A race for three year-olds, run at a distance of a mile and a quarter, held at the host countries most famous racetrack…gotta be the Kentucky Derby, right? Except it’s held on the last Saturday in June, not the first Saturday in May.
We’re talking about the 160th running of the Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada. Indeed, the Queen’s Plate is The North’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby, a classic test for the best Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.
Like the KD, the Queen’s Plate Stakes typically draws a large and competitive field, where wide post positions aren’t necessarily a significant detriment. But the synthetic surface forces handicappers to think twice, even with horses in top form, the surface change tends to even the playing field.
The Queen’s Plate Stakes is race 10 on the card with a scheduled Post Time set for 5:36 p.m. Eastern Time. Here then a look at the field with a brief analysis and Morning Line odds:
1. DESERT RIDE (ML 8-1) It is not unusual to see legitimate filly contenders, Win this race. HOLY HELENA was Victorious in 2017, while WONDER GADOT took the crown just last year. If a hot pace materializes, expect her to show up late and get in the mix.
2. MOON SWING (ML 30-1) This gelding only finished fourth in the Plate Trial Stakes, but he did not lose by much after racing in mid-pack for most of the race. Evenly-paced horses in shorter races tend to handle the stretch out to 1 1/4 miles better than others. But he is still an 0-for-9 Maiden.
3. KRACHENWAGEN (ML 50-1) As with MOON SWING, he ran evenly in the Plate Trial Stakes by starting fifth and finishing fifth. At least this contender has a Win, which came in his career debut. Plus a third place finish in a local May 20 Starter Allowance race. Could out-run his odds.
4. PAY FOR PEACE (ML 15-1) His effort in the Plate Trial Stakes was perplexing. He stalked a fast pace set by FEDERAL LAW and then kicked on to Victory at 19-1 odds. Prior to that, he finished off-the-board in both of his Optional Claiming attempts this year. Seems as though his last race was the time to bet him on top, as his price will likely go down in this spot and he faces tougher competition.
5. ONE BAD BOY (ML 7/2) He ran a good 2nd in the Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate Park. But it is concerning that he pressed a moderate pace set by KINGLY and could not finish the job in the stretch run. Appears he will not be fond of this distance.
6. LUCAS N’ LORI (ML 50-1) With finishes of 10th and sixth in two optional claimers this year, it’s hard to fathom this one Winning here.
7. FEDERAL LAW (ML 15-1) Had a good effort in the Plate Trial Stakes. He secured the lead, opened up on the far turn through a fast pace and then held on for second place. Distance here will be the big question.
8. HE’S A MACHO MAN (ML 15-1) If you toss out a Gulfstream Park flop on the dirt, you see he is 2-for-2 locally. In his most recent Win, he only beat JAMMIN STILL, who ran 7th in the Plate Trial Stakes. Seemingly outclassed against this group, despite the local record.
9. SUITEDCONNECTED (ML 50-1) With two bad efforts in optional claimers on both synthetic and turf this year, it is hard to make a case for him Winning. His Maiden win came in a sprint.
10. SKYWIRE (ML 4-1) This Son of AFLEET ALEX rebounded nicely from his flop in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) by returning to Woodbine and Winning the Wando Stakes. Then he turned in another good effort in the Marine Stakes (G3) by finishing a closing second to GLOBAL ACCESS. Thinking he comes up a bit short here against tougher competition.
11. TONE BROKE (ML 6-1) The runner-up to KING FOR A DAY in the Sir Barton Stakes. Would LOVE to see him anywhere near 6-1 odds. He should get the distance, and his daddy- BROKEN VOW is a great synthetic surface sire.
12. JAMMIN STILL (ML 30-1) Since his Maiden Win, this colts best effort has been a close second to HE’S A MACHO MAN in an Optional Claimer. Then he finished a disappointing seventh in the Plate Trial Stakes. That’s enough reason to place other horses ahead of him here.
13. RISING STAR (ML 30-1) He has yet to Win in eight career starts. Though this Maiden did finish a closing third in the Plate Trial Stakes. In big races like this one, there is usually enough pace for a late closer like him to pick off tired horses for a piece.
14. AVIE’S FLATTER (ML 5/2) Locally, this horse is 2-for-2 on synthetic. He also owns a Win in the Cup and Saucer Stakes on turf, and backed up his quality form with a Victory in the Transylvania Stakes (G3) over at Keeneland. This is a good horse who loves this racing surface.
The Daily Racing Blog is all about Value plays. So the thinking here is that the #10 and #14 will receive a lot of play, (rightfully so) and could go off as co-favorites. No R.O.I. there boys and girls. So the DRB play will be; a Trifecta Key with the #11 on top of 1-2-3-10-14. As well as an Exacta Box using 1-2-3-11, and Win bets on those same four horses.
Best of luck no matter how you play it.