Ashley Mailloux Handicaps The Queens’s Plate
August 21, 2021 – Looking at the field for this year’s Queen’s Plate, there are several directions one could go. The 4-1 morning line favourite #8 Keep Grinding enters the Plate off a second place finish in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes on July 11. He showed more than he did in his first start of the year and was quite game throughout. He’ll get a new rider today, as his regular rider, Justin Stein, will pilot the filly, Munnyfor Ro, winner of the 2021 Woodbine Oaks. He looks to be moving in the right direction this year and could improve making his third start off the long layoff.
Other intriguing prospects include #11 Avoman, who won the Plate Trial last time out against a compact field of four runners and his jockey, Antonio Gallardo, rode him beautifully in that race. In his races this year, he’s stamped himself as a two-turn runner and loved the additional ground last time out, which is promising. #10 Dance Some Mo, who finished second in his Canadian debut last time out, seemed to handle the Tapeta quite well. He had the lead late, but was caught by Harlan Estate, who he’ll face once again. He’s excelled at a mile and eighth and his one trip at a mile and a quarter was a troubled one so the distance should not be an issue.
There are a few contenders in the field with some big questions to answer, including #7 Riptide Rock, who has two wins under his belt and they’ve both been locally at Woodbine. With that said, both of those wins were six furlong sprints. He spent the earlier part of 2021 at Oaklawn Park and showed the ability to go long on the dirt, but can he go long on the Tapeta? #1 Safe Conduct enters the Plate off an eighth place finish in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby where he raced without Lasix and faced some extremely tough competition. His two career wins have been at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf in New York. With that said, he’s never raced on Tapeta and will have to prove himself on a new surface. Irad Ortiz Jr. is set to ride this son of Bodemeister for the first time.
Good luck to all the connections,
Project Lead, 1/ST Racing and Analyst (GP, FE)
Winner: #8 Keep Grinding (4-1 ML)
Longshot: #11 Avoman (8-1 ML)
$20 Win 8 = $20
$2 Exactor Box 7,8,11 = $12
$1 Triactor 8,11/7,8,10,11/1,7,8,10,11 = $18