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Amis Gizmo is the favorite for the 154th Queen's Plate on Sunday.
The post positions for Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate Stakes were selected during a special breakfast ceremony on Wednesday morning. Connections, media, and officials gathered in the trackside tent instead of the walking ring, a change for this year. This year marks the 157th edition of the Plate, the oldest continuously-run stakes race in North America, which is run at 1 1/4 miles over the Tapeta surface at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The Plate is the premier race for Canadian-foaled 3-year-olds and the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. Colts and geldings carry the standard weight of 126 pounds while filly Gamble's Ghost, second as the favorite in the Woodbine Oaks gets a 5 pound allowance.
Drawing the selection order with Racing Secretary Stu Slagle, jockey Sandy Hawley, and track announcer Robert Geller.
Selection order is determined using a double-blind random draw of numbered pills and entry forms. After using the "draft" draw for 15 years, Woodbine brought back the traditional double-blind draw for this year's Plate. Retired Hall of Fame jockey Sandy Hawley, winner of four Queen's Plates, randomly drew the entry sheets out of the box, handing these to track announcer Robert Geller while racing secretary Stu Slagle drew the 13 numbered balls.
Some of the Queen's Plate jockeys pose with the trophy after the draw. From left to right they are: David Moran, Patrick Husbands, Rafael Hernandez, Sheena Ryan, Simon Husbands, Gary Boulanger, Luis Contreras, Emma-Jayne Wilson, Eurico Rosa da Silva, and Alan Garcia.
Leavem in Malibu is the 7-2 second choice in the morning line and drew post 4, making his stakes debut off an allowance win on May 29. Regular rider Gary Boulanger gets the call for trainer Mark Casse, who said, “Honestly, for the cards we’ve been dealt, with our late start, I don’t think you could have accomplished much more. I’m real happy with where’s he’s at, and what he’s done. We’re ready. I think he’s got enough speed that he can be forwardly placed; I’d rather not be real far back. Hopefully he can save some ground in the first turn, and start sorting things out down the backside.”.
The Queen's Plate draw board with Chelsea who hung the names.
Post time for the Plate will be 5:36pm ET on Sunday July 3 and the race will be televised on CTV and TSN2 in Canada from 4:30 - 6:00. The full card will be simulcast to many locations throughout North America, and be broadcast on TVG in America and HPI in Canada. The Plate will be carded as race 10 with a 5:36pm post time and there are 4 stakes races on the undercard. The stakes quintet begins wih the $200,000 Highlander (G2) for older horses sprinting 6 furlongs on the turf (race 4, 1:39pm), followed by the $100,000 Charlie Barley for 3-year-olds at 1 mile on the turf (race 6, 2:53pm, the $150,000 Singspiel (G3) for older horses at 1 1/2 miles on turf (race 8, 4:18pm), the $200,000 Dance Smartly (G2) for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf (race 9, 4:51pm). For the early birds, the first race on the card (post time 12 noon) is a $55,900 maiden special weight for older fillies and mares going 5 furlongs clockwise on the turf, part of Woodbine's "EuroTurf" promotion.
Below are the entries for the 2016 Queen's Plate with post positions, morning line odds, trainer, jockey, and a link to a full profile from Woodbine. Free past performances are available here from BRISnet.com (look for Shakhimat.)
|1||Mike||John LeBlanc Jr.||David Moran||30-1|
|2||Narrow Escape||Justin Nixon||Sheena Ryan||30-1|
|3||All On Red||Sid Attard||Eurico Rosa da Silva||12-1|
|4||Leavem in Malibu||Mark Casse||Gary Boulanger||7-2|
|5||Sir Dudley Digges||Mike Maker||Julien Leparoux||15-1|
|6||Shakhimat||Roger Attfield||Emma-Jayne Wilson||5-1|
|7||My Name Is Jim||Reade Baker||Jesse Campbell||30-1|
|8||Rocket Plan||John LeBlanc Jr.||Simon Husbands||30-1|
|9||Cheburashka||Robert Tiller||Rafael Hernandez||30-1|
|10||Amis Gizmo||Josie Carroll||Luis Contreras||3-1|
|11||Esposito||Tom Proctor||Alan Garcia||8-1|
|12||Scholar Athlete||Graham Motion||Jose Ortiz||12-1|
|13||Gamble's Ghost||Josie Carroll||Patrick Husbands||6-1|
Executive Chef George Correia provided the food for the draw.
The Queen's Plate Trophy
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