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Plate Trial winner Clayton (outside) is the 2-1 morning line favorite in post 12 for the 161st Queen's Plate on Sunday.
Results are here!
The post positions for Saturday's $1 million Queen's Plate Stakes were selected during a live-streamed broadcast hosted by Jason Portuondo on Wednesday morning. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the traditional breakfast event was cancelled, however the "draft draw" system was still conducted, with connections of each horse choosing his or her post either live on stage or by phone. This year marks the 161st 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. With the late start to the season, the Plate was postponed from its usual early July date to September, and with travel restrictions into the country, only locally based jockeys have been assigned mounts. The Plate is the premier race for Canadian-foaled 3-year-olds and the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, and this year a field of 14 made final entry. Colts and geldings carry the standard weight of 126 pounds while fillies Curlin's Voyage and Merveilleux carry 121 pounds. With just 14 (the limit is 17) the auxiliary gate will not be needed this year.
In what has become an annual "state of the industry" address, Woodbine chairman and CEO Jim Lawson spoke on camera about the hard work by the horsemen to have racing with all the restrictions. "We made a commitment early on, if there was one thing we were going to do this year, it was to run the Queen's Plate. It's an important event historically. We wanted to keep that tradition (of being the oldest continuously-run stakes race on the continent) going and we were committed to doing so. Everybody back there (backstretch) has kept a safe environment and I want to thank everyone for getting us to this Saturday. It's been a lot of hard work over 3-4 months but we did it together by being cooperative and patient. I am excited to be here. What's gone on over the past 4 months is indicative of how strong we are as an organization, working with the government, capable of coming together to make this work. Our wagering has been excellent through this. In the end we have a great foundation to move forward. Our racetrack, safety protocols and procedures are solid. We miss our fans, and next year hopefully things will be back to normal."
Selection order is determined using the traditional double-blind random draw of numbered pills and entry forms. This process was conducted by racing secretary Scott Lane and was not shown during the live stream.
As expected Plate Trial Stakes winner Clayton is the 2-1 favorite in the morning line. Regular rider Rafael Hernandez gets the call aboard the son of Bodemeister from post 12. Trainer Kevin Attard, looking for his first Plate win, said, "He's been special from the get-go. He was an impressive maiden winner, so once that happened, the bell starts ringing in your head, and you're saying, 'Hey, maybe I've got a good three-year-old here.' He followed it up with a good race first time out this year – didn't win but had traffic trouble – and I think he learned a lot. That was encouraging. Obviously, he's won his last two since then and stretched out. He's doing everything you want him to. Hopefully, he just needs to get a little bit better one more time and maybe he can put everything together." Attard also trains the filly Merveilleux who is 10-1 morning line from post 2 with Kazushi Kimura in the irons.
Woodbine Oaks winner Curlin's Voyage is the second choice at 2-1 from post 10 for the 161st Queen's Plate on Sunday.
Halo Again represents the powerful connections of trainer Steve Asmussen and owners Ron Winchell and Willis Horton, drawing post 6 as the 5-1 third choice with Luis Contreras aboard the son of Speightstown. The Coronation Futurity winner won the Queenston Stakes then was a close second in the Plate Trial. Asmussen said, "We feel very good about his chances," said Asmussen. "I thought he stayed on nicely [in the Plate Trial]. He came out of the race in great shape."
The Queen's Plate Trophy
The fourth choice on the morning line, with the rest of the field at double digit odds, is 8-1 Dotted Line for trainer Sid Attard. Justin Stein gets the call from post 9. Attard said of the Plate Trial 3rd place finisher, "He's a horse that always tries every time. He has run a lot of good races, and hopefully, he comes up with his biggest one on Saturday. He's coming around really nicely."
Post time for the Plate will be 5:41pm ET on Saturday September 12 and the race will be televised on CTV and TSN (in 4K) in Canada from 4:30 - 6:00, hosted by Brian Williams and Jim Bannon as part of the "Queen's Plate at Home" special. 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 and there are 4 stakes races on the undercard. Kicking off the stakes action will be the $100,000 King Corrie Stakes as Race 2 at 12:59pm for 3-year-olds sprinting 5 furlongs on the inner turf course. Race 8 is the $250,000 Bison City Stakes, the 2nd jewel of the Triple Tiara for 3-year-old Canadian-bred fillies going 1 1/16 miles on Tapeta, going to post at 4:17pm. Immediately before the Plate is the $300,000Canadian Stakes (G2) presented by the Japan Racing Association, an about 1 1/8 mile trip around one turn of the E.P. Taylor turf course for older fillies and mares, as Race 9 at 4:51pm. Closing out the Saturday stakes quintet is Race 12, the $100,000 Ruling Angel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on the Taylor course.
Below are the entries for the 2020 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 Tecumseh's War)
|1||Sweepin Hard||Daniel Vella||Leo Salles||50-1|
|2||Merveilleux (filly)||Kevin Attard||Kazushi Kimura||10-1|
|3||Belichick||Josie Carroll||Slade Callaghan||30-1|
|4||Truebelieve||Cole Bennett||Keveh Nicholls||30-1|
|5||Holyfield||Catherine Day Phillips||Darryll Holland||30-1|
|6||Halo Again||Steven Asmussen||Luis Contreras||5-1|
|7||Glorious Tribute||Barbara Minshall||David Moran||30-1|
|8||Olliemyboy||Sid Attard||Steven Bahen||30-1|
|9||Dotted Line||Sid Attard||Justin Stein||8-1|
|10||Curlin's Voyage (filly)||Josie Carroll||Patrick Husbands||5-2|
|11||F F Rocket||Albert Stall Jr.||Sahin Civaci||50-1|
|12||Clayton||Kevin Attard||Rafael Hernandez||2-1|
|13||Mighty Heart||Josie Carroll||Daisuke Fukumoto||20-1|
|14||Tecumseh's War||Catherine Day Phillips||Emma-Jayne Wilson||12-1|
Queen's Plate info online:
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