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Plate Trial winner Not Bourbon will be one of the favorites for the 2008 Queen's Plate

Queen's Plate Barbecue

Date: 6/16/08

At Woodbine, Queen's Plate week is traditionally kicked off by the annual barbecue. Held on the Monday before the Plate, media, officials, connections, and their families usually gather in the large walking ring to enjoy a delicious outdoor lunch, mostly cooked over open grills and served at one end of the ring, while Queen's Plate contenders are paraded at the other end of the ring. This is a great opportunity to see the horses posing with their proud connections, and unlike most events, it is a rare opportunity for the horses' grooms to receive recognition as well when the horse is brought out.

The post position draw for the Queen's Plate will be held on Thursday morning. Post time for the Plate will be 5:06 PM ET, carded as Race 9 on Sunday June 22nd and the race will be televised in Canada on CBC from 4:30 to 5:30 PM ET and simulcast to many locations throughout the United States. Free past performances will available from Daily Racing Form by Thursday evening.

At this year's Queen's Plate Barbecue, 10 of the expected 15 starters were brought out to be paraded in the walking ring. Below are photos of the ones that were there along with a list of all the horses expected to enter.

Not Bourbon was the first to be brought out before the crowd, escorted by groom Sarah Sullivan. The Roger Attfield trainee won the Plate Trial by a neck over Solitaire. Jockey Jono Jones, who has been aboard each of his 9 starts, will be in the irons again on Sunday. Attfield said of the Charles Fipke homebred, "Jono said he could have moved later than he did (in the Trial) if we were going farther. He's a dead-fit horse." Attfield is one win away from the record of 8 Plate victories set by Harold Giddings Jr. in 1942, when Attfield was a 2-year-old lad in Newbury, England.

East End Tap was brought out to the ring by groom Irina Sirotinina. The son of Pleasant Tap was fifth in the Plate Trial in his final prep. Trainer Reade Baker will remove the blinkers for the Plate. He said, "I didn't realize that he had the blinkers on (two starts back for previous trainer Mark Casse), so it was silly on my part putting the blinkers on and trying to take him back at the same time. He was in great shape when I got him and he's still in great shape. He didn't get beat that far and he got the best Beyer of his life. I think he'll show more improvement this time. He's bred to go around two turns." Tyler Pizarro retains the ride.

Shadowless, who was quite fractious around the crowd, was escorted to the walking ring by groom Nathaniel Campbell for owner-breeder Heather Takahashi and trainer David Bell. He was third in a 9 furlong allowance race on May 24 after finishing third in the Queenston Stakes. Bell said, "The last race as the acid test to see which way he was going to go. He ran a big race. He had a couple of excuses not to win, but he kept plugging away, that's what we need to go 1 1/4 miles." Regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson will be in the irons again on Sunday. Takahashi is a rookie to the breeding business, and is going to the Queen's Plate with the very first horse she bred.

Silver Jag was brought out by groom Dean Adams for owner-breeder Earl Daynes and trainer Josie Carroll. The son of Point Given is winless in four starts, including a 6th place finish in a $71,000 maiden race on June 1 at 9 furlongs. Carroll, who was the first female trainer to win the Plate, with Edenwold in 2006, said, "We're going to take a shot. He's a horse who has been begging for two turns. He's a horse whose pedigree should get him the distance." New rider Slade Callaghan gets the mount on Sunday as regular rider David Clark opted to ride Sebastian's Song instead.

Took the Time was escorted to the ring by groom Carlton Ramcharan. The son of Greenwood Lake finished second in his last start, an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles, and will be making just his fourth lifetime start in the Plate for trainer Mark Casse. He said, "I was really pleased with his first race back. (On his closing finish) that's always been the plan, get him to relax and come running. And he did that quite well. (In his final prep) he got beat by an older horse who had an easy lead. The way the race set up we had no chance of catching him, but we got out of it what we wanted." Regular rider Patrick Husbands will ride Casse's other Plate entrant, Palmers, so new rider Ramon Dominguez will get the mount for owner Earle Mack.

Deputiformer was brought out by groom Howie Pottins for trainer Mike DePaulo. Winless since the Cup and Saucer Stakes last October, the son of Silver Deputy was fifth in his last two starts, the Wando Stakes in April and then an allowance against older horses in May. DePaulo said, "He won (the Cup and Saucer) coming from last. Since then we've been taking a hold and I think we've discouraged him. We won't be taking any holds Plate day. I would rather let him do his thing than keep restraining him. We've run him once a month which was the plan. We thought we'd give him 5 weeks to the plate." Regular rider Jerry Baird retains the mount for owner David James, who raced 2006 champion 3-year-old Shillelagh Slew.

Mamma's Knight was escorted to the walking ring by groom Reid McDonald, and is trained by Sam Di Pasquale for owner Mike Kowalski. The son of Ascot Knight rallied from last to first to win his last start, a 1 1/16 mile allowance event, by 8 1/4 lengths Di Pasquale said, "We were expecting an explosive finish. Without a finish like that he wasn't going to the Plate. The race was a great confidence builder for him. He came back more aggressive. He shows a ton of stamina. The distance is no problem. He'll be passing horses down the lane." New rider Justin Stein will be in the irons on Sunday, replacing regular rider Jerry Baird who opted to ride Deputiformer.

Sebastian's Song was brought out by groom James Njuguna for trainer Alec Fehr. The son of Cherokee Run finished third beaten 3 3/4 lengths in the Plate Trial in his final start. Fehr said, "We have pretty much the same game plan as the Plate Trial. He'll be stalking the pace. He kicked in too soon and was really hard on the bridle (in the Trial), so we're going to try to make him wait a little longer in the Plate, maybe move him at the 1/4 pole. He plays for the first 3/4 of a mile, but once he gets down to business he's good. He does whatever we ask of him." David Clark, who was aboard for the first time in the Trial, retains the mount for owner Centennial Farms (Niagara) Inc.

D. Flutie, who was not very cooperative with the posed shots, was escorted to the paddock by groom Christine Windsor for trainer Mike Keogh and owner-breeder Gus Schickedanz, the connections of 2003 Triple Crown winner Wando. However, D. Flutie is winless in four starts including a close third in his last outing, a 9 furlong maiden event on June 1. Keogh said, "I liked him right from the beginning. He's a strong, long-striding horse with natural speed. I was really impressed (in his last start). He fought right to the end. He's learning all the time and he's getting better. Hopefully he brings his best on the big day." Groom Windsor added, "He's a lot like Mobil. He doesn't like to be fussed over. He kicks a lot as well. His stall is padded for that reason. When I brush his back end he doesn't like it at all. You just have to keep your wits about you when you're around him. What he does like is carrots, apples, and pears." Regular rider Emile Ramsammy retains the mount on Sunday.

Jungle Brew was the last horse in the ring, brought over from the barn by groom Alfonso Calixtro, one of two Stronach Stables entrants trained by Brian Lynch (the other being Woodbine Oaks winner Ginger Brew, who replaces the scratched Harlem Rocker). The son of Milwaukee Brew will be making just his third lifetime start after finishing second in his first two tries, both in maiden company. He was beaten just 1/2 a length in a 1 1/8 mile race on June 1 as the heavy favorite. Lynch said, "You can't help but be happy with the progression he's shown. He's not as far along in terms of race experience but he's really maturing and coming into the race in good form. I really liked what he showed in that last race. He came from way out of it in a race that didn't have much pace. He closed with a lot of zip." Belmont Park leading rider Eibar Coa, who would have ridden Harlem Rocker, will be in the irons on Sunday.

All the Queen's Plate probable starters:

D. FlutieGus SchickedanzMike KeoghEmile Ramsammy
DeputiformerDavid JamesMike DePauloJerry Baird
Dylan's ChoiceWinter Road Racing CorporationDesmond MaynardChantal Sutherland
East End TapSheik Yobuti Racing Stable Inc.Reade BakerTyler Pizarro
Ginger BrewStronach StablesBrian LynchJavier Castellano
Harvest HomeSam-Son FarmMark FrostadCorey Fraser
Jungle BrewStronach StablesBrian LynchEibar Coa
Mamma's KnightMike KowalskiSam DiPasqualeJustin Stein
Not BourbonCharles FipkeRoger AttfieldJono Jones
PalmersMelynk Racing Stables Inc.Mark CassePatrick Husbands
Sebastian's SongCentennial Farms (Niagara) Inc.Alec FehrDavid Clark
ShadowlessHeather TakahashiDavid BellEmma-Jayne Wilson
Silver JagEarl DaynesJosie CarrollSlade Callaghan
SolitaireWilliam CliftonJames BondRobert Landry
Took the TimeEarle I. MackMark CasseRamon Dominguez

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