TORONTO, April 13 – Time to Travel, an impressive maiden winner at Gulfstream Park last time out, will take a step up in class in Saturday’s Grade 3 Lexington Stakes, at Keeneland.
Time to Travel, a full brother to popular multiple graded stakes winner Hard Not to Like, earned a lofty 88 Beyer Speed Figure on graduation when sprinting seven furlongs on the Gulfstream main.
Initially trained by Rachel Halden, owner-breeder Garland Williamson transferred the Hard Spun grey to the care of Michael Matz following that score. Time to Travel will now try two turns for the first time as he travels 1 1/16-miles in the $200,000 Lexington (Race 9, 5:34 PM ET) versus a field that includes the graded stakes placed No Dozing and the aptly named west coast invader, West Coast.
Edgar Prado retains the mount.
Fleetway, a maiden winner at Woodbine, will make his third start of 2017 in a seven furlong allowance sprint on Friday (Race 1, 1:05PM ET) at Keeneland.
The Creative Cause colt competes for last year’s Queen’s Plate winning combo of trainer Michael Maker and owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey.
Off Road will look to earn his first career win in on Saturday at Oaklawn Park (Race 6, 3:21 PM ET) when routing 1 1/16-miles over the natural dirt surface. The talented Quality Road colt missed by a head last time but will have the services of rider Mike Smith on Saturday.
Holy Helena debuts in Saturday’s opener at Aqueduct (Race 1, 1:20PM ET) for owner-breeder Frank Stronach.
The dark bay filly is a half-sister to Holy Boss a winner of six of 19 starts including the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga. A typically well-bred Stronach filly, Holy Helena is from the same family as graded stakes winners Rookie Sensation and Mark One.
A pair of Queen’s Plate hopefuls will make their seasonal debut on Sunday at Woodbine including Fresh Princess (Race 1, 1PM) and Gordie Mac (Race 9, 5:26 PM).
There were four Queen’s Plate contenders in action last weekend with one race, a one-mile turf allowance at Keeneland on April 8, featuring the trio of Channel Maker (4th), Escondera (6th) and Be Counted (12th).
Bourbon Extension failed to fire when 11th in a maiden allowance sprint on April 8 at Keeneland.
A number of key contenders popped up on the work tab last week including:
King and His Court worked five furlongs handily in 1:00 flat on April 13 on the Woodbine Tapeta. Rank 3/17
Yorkton breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 on April 13 on the Woodbine Tapeta. Rank 6/17
Woodbridge breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 on April 11 on the Woodbine Tapeta. Rank 10/16
Ellan Vannin breezed four furlongs in :48.80 on April 11 on the Woodbine Tapeta. Rank 7/16
Expedition worked five furlongs handily in 1:00 flat on the Woodbine Tapeta. Rank 3/14
Jurojin breezed four furlongs in :49.20 on April 9 on the Woodbine Tapeta. Rank 39/66
Woodbridge is back home at Woodbine…
Updated Top 5 Queen’s Plate Contenders as selected by @TripleDeadHeat
Horse / Trainer / Owner
1. Tiz a Slam / Roger Attfield / Chiefswood Stable
2. State of Honor / Mark Casse / Conrad Farms
3. Channel Maker / Dan Vella / Joey Gee Thoroughbreds and Wachtel Stable
4. Inflexibility / Chad Brown / Klaravich Stables, Inc. William H. Lawrence
5. King and His Court / Mark Casse / Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable
The 158th running of The Queen’s Plate, the 1 1/4-mile classic which carries a $1 million purse, is set for Sunday, July 2. For more information on North America’s oldest continuously-run stakes event and first jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown of Racing, visit QueensPlate.com.