TORONTO -- The post positions for the 156th running of the Queen's Plate was drawn this morning in suburban Toronto at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of 14, including one filly will tackle the mile-and-a-quarter journey around the Woodbine oval in the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.
Danish Dynaformer, the Plate Trial winner, ended up in post No. 7 for trainer Roger Attfield, who will be seeking a record ninth Plate win on Sunday. The son of Dynaformer was made the 3-1 morning line favorite for the "Gallop for the Guineas."
Some notables from this morning's draw:
- The lone filly in the field, Academic, will be in post No. 4 for Bear Stables' and trainer Reade Baker. Academic won the Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser on the same day as the Plate Trial. Baker is seeking his first win in the Plate after 15 previous attempts. Academic is 5-1 on the morning line.
- Trainer Mark Casse was forced to not enter one of the top Plate contenders, Conquest Curlinate, after an accident this morning on the training track. "He was galloping this morning and going great and right in front of us a horse was backing up and veered toward the rail. The rider had to snatch him and take a right hand turn. In an eighth of a mile later the rider said he wasn't feeling right and pulled him up." Casse decided not to take any chances and decided not to enter him.
- Casse, last year's winning trainer with the filly Lexie Lou, has two other entries in the race in Conquest Boogaloo (8-1) and Oakton (20-1). Oakton will likely be out in front along with Academic, which will likely create some pace for his Boogaloo. Alan Garcia will have the ride on Conquest Boogaloo, a son of Scat Daddy.
- Shaman Ghost (7-2), the winner of the Grade 3 Marine Stakes, drew the rail for trainer Brian Lynch who joked about the post. "As long as he ends up in the post that he starts, we'll be all right!" said Lynch.
- Trainer Nick Gonzalez enters longshot Easy Indygo (30-1), a horse that has the stamina to stay the distance, but has not shown the speed to contend with other. Gonzalez has saddled two Plate winners in the only two years he has had entries in Canada's most famous race. "We're putting our undefeated streak on the line, but it's all about the fun and the excitement," Gonzalez said tongue-in-cheek.
- Ami's Flatter (6-1), the Plate's winterbook favorite drew the outside 14 post for trainer Josie Carroll, herself a two-time winner of the race. "We were outside last year and finished second," said Carroll who will give jockey Luis Contreras a leg up on the son of Flatter.
- Ault (30-1), who will start from post position No. 3, is named after former Toronto Blue Jay great Doug Ault, who hit the first home run in Blue Jays history.
- Since 1956, there have been 10 gate-to-wire winners of the Plate, with two coming from last to first. There have been 25 winners that pulled off a Plate Trial-Plate double and 12 horses that finished second in the Trial that ended up winning the Plate. There have been six fillies who have come out of the Oaks to complete the Oaks-Plate double in the same time frame.
- Post time for the Queen's Plate on Sunday is 5:38 p.m.
The field for the 156th running of the Queen's Plate is as follows:
|5||Billy's Star||Attfield||da Silva||15-1|
|6||Sweet Grass Creek||Keogh||Campbell||20-1|
|13||Bear At Last||Baker||Walcott||30-1|
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.