Friday, June 19, 2009

Queen's Plate Preview.. ..I Got The Horse Right Here... ...

I got the horse right here... ...
I must admit right off the top that my personal immersion into all things Kentucky Derby has left me a little bit behind the proverbial eight-ball when it comes to handicapping this years Queen's Plate.
The Queen's Plate is the longest consecutively run stakes races in North America. Needless to say that means a whole lot of history accompanies the annual gallop for the 100 guineas at Woodbine Racetrack.
In 1934 it was Horometer who gave trainer Harry Giddings Jr his record setting seventh Queen's Plate title. And eight years later when Ten to Ace collected Giddings Jr's eighth and final crown. Giddings would stand alone atop the Queen's Plate trainers board for over a half a century.

In 1991 the Queen of Canadian thoroughbred racing Dance Smartly claimed the Queen's Plate on her way to a Canadian Triple Crown and a successful romp in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs later that same year.
Perhaps you need look no further then last years race to find a little piece of history. Trainer Roger Attfield won last years race with charge Not Bourbon making Att's only the second trainer in Queen's Plate history to collect eight victories in Canada's most prestigious race.

If history the history of the Queen's Plate intrigues you, your in luck. The CBC has produced a documentary titled Queen's Plate: History, Heritage and Hope that will be available FREE at the track gift shop (Think gifts for Dad. Sunday is after all fathers day)
So what's on tap for this years race?
I would like to have produced a contenders page for all of the 13 horses entered in Sunday's race but as I said I'm a little bit behind the eight-ball, so here in place of a set of full bios is a look at the brief crib notes that I will carry into battle when I head to the track on Sunday morning.
*Horses are listed in post position order 
#1 El Brujo -- The colt with the highest earnings, most wins and Stakes scores, El Brujo will likely get a handsome price on Sunday afternoon. The outstanding Malcom Pierce trainee failed as the odd on choice in the Queen's Plate Trail and has yet to collect a win going around two turns.
#2  Flip The Coin -- The papers say "toss this one at your own risk", so I guess my first gamble comes long before I even reach the track {I'm tossing this one, Vito's had his luck}. Trainer Vito Armata guided 82-1 bomb T J's Lucky Moon to a Queens Plate victory back in 2002
#3  Active Duty -- Casse's #2 horse may be breed for the distance but if this one really had a chance Casse's go-to guy Patrick Husbands would have the mount over a gutsy Corey Fraser
#4  Milwaukee Appeal -- The "other" filly, Milwaukee Appeal is the horse that actually won this years Woodbine Oaks
#5  Mr. Foricos Two U -- Mr. Foricos may not seem like a contender but the move by trainer Catherine Day-Phillips to secure two time Eclipse Award winning jockey Mike Smith says otherwise
#6  Reservoir -- Lightly raced colt has already eclipsed older horses in his two race portfolio. Look for a stunning effort from the Julia Carey trainee
#7  Eye of the Leopard -- Eurico Rosa da Silva may only need 1 Queen's Plate mount to claim his first Queen's Plate
#8  Rapid Release -- Jono Jones and Roger Attifield look for their second consecutive Queens Plate crown
#9  Buchephalus -- On a personal note I really like Trainer Kevin Attard and believe that he is a real class act. The distance for Bucephalus is going to be a problem, good thing for him none of the other contender has taken a shot at the mile and a quarter distance. Named after the famous steed of Alexander the Great, Bucephalus would be a much more fitting name for a Plate winner then say..Tasty Temptation
#10 Stardust Ziggy -- Stop-watch special has a better chance the 20 to 1 morning line may reveal
#11 Tasty Temptation -- A filly has claimed one of every five running of the Queens Plate and the team of Casse and Husbands are all too capable but I think this filly was named after liver flavoured kitty treats
#12 Shut It Down -- Nobody wanted to ride Casse reject Shut It Down for trainer Lorne Richards in this years Queens Plate, so Richards went out an hired the worlds winningest rider Canadian, Russell Baze
#13 Keino West -- This one will be running late but with Gerry "The anchor" Olguin aboard I wonder from how far back they'll be running 
Zoltan Black

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