the three-year-old races. He hit the exacta in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, Tampa Bay Derby and Peter Pan Stakes, the trifecta in the Risen Star Stakes, Blue Grass Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby and the superfecta in the Belmont Stakes. Those are just some of his scores in 2021.
A Grade 1 turf race run at 1 1/8 miles, the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes has drawn an evenly matched field of 10 3-year-old fillies who are looking for their breakthrough win. Just two of the 10 entrants -- Empress Josephine and Lady Speightspeare -- already have won a Grade or Group 1 race.
In addition, three fillies who are based in Europe -- Empress Josephine, Nicest and Cloudy Dawn -- have made the trip across the Atlantic to run in the Queen Elizabeth II.
Now, Weir has handicapped the Queen Elizabeth II 2021 field, made his picks and constructed his bets.
One surprise: Weir is high on Flippant, a 15-1 long shot. "It took Flippant a while, but she has figured things out, winning her last three, including the Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs," Weir says. "This late runner could catch a piece late." Weir is using Flippant prominently on his tickets.
Weir's top pick is a horse who'll be facing an "easier spot" on Saturday. He also is high on a long shot who "could be poised to improve." Weir is including these horses in his 2021 Queen Elizabeth II bets, and so should you. You ABSOLUTELY need to see his picks before locking in any of your own!
What horse wins the 2021 Queen Elizabeth II? What long shot is a must-back? And how has Weir constructed his tickets?... Join SportsLine right now to get the top 2021 Queen Elizabeth II picks and bets, all from the racing insider who has been on fire!