0 2021 Queen's Plate Entries
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2021 Queen's Plate Entries

Woodbine Oaks winner Munnyfor Ro is the 4-1 morning line second choice in post 6 for the 162nd Queen's Plate on Sunday.

Date: 08/18/2021

The post positions for Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate Stakes were selected during a special breakfast ceremony on Wednesday morning at the Trackside Clubhouse (formerly the standardbred paddock), before a crowd of owners, officials, media, and horsemen. This year marks the 162th 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, and this year a field of 13 made final entry. Colts and geldings carry the standard weight of 126 pounds while the filly Munnyfo Ro carries 121 pounds. With just 13 (the limit is 17) the auxiliary gate will not be needed this year.

Drawing the selection order with Canadian Olympic swimmer Kayla Sanchez and racing secretary Scott Lane.
In what has become an annual "state of the industry" address, Woodbine chairman and CEO Jim Lawson spoke about changes to Canadian law to allow single event sports betting and how the pari-mutuel system used by horse racing would suffer under the new regime. With this new competition in mind Woodbine needs to diversify its income sources, not just by accepting sports bets through its updated Dark Horse online wagering platform, but also developing much of the mostly unused property on the grounds for other uses, specifically expanded casino floors and a new trackside hotel, and eventually a GO Train station to improve public transit access from downtown Toronto. The latter project is currently stalled due to ongoing discussions between the municipal and provincial governments with respect to zoning laws.

Selection order is determined using the traditional double-blind random draw of numbered pills and entry forms. Canadian Olympic swimmer Kayla Sanchez randomly drew the entry sheets out of the box while racing secretary Scott Lane drew the 13 numbered balls. At the recently completed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Sanchez won a silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay, and then a bronze in the 4x100m medley relay. Her teammate in both relays, Canada's most decorated Olympian Penny Oleksiak, will be an honored guest at Woodbine on Plate day and will call "Riders Up" in the paddock for the race. After a 5 minute break where connections could "huddle" at their tables to discuss strategy, each horse's representative (any or all of trainer, owner, or jockey) came up to pick the post position.

Some of the Queen's Plate jockeys pose with Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson and drawmaster Kayla Sanchez. Left to right: Kazushi Kimura, Antonio Gallardo, Justin Stein, Emma-Jayne Wilson, Jim Lawson, Kayla Sanchez, Gary Boulanger, Jason Hoyte, Keveh Nicholls
Keep Grinding is the lukewarm 4-1 favorite on the morning line for trainer Tino Attard, off a 2nd place finish in the Marine Stakes (G3) against open company. New jockey Rafael Hernandez gets the call for 17-year-old owner Joshua Attard, grandson of the trainer. The owner said he didn't name the horse, but that "I'm a hockey player and his name reflects my approach when I'm playing. I am very excited and its also very nerve wracking (to try to be the first Attard to own a Plate winner, for his grandfather). Keep Grinding always tries, if you watch all his races, he never gives up and I know on Sunday hell show up."

Munnyfo Ro, the lone filly in the field, is the 9-2 second choice for trainer Kevin Attard, who has 4 horses entered in the race. She won the Woodbine Oaks last out after finishing 2nd in the Selene Stakes (G3) Regular rider Justin Stein breaks from post 6. Attard said, "She came out of the race (Oaks) great, had a really good work in the interim, Shes in the feed tub, she looks ready to fire for us again."

Trainer Kevin Attard had four horses to select post positions for.
New York invader Safe Conduct is the 5-1 third choice. He was 8th in the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) after finishing 4th in the Pennine Ridge (G3) at Belmont Park. New jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. will break from the rail (Safe Conduct was last in the selection order) for trainer Phil Serpe. Serpe said via videoconference, "It's clear to us that he doesn't like the slop (when 4th in the off-turf Pennine Ridge beaten 13 lengths) so we think he'd prefer a synthetic track. He's a horse that likes to train, loves his job. I'd like to thank you for not putting any pressure on me to pick a post position! I'm going to leave it to Irad to get him in position to win."

The 6-1 fourth choice is Riptide Rock for trainer Sid Attard, who was first to select and chose the 7 for jockey David Moran. He comes here off a 6 furlong allowance win at Woodbine on July 16. Attard said, "When I ran him at 1 1/16 (at Oaklawn Park) he ran really good so I think he'll get the distance."

The Queen's Plate draw board with post positions.
Post time for the Plate will be 5:42pm ET on Sunday August 22 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. 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 9 and there are 3 stakes races on the undercard, all of which are run on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. The stakes action kicks off with the $150,000 Ontario Colleen Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies going 1 mile, carded as race 6 at 3:03PM. The $175,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (G2) is Race 9 for older fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles at 4:55PM, immediately before the Plate. After the feature, the $350,000 Highlander Stakes (G1) is Race 10 for older horses at 6 furlongs at 6:25PM. If you are a fan of turf racing, it is worth noting that all but 2 of the 13 races on the card (the 7th race, an optional claimer, and the Plate itself) will be turf events, either on the outer Taylor course or the inner course.

Below are the entries for the 2021 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 Riptide Rock)

Queen's Plate Poll
Who will win the Queen's Plate?

Safe Conduct
Harlan Estate
Take a Chance
H C Holiday
Munnyfor Ro
Riptide Rock
Keep Grinding
Go Take Charge
Dance Some Mo
Tidal Forces

1Safe ConductPhilip SerpeIrad Ortiz Jr.5-1
2Harlan EstateKevin AttardKazushi Kimura10-1
3HaddassahKevin AttardGary Boulanger10-1
4Take a ChanceCatherine Day PhillipsKeveh Nicholls20-1
5H C HolidayKevin AttardLuis Contreras15-1
6Munnyfor RoKevin AttardJustin Stein9-2
7Riptide RockSid AttardDavid Moran6-1
8Keep GrindingTino AttardRafael Hernandez4-1
9Go Take ChargeBreeda HayesSahin Civaci30-1
10Dance Some MoGraham MotionPatrick Husbands12-1
11AvomanDon MacRaeAntonio Gallardo8-1
12Tidal ForcesGail CoxEmma-Jayne Wilson12-1
13DerzkiiCarlos GrantJason Hoyte30-1

The Queen's Plate and Canadian Triple Crown trophies
Queen's Plate info online:

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