Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes
|Grade I race|
|Location||Keeneland Race Course|
Lexington, Kentucky, United States
|Race type||Thoroughbred - Flat racing|
|Distance||1 1⁄8 miles (9.0 furlongs)|
The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup is an American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old fillies held annually since 1984 at Keeneland Race Course near Lexington, Kentucky. Run at a distance of one and one-eighth miles on the turf, the Grade I race currently offers a purse of $500,000. It is an important prep race to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
The race was inaugurated on October 11, 1984, in honour of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who attended the Keeneland races, during her private visit to Central Kentucky, and who presented a trophy on that date.
Since inception, the race has been contested at various distances:
- 1984 - 1 1⁄16 miles (8.5 furlongs) on dirt
- 1985-1989 - 1 1⁄16 miles (8.5 furlongs) on turf
- 1990–present - 1 1⁄8 miles (9.0 furlongs) on turf
The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup was a Listed race in 1984 and 1985, a Grade III race in 1986 and 1987, and a Grade II race from 1988 through 1990, after which it became a Grade I event.
Time record: (at current 1 1⁄8 miles distance)
- 1:45.80 - Memories of Silver (1996)
- Most wins by an owner
- 2 - Henryk de Kwiatkowski (1985, 1986)
- 2 - Darby Dan Farm (1988, 1990)
- 2 - Stronach Stables (1999, 2000)
- Most wins by a jockey
- 4 - John Velazquez (1995, 2008, 2014, 2016)
- Most wins by a trainer