TORONTO, July 6, 2021 – Woodbine Entertainment today released an updated list of Canadian-bred three-year-olds that remain eligible to the $1 million Queen’s Plate, First Jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, to be run on Sunday, Aug. 22 at Woodbine Racetrack.
Forty-five contenders continue to target the 162nd running of The Queen’s Plate following the June 30 sustaining payment deadline.
Undefeated Sam-Son Farm homebred Tidal Forces recently stamped himself as a legitimate Plate contender following an impressive Tapeta triumph on June 19 over 1 1/16 miles. Known around the Gail Cox barn as ‘Brutus,’ the Malibu Moon-Ain’t No Tellin’ colt, who broke his maiden in April on the grass at Gulfstream Park, is now two-for-two. Sam-Son’s historic influence in the Queen’s Plate includes owning five past winners. Cox conditions another top contender for the connections in Tio Magico.
The team behind 2020 Queen’s Plate champion Mighty Heart, trainer Josie Carroll and owner/breeder Larry Cordes, could have a chance to repeat in the million-dollar Canadian classic with Trigger’s Bay. The Sligo Bay-Trigger Finger gelding earned his second straight win going seven furlongs on the Tapeta this past weekend. Carroll, a three-time Plate champion, also trains the first-out winner Maclean’s Posse and the unraced Desert Eagle.
Eight of the top 10 Winterbook selections remain eligible including pre-season favourite Weyburn, trained by James Jerkens and owned by Chiefswood Stables. The homebred Pioneerof the Nile-Sunday Affair colt kicked off his sophomore campaign in March by winning the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. More recently, he finished a close second to Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun in the Pegasus Stakes on June 13 at Monmouth Park, lifting his earnings over the $300,000 mark and putting his lifetime record at 2-2-0 from six starts. Chiefswood has another contender in the Todd Pletcher trainee Workin Out, who scored a maiden-breaking victory on the dirt going 1-1/16 miles on July 3 at Monmouth.
Cudney Stables’ Hombre also notched his first career win over the weekend, drawing away from his rivals at the end of a 1 1/16-mile turf test at Belmont Park. Bred by Joey Gee Thoroughbreds, the Tourist-Classic Soul colt, whose half-sister Speedy Soul enjoyed success in the Triple Tiara, was a high-end $120,000 yearling purchase at the 2019 CTHS Canadian-Bred Sale.
Named Canada’s Champion Two-Year-Old Male last year, Gretzky the Great remains eligible for two-time Queen’s Plate winners Mark Casse and Gary Barber, who co-owns with Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. The Nyquist-Pearl Turn colt won three in a row at Woodbine last year including the Soaring Free Stakes and Grade 1 Summer Stakes, then went on to finish sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland. He opened his sophomore season with a pair of stakes starts at Tampa Bay, hitting the board last time out in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes to push his bankroll to nearly $370,000.
Another Casse-trained contender is Tracey Farmer’s Master Spy, a winner of nearly $280,000 in purses and two races including the Cup and Saucer Stakes last year on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. He finished fifth when making his June 20 season’s debut in the Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine. Bred by Bernard & Karen McCormack, the Silent Name-Smart Catomine colt is half-brother to 2017 Prince of Wales champion Cool Catomine.
Unraced three-year-old Classified Trouble is a half-brother to 2019 Queen’s Plate champ One Bad Boy. The Palace Malice gelding, out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Cumulonimble, was bred by Ron Clarkson.
Kevin Attard conditions nine hopefuls including Al and Bill Ulwelling’s Stephen, who is well-suited for the mile and a quarter distance and would be seeking the elusive Coronation Futurity and Queen’s Plate double. Meanwhile, Attard’s teenage son, Joshua, is hoping for a family affair in this year’s Plate as owner of the nominated Tizway-Samsal colt Keep Grinding. Joshua’s grandfather, Tino, handles the training duties.
Other notables include Frost King Stakes champion Red River Rebel, owned and bred by Denny Andrews and Northern Dawn Stables, and Bull Page Stakes winner Avoman for trainer and co-owner Don MacRae.
Roger Attfield, one of the winningest trainers in the history of both the Queen’s Plate (8) and Canadian Triple Crown (3), has nominee Houdini’s Awesome in his care for owner Charles Fipke. The pair teamed up for a Plate victory in 2008 with Not Bourbon.
The list of Queen’s Plate nominees also includes Curlin’s Catch and Vivid Vixen, two of the 26 fillies eligible to the 66th running of the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser, which will be contested on Sunday, Aug. 1. Ten Strike Racing’s Youens has been supplemented to the Oaks.
The path to the Plate continues this weekend with local stakes preps at Woodbine, including the seven-furlong Queenston for Canadian-foaled three-year-olds and the Grade 3 Marine Stakes to be contested over 1 1/16 miles.
An additional $10,000 payment, or a supplementary fee of $25,000, is due upon entry to the Queen’s Plate.
There were 125 horses originally nominated to this year’s Queen’s Plate.
Click on the following links to view the complete updated list of three-year-olds nominated to the Queen’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks.