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Queen's Plate Barbecue

The connections and media view the Queen's Plate contenders in the walking ring at the barbecue

 • Queen's Plate Results
 • Queen's Plate Entries

Date: 6/20/11

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, while several Queen's Plate contenders are paraded in the walking 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. Conditions were ideal for this very popular event for the local racing community, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70's.

The post position draw for the 152nd running of the Queen's Plate will be held at a breakfast event on Thursday morning. Post time for the Plate will be 5:36pm ET on Sunday June 26th, the 10th race on the card. The race will be televised in Canada on CBC in high definition from 4:30 - 6:00pm ET and simulcast to many locations across North America. In additional, the full card will be available on TVG in the USA and HPI in Canada. Free past performances will be available from BRISnet late on Thursday and full profiles for each horse are available from Woodbine.
Entries were drawn on Thursday morning and a field of 17 was entered. Get the entries, post position, and morning line odds below. More info is available here.

At this year's Queen's Plate Barbecue, 11 of the expected 17 starters (the maximum) 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.

Check Your Soul was brought out to the ring by groom Keith Pollard. The Roger Attfield trained son of Perfect Soul out of Unbridled mare Unchecked comes to the Plate off consecutive wins in the Wando Stakes and the Plate Trial. Attfield said, "We knew from his pedigree he was bred to run 1 1/4 miles and the main goal was to get to the Queen's Plate. (The Plate Trial) was good performance for sure. I wasn't concerned about the poor start." He worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 on June 15, the second fastest of 22 works that morning. Regular rider Patrick Husbands gets the call on Sunday for owner-breeder Charles Fipke.

Ojibway Signal was brought out by groom Billy Joseph. The son of Niigon was third in a 9-furlong allowance last out. Trainer and co-owner David Bell said, "He's the type that always closes ground even in races that were too short for him. Hopefully we'll have a reasonable pace to work with. (The last race) was somewhat of a disappointment. I think he ran OK, there was no pace and he wasn't able to run his race." Regular rider Justin Stein will be in the irons for co-owners David Bell and Gus Vlahos.

Inglorious, the lone filly in the field but also the Winter Book favorite, was brought out by groom Victor James. The daughter of Hennessy out of Smart Strike mare Noble Strike won the La Lorgnette and the Woodbine Oaks and will face males for the first time on Sunday. trainer Josie Carroll said, She's relaxed and gives you what she's got. She's a very honest, professional filly. The (Oaks) pace was not the kind of pace that benefits a closer but this filly just gets the job done. She's got a tremendous reach in her stride when she finishes a race." Regular rider Luis Contreras will be aboard again for owners Donna and Vern Dubinsky.

Enduring Star was the first of three Mark Casse trainees to come out, and he was brought from the barn by groom Wayne Grant. He broke his maiden in his last start, and was 3rd in last year's Coronation Futurity. Casse said, "I don't see a problem with (the distance). When we ran him at Gulfstream he went 1 1/8 and was charging at the end and finished up strong." He worked 5/8 in 1:00.80 on June 17th, the 6th fastest of 32 that morning, after a bullet 1:00.00 on June 11. Robby Albarado will be aboard in the Plate for owner West Point Thoroughbreds.

Hippolytus was the second Casse horse to join the festivities, accompanied by groom Prince Parris. His name is from Green mythology and means "unleasher of horses", and he comes in off a 4th place effort in the Plate Trial after an allowance win in May. Mark Casse said, "(The Trial) was a big effort for him. He had such a big effort off the long layoff in his first start it's natural for him to decline. If that's the case then his next effort should be a big move forward. We're going to put blinkers on him, as Tyler (Pizarro) feels he gets intimidated by the other horses." Regular rider Pizarro will be in the irons for owners Horse'n Around Racing Stable and Richard Lederman.

Strike Oil was the third Casse horse to come out, led by groom Ivan Ford. The son of Forest Wildcat out of Silver Deputy mare Acadia was third in the Plate Trial in his final prep. Casse said, "Strike Oil is a puzzle. Some days he shows up, some days he doesn't. Luis (regular rider Contreras) things if we could get him to run in a straight line he would be very difficult. The problem is when he makes a run he tends to win to lay in on horses and go after them. I think he only has some much of a run in him and it's important to time it right. Hopefully there will be some pace and we can pick up the pieces." New jockey Willie Martinez gets the call on Sunday for owner John Oxley, as Contreras will be aboard filly and expected favorite Inglorious.

Head Honcho was accompanied by groom Brian Harris. He comes to the Plate off an allowance win on June 1 at 9 furlongs. Trainer Catherine Day-Phillips said, "He likes to win, that would be his biggest oplus. He's a cool customer, he thinks he's the Head Honcho that's for sure. When he ran his first race of the year he was only beaten 2 lengths and got a lot out of the race. He came back in great order and won his next start impressively." Regular rider Jono Jones gets the call on Sunday for owners Rocco D'Alimonte and Frank Annecchini.

Curgone was brought to the ring by groom Wayne Palmer. The Greg de Gannes trained son of 2004 Queen's Plate winner Niigon out of Tale of the Cat mare Curiosity comes to the Plate off a 4th place effort in an allowance. De Gannes said, "It's a tall order and he'll be a longshot. There are a million reasons to run in the Plate but he'll get the trip. He can be a little bit of a stubborn boy but he's been training really well." New jockey Garrett Gomez will come in to ride on Sunday. De Gannes added, "Garrett has been a friend since he rode Southern Exchange for me at Del Mar."

Pender Harbour was led into the ring by groom Howard Pottins. The Mike DePaulo trained son of Philanthropist comes to the Plate off a close 4th in the Victoria Park Stakes against open company. He is named after a popular tourist destination on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. DePaulo said, "That's a tall order going from 6 furlongs (allowance in May 13) to 1 1/8 miles (Victoria Park Stakes). With a little luck maybe we could have been right there at the wire. He was a little wild at the start, went up in the air like Trigger. But we've been schooling him steadily after that." New jockey Chantal Sutherland will fly in from California to ride for owners Robert and Roberta Giffin, Denny Andrews, and Sandra Lazaruk.

Okiyama came out to the walking ring led by groom Frank DiMarco. The son of Old Forester out of Dr. Adagio mare Sangoma comes to the Plate off an allowance win in just his 3rd lifetime start. Trainer John Mattine said, "He had a real quiet winter in Ontario. he's a horse that was growing and I thought we'd let him grow up a bit. I thought Luis (Contreras) rode a fantastic race. That's his running style but he's versatile and will do whatever we ask of him." New rider Jesse Campbell gets the call on Sunday for owners Rik Okihiro, Bill Patterson, and Tony Romanelli Sr.

One Big Gator was accompanied by groom O'Neil McLarty. The John Ross trained son of One Way Love comes to the Plate off a maiden win in his 6th lifetime start. Ross said of the winning effort, "We made some changes, took the blinkers off, and he reliaxed. He accelerated beautifully at the 1/4 pole and won nicely. He tries every single stride. He's a classy horse, nothing rattles him at all. He reminds me of (his 2002 entrant) Shaw's Creek. He's a big long leggy horse that has done everything we've asked." New rider Jim McAleney will be aboard for owners Bud and Jackie Reynolds.

All the Queen's Plate probable starters with their connections and a link to a full profile from Woodbine:

The Queen's Plate trophy




1ImhotepTodd Pletcher Emile Ramsammy 30-1
2CurgoneGreg De Gannes Garrett Gomez 50-1
3Oh CanadaRobert Tiller Emma-Jayne Wilson 10-1
4One Big GatorJohn Ross Jim McAleney 30-1
5Pender HarbourMike DePaulo Chantal Sutherland 12-1
6Head HonchoCatherine Day Phillips Jono Jones 3-01
7Strike OilMark Casse Willie Martinez 15-1
8OkiyamaJohn Mattine Jesse Campbell 30-1
9IngloriousJosie Carroll Luis Contreras 9-2
10Enduring StarMark Casse Robby Albarado 30-1
11Ojibway SignalDavid Bell Justin Stein 50-1
12SeawatchJosie Carroll undecided 20-1
13Check Your SoulRoger Attfield Patrick Husbands 3-1
14QueensplatekittenTodd Pletcher John Velazquez 12-1
15HippolytusMark Casse Tyler Pizzaro 30-1
16Bowman's CausewayChad Brown Eurico Rosa Da Silva 6-1
17Maple Leaf KittenJoe Woodard Omar Moreno 50-1

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