ETOBICOKE, Ont. – The post position draw for the 159th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate was completed this morning at Woodbine Racetrack in suburban Toronto. The draw for the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America took place in the trackside tent with track announcer Robert Geller presiding.
The largest non-Kentucky Derby field since 2011 will run a mile-and-a-quarter on the Woodbine Tapeta surface on Saturday afternoon. Telekinesis (5-2) was installed at the morning line favorite coming off his Plate Trial victory. The field will include two fillies, the second and third choices on the morning line. The field will head to the post at 5:36 p.m. on Saturday afternoon as part of a three-day Queen’s Plate racing festival.
Here are some quick hitters from the post draw:
- Trainer Mark Casse sends out three horses in hopes of capturing his second Queen’s Plate, including the first two choices on the morning line. Telekinesis (No. 10 post) comes out of the Plate Trial in fine form and after placing the Grade 3 Lexington on the Derby trail, he’ll try his luck at the Canadian Triple Crown. Wonder Gadot (3-1), was the Kentucky Oaks runner-up and ended up right next to the favorite in the No. 11 slot. Neepawa (15-1) in post No. 14 rounds out Team Casse.
- Roger Attfield, who has a record-equaling eight Queen’s Plate training victories does not have a horse in the field for the first time since 2013.
- In addition to Wonder Gadot another filly, Dixie Moon (4-1) will try and attempt to provide her connections with an Oaks-Plate double, completed last year by Holy Helena. It would also complete a racing Kreskin prediction back in December of a female trainer winning the Plate with Catherine Day Phillips conditioning the daughter of Curlin.
- A plane full of American-based jockeys should arrive this weekend. Hall of Famers Javier Castellano (Rose’s Vision, 12-1) and John Velaquez (Wonder Gadot) will be in to ride, as well as Eclipse-award winning jockey Jose Ortiz (Strike Me Down, 10-1), Florent Geroux (Neepawa) and Joel Rosario (Pawnbroker, 50-1) all due north of the border.
- Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who won the 2016 edition with Sir Dudley Digges will have three horses in the race, including Boyhood Dream (30-1), Marriage Counselor (50-1) and Pawnbroker. Mike Maker trains all three horses for the Ramseys.
- San-Son Farm will send out two Graham Motion entries in Strike Me Down (10-1) and Say the Word (20-1).
The News will be onsite in suburban Toronto on Saturday reporting on the Plate and the undercard.
The post position draw with trainer, jockey and morning line odds is included below:
|4||Strike Me Down||Motion||J Ortiz||10-1|
|6||Real Dude||S Attard||Moran||50-1|
|7||Dixie Moon (f)||Day Phillips||da Silva||4-1|
|8||Alternative Route||Stall Jr.||Murrill||20-1|
|9||Say the Word||Motion||R Hernandez||20-1|
|11||Wonder Gadot (f)||Casse||Velazquez||3-1|
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.