Wednesday evening brings a pair of interesting races at Woodbine. One features a talented field of fillies and the other marks the return of Queen's Plate winner Not Bourbon.
It was cold and grey on the backstretch this morning
Amazon Belle, a favourite filly of Triple Dead Heat, was entered last Saturday only to have the end of that card canceled due to inclement weather. Never fear, the Tiller filly returns in the second race on Wednesday night in a short, but tough, field of six going six furlongs.
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Stars Brew (FL) 3/F L P Husbands 121 B A Lynch 8/1
2 Exclusive Love (KY) 3/F L C Fraser 121 M E Casse 6/1
3 Crimson Glory (ON) 3/F L J L Castanon 118 W A Ward 3/1
4 Amazon Belle (ON) 3/F L E R Da Silva 120 R P Tiller 2/1
5 Lela (FL) 3/F L L Contreras 121 S M Asmussen 5/2
6 Shukriya (KY) 3/F L C Sutherland 121 M Mattine 8/1
* Note that Jesus Castanon is here riding Crimson Glory for Wes Ward - it is his only mount on the card. Read into that what you will.
The evening card also features the return of 2008 Queen's Plate champion Not Bourbon who has been idle since his commanding victory in the Overskate Stakes in September 2008. Not Bourbon notched a five-furlong bullet breeze in 58.40 last Thursday prepping for this six furlong sprint.
Not Bourbon's main competition will be Drunken Love who won the 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton Stakes last year.
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Costalivin (ON) 4/C L J McAleney 122 J A Ross 12/1
2 Me the Sea and G T (ON) 4/G L O Moreno 1175 A R Katryan 20/1
3 Drunken Love (ON) 5/G L G Olguin 124 N McKnight 5/2
4 Paso Doble (KY) 4/G L P Husbands 120 S C Attard 3/1
5 Bob's Ring (ON) 4/G L E Ramsammy 118 L Silvera 6/1
6 Dancer's Bajan (ON) 6/G L E R Da Silva 118 R P Tiller 8/1
7 Not Bourbon (ON) 5/H L J C Jones 118 R L Attfield 9/5
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Looking ahead to the weekend, the big event for horses on the Queen's Plate trail will be the Queenston Stakes raced at a distance of seven furlongs. The field is likely to include top contenders Hollinger, D's Wando, Ghost Fleet and Stormy Lord. As well, there is a chance we'll get to see Artic Fern, Fastin Bear and Race For Gold.
It was so grey this morning, this horse is actually a chestnut
Emma-Jayne Wilson was aboard D's Wando for a workout on Sunday morning covering five furlongs in 1:02, while Jim McAleney piloted Stormy Lord through a breeze in 1:00.20 as the Ian Black trained duo prepared for the Queenston.
As much as you want to enjoy these moments leading up to the Queen's Plate and embrace new contenders, it's all too easy to look at the calendar and realize that the 1 1/16-mile Marine on May 29 and the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial on June 13 are fast approaching.
Given the weekend results, I have adjusted my Queen's Plate contender rankings to reflect last weekend's results and also the inactivity of a number of contenders running out of time to be ready for the event.
Roger Attfield's Mobilizer jumped from 17th to 8th on the list taking over from Captain Canuck who drops down to eleventh. Mobilizer won impressively on Saturday with Captain Canuck, and a host of other contenders, in his wake.
One recent commenter wondered why Mobilizer was not on my list for the Queen's Plate Fantasy Challenge. The answer is that the Media's selections were due the day before Mobilizer's debut at Keeneland in a field that included Captain Canuck. Having left myself a choice between Captain Canuck and Mobilizer for the pool, I went with the former who had a race under his belt. I've not given up on that selection yet.
The horse not on my list that gives me the most to worry about is Stormy Lord. Since the Queen's Plate Fantasy Challenge is a competition based on purse earnings,I made a few choices to eliminate having all my picks racing against each other in prep race events. The $150K Queenston is a good example of a big time race where the purse earnings will be quickly consumed by the top two finishers. Third place, worth 11% of the purse, is a lot less money than what a lesser horse might earn by winning an allowance or MSW event. (Yes, Roman Games, I'm looking at you...go earn me some fantasy dollars!)
I can happily report that I am currently in first place in the Media Division with earnings of $257,752. That amount is good for 37th in the overall competition, the leader is Dawn Anderson with earnings of $296,470.
Also of note in my rankings, Cognashene drops down to 17th off Saturday's performance and the inactive Takiddm has been moved off the Top 20 entirely. I'll try and follow-up on the whereabouts of Takiddm soonish.
D's Legend Storm moved from 13th to 9th thanks to a win on May 7th. Who's Big Daddy, winner of the Clarendon Stakes, drops down to #13 off a lacklustre 12th place finish on Sunday.
New to the Top 20 are Dark Cloud Dancer and Vicar Street at 14th and 20th respectively. To see the full list of Queen's Plate Contenders, please CLICK HERE.
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This fella was happy to be inside with a roof over his head instead of mucking about in the poly
Friday's card brings two more interesting events featuring full fields of mostly Ontario-sired competition. Silent Running is entered in the eighth race which is a seven furlong sprint for non-winners of two. Silent Running broke his maiden November 28, 2009 going 7F in a $56K MSW at Woodbine defeating Beihai Park and My Knight Indeed. On Friday Silent Running, with Eurico Rosa da Silva at the helm, will be the lone 3YO in a full field of fourteen. To see the entries, please CLICK HERE.
The ninth race marks the 2010 debut of Kevin Rawks in a $57K MSW event, restricted to Ontario-bred 3YO, sprinting six furlongs in another full field of 14 horses. The son of Bold Executive picked up a few pieces finishing third in three of four starts in 2009 and has been working forwardly for this debut. A recent breeze of 5F in 59 was best of 82 works on the day. To see the entries, please CLICK HERE. This is certainly the sort of event where a new contender can step forward with a big performance.
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As you might have guessed from the photos above, I spent a bit of time on the backstretch this morning and will have a few photos and interviews posted later this week.
I'll be in New York for a week starting tomorrow and while the posts might be a bit less frequent, I'm hopeful of having some good news regarding Careless Jewel's debut in the Shuvee on Saturday. At the very least, there'll be photos from Belmont Park - hopefully one in the winners circle.