TORONTO, May 5 – Tiz a Slam, the 2017 Queen’s Plate Winterbook favourite, takes on five rivals, including Coronation Futurity champ King and His Court, in Sunday’s $100,000 Wando Stakes, at Woodbine.
Bred and owned by Chiefswood Stable, who took the 2004 edition of the ‘Gallop for the Guineas’ with Niigon, Tiz a Slam arrives at the 1 1/16-mile Tapeta event off a fifth-place effort in the grassy one-mile Columbia Stakes – contested at Tampa Bay Downs – on March 11.
Regular rider, Eurico Rosa da Silva, who leads the Woodbine standings with 11 wins (as of May 4), has had this race circled on his calendar for some time.
“I’m very excited,” said da Silva, who wasn’t in the irons for the Columbia. “He’s got real talent. He’s a very strong horse, but he’s also easy to ride. He can be feisty, but he always does everything you want.”
Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Roger Attfield, Tiz a Slam made a winning debut last August in a seven-furlong maiden allowance sprint over the Woodbine Tapeta with da Silva. The son of Tiznow shifted to the turf for his next three starts, winning the prep for the Grade 2 Summer Stakes by 2 ¼-lengths.
In the Summer Stakes, Tiz a Slam, sent off at 8-1, overcame a troubled trip to net fourth spot, just three lengths behind the winner, Good Samaritan. The Summer Stakes victor went on to finish third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Tiz a Slam wrapped up his juvenile campaign with a 1 ¾-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer Stakes over ‘good’ going on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. Near the back of the 10-horse field early, the bay steadily advanced to take the win in comfortable fashion.
Not surprisingly, fan favourite da Silva, who won the Plate in 2009 with Eye of the Leopard and the following year with Big Red Mike, is a fan of his high-profile contender.
“He’s a cool guy, better than me,” quipped the recently named 2016 Sovereign Award recipient as Canada’s top rider. “I liked him right from the very start. He’s a smart horse and he showed a lot of talent from the beginning.”
If Tiz a Slam were to win the Plate, slated for Sunday, July 2, at Woodbine, he would deliver Attfield a record ninth score in Canada’s most famous horse race.
Attfield also has Escondera, a chestnut son of Eskendereya, in the Wando, a race named for the beloved 2003 Canadian Triple Crown champion.
King and His Court, the 5-1 second choice in the Queen’s Plate Winterbook, will seek to be the first horse since Norcliffe to score the Coronation Futurity-Queen’s Plate double, a feat the Hall of Famer notched in taking the 1975 Coronation Futurity and 1976 Plate.
The Wando is listed as race eight on the program. Post time is 4:52 p.m. ET.
Racing fans can keep pace with the latest Queen’s Plate news and notes, including photos, stories and event details, at QueensPlate.Com. Tickets for the 158th running of The Queen’s Plate are available now on Ticketmaster.
The Top 10 Queen’s Plate Winterbook odds:
1. Tiz a Slam (3-1)
2. King and His Court (5-1)
3. State of Honor (6-1)
4. Channel Maker (8-1)
5. Woodbridge (10-1)
6. Malibu Secret (12-1)
7. Stallion Heiress (14-1)
8. Sailing Home (16-1)
9. Ellan Vannin (18-1)
10. Guy Caballero (20-1)
FIELD FOR THE WANDO STAKES
PP / Horse / Jockey / Trainer
1 / Megagray / Jesse Campbell / Mike Keogh
2 / Gamble’s Citizen / Luis Contreras / Josie Carroll
3 / King and His Court / Gary Boulanger / Mark Casse
4 / Tiz a Slam / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Roger Attfield
5 / Montu / Rodney Prescott / Mike Doyle
6 / Escondera / Rafael Hernandez / Roger Attfield