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Holy Smokes! Guy Caballero pulls 20-1 shocker in Plate Trial

June 11, 2017

TORONTO, June 11—Guy Caballero, a 20-1 longshot, rallied from last place in the field of six to score by a half-length in Sunday’s $125,000 Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine.

Ridden by Rafael Hernandez and trained by Catherine Day Phillips for owner-breeder Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry, Guy Caballero recorded his first stakes win in the 1 1/8 mile Plate Trial, which is a major stepping-stone to the 1 ¼ mile Queen’s Plate on July 2.

“I got a good trip,” said Hernandez. “That’s what Catherine and I were talking about; just get a good break and relax the horse—just put him clear in the turn, and make sure he got a clear trip and give it everything he had in the stretch. He sure showed up today.”

Finishing behind Guy Caballero were the Mark Casse-trained pair of King and His Court and State of Honor.

King and His Court had stalked the pace on the inside from fourth under regular rider Gary Boulanger and rallied up the rail to edge out State of Honor for second money by a neck.

“He looked like he was lumbering today,” said Casse. “Some days he comes with a big kick and today he was lumbering.”

State of Honor, who had been keeping company with the best 3-year-olds in the U.S. this year, was coming into the Plate Trial off a 19th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.

Sent off as the even-money favorite, State of Honor assumed his expected position on the front end and maintained a short lead through steady fractions of :24.01, :48.66 and 1:12.55.

Holding on through a mile in 1:37.89, State of Honor just failed to stay out the final furlong under jockey Patrick Husbands.

“State of Honor ran big because he missed a little time after the Derby,” said Casse. “I told the Conrads (owner/breeders Manfred and Penny Conrad) that this race should help him. There’s still the question if he can go a mile and a quarter.”

Tiz A Slam, trained by Roger Attfield and sent off as the 5-2 second choice, was within striking range throughout but appeared to stall slightly around the final turn before finishing smartly to be beaten just 1 ¾-lengths in fourth.

The final time was 1:51.32.

Guy Caballero made his second start of the season in the Plate Trial after finishing second in an allowance race in his seven-furlong opener.

“He was ready to run, but he certainly wasn’t at his best in his first race,” said Day Phillips. “He’d trained well since, and he had five weeks between his last race and this race.

“But he hadn’t run recently against this time of horses. I was confident that he’d run a good race but I wasn’t sure how he would stack up.”

Guy Caballero paid $42.60, $13.60 and $6.00 across the board and fronted a 5-2 exactor of $168.60 with King and His Court ($5.10, $3.10). State of Honor ($2.60) completed a 5-2-3 trifecta worth $756.90 and the 5-2-3-1 superfecta paid $838.35 for $1.​

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