On an overcast afternoon at Woodbine, the filly Inglorious overcame 16 male rivals, carrying 121lbs over a mile and a quarter, to capture the 152nd running of the Queen's Plate. It was a stunning afternoon of racing which enticed the bettors to pour in $8.8 million on the day, $2.9 million of which was bet on the Plate.
Below is a photo essay of the card, with race video, and a brief recap of the events. As always, double-left click the image to enlarge and use your "BACK" button to return to the photo essay.
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Signature Red uncorked a powerful performance in the Highlander sprinting down the rail under jockey Luis Contreras to nip Fiddlers Patriot at the wire. It was the first of two stakes wins on the card for Contreras...a little more about that second win later in this post.
Heros Reward is a two-time winner at Woodbine
Speedster Essence Hit Man stares down the barrel of the camera
This suit comes in many colours including Silver Timber grey
Wave hello to Jungle Wave
Nordic Truce and Garrett Gomez get ready to go-go
Richard Dos Ramos readies to get Riding the River rolling
Show me your Paso Doble
Heros Reward put in a heroic effort despite encountering traffic
Fiddlers Patriot tunes up for his first Woodbine turf tilt
Stormy Lord cut back in distance for the Highlander
The Hit Man ready to fire on the E.P Taylor turf course
Signature Red surges to the lead
Signed, sealed and delivered
The second happiest moment of the day for Luis Contreras at Woodbine
Signature Red survived an inquiry to keep the victory
Signature Red wins the G2 Highlander
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Three gallant greys got to the wire ahead of the others in the twelve furlong Singspiel. Nine-year-old Musketier, trained by Roger Attfield, increased his record to two-for-two on the Woodbine turf (having won the 2009 Singspiel) with a neck victory over Grassy who held on over a rallying Windward Islands. The third-place finisher had a troubled trip when blocked behind a wall of horses in deep stretch.
To the 71-year-old Attfield’s delight, the nine-year-old son of Acatenango-Surumu continues to get the job done.
“He’s got some idiosyncrasies and some problems like myself,” grinned Attfield. “If you look after them and keep them happy - he goes out in the pen a lot in the daytime - they give it back to you. He’s just a great guy. We’re both grey, I know that.”
Musketier wins the Singspiel
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A 17-horse field, and their well-dressed connections, crowded the walking ring at Woodbine on Sunday. More than 30,000 fans were on hand to see the spectacle and many gathered by the paddock for a closer look at the horses and the hats in the minutes before the race.
As I snapped photos before the big race, I was taken with how calm the filly Inglorious was despite the amped up atmosphere. The Hennessy-Noble Strike filly was walked in quiet circles by her groom, her head slung low, seemingly oblivious to the battle that was to come.
When the horses were loaded into the gate, the tension at Woodbine was unbelievable and the crowd roared along with track announcer Dan Loiselle as the cavalry charged down the stretch for the first time. Jockey Luis Contreras would work his plan to perfection, following the favoured Check Your Soul around the course, before blowing by the field in the final sixteenth of a mile to the delight of the grandstand.
The classy Contreras joined the crowd in clapping for the filly in the moments after the race as he paraded Inglorious in front of the grandstand. An emotional Josie Carroll thanked her team of handlers for their efforts and owners Donna and Vern Dubinsky (Donver Stables) delighted in picking up the Queen's Plate trophy.
Inglorious maintained her calm demeanor throughout the proceedings as camera crews surrounded the winners enclosure. A groom gave the filly a final turn in front of me before taking her back to the barn and she responded by sticking her tongue out at the camera...if she winked I would fainted. The whole event seemed just that easy for the filly.
More words on the race itself later this week. For now, please enjoy the photos below.
There can be only one winner...
The Queen's Plate jocks walk through the crowd to the walking ring
Dressed to match the silks of Okiyama
A stand out appearance in the walking ring
Is this the best hat of the day?
A warm greeting for Emma-Jayne
Queen'splatekitten couldn't scratch out a victory in the Plate
Calm before a storming stretch run
Pender Harbour will sail home third
John Mattine and jockey Jesse Campbell talk strategy
West Point Thoroughbred's Enduring Star will shine another day
Maple Leaf Kitten and Omar Moreno under the Woodbine marquee
Tyler Pizarro has his game face on as he prepares to unleash Hippolytus
The deadly combo of John Velazquez and Todd Pletcher escort Queen'splatekitten to the poly
Bowman's Causeway strolls to the track
Add the improving Seawatch to the watch list...
The favoured Check Your Soul greeted by the Woodbine faithful
A comforting pat on the neck for Bowman's Causeway
Check Your Soul was a bit lathered up on parade
Maple Leaf Kitten's engine wasn't purring on this day
Justin Stein and Ojibway Signal on parade
Seventeen horses charge down the stretch into the first turn
Inglorious gets in position early behind Check Your Soul
Inglorious surges to the lead in the stretch run
Contreras switches the whip
The lady is a champ
Keep bouncing! Inglorious still hopping after the wire
I did it boss!
Contreras joins the crowd by clapping for Inglorious
The grandstand acknowledges the conquering heroine
Graceful and calm even in the eye of the media storm
It's all in the presentation
Girls rule, boys drool
Inglorious wins the Queen's Plate
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