By Gene Kershner
TORONTO – The post position draw for Sunday’s 155th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate, the oldest continuously run race in North America took place in the walking ring at Woodbine Racetrack this morning. A large field of 14 colts and one filly will head to the post at 5:38 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. We Miss Artie (8-5) was made the morning line favorite with the filly and Woodbine Oaks winner Lexie Lou (4-1) made the second choice.
Here are some quick hitters from the post draw:
- Trainer Mark Casse sends out three horses in hopes of capturing his first Queen’s Plate after 17 attempts. Casse will send out the filly Lexie Lou, Matador (8-1) and Majestic Sunset (15-1) in attempt to break the drought.
- Roger Attfield, who has a record-equaling eight Queen’s Plate training victories always the showman, selected post No. 12 for Tower of Texas, stating he has won two plates from that gate in his storied Hall of Fame career. John Velazquez, a Hall of Famer himself, will fly in to ride the son of Street Sense.
- In addition to Velazquez another big name jockey will be heading north to Woodbine this weekend, as Javier Castellano, the current leading rider at Belmont Park, will be aboard We Miss Artie for trainer Todd Pletcher. Both Pletcher and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey will be making the trek up north for Canada's biggest race. Pletcher will be seeking his second Queen’s Plate, winning his last 14 years ago with Archers Bay in 1998.
- Julien Leparoux, who will make his second Plate appearance, will fly in to ride Matador for Casse.
- The Plate will be a family affair of sorts for the Attard family. Father Sid trains Cap in Hand (50-1) for last year's Plate winning owners Tucci Stables and his two sons will also saddle horses in the race. Cap in Hand will break from the rail, the same spot last year's winner, Midnight Aria started from in giving the owners their first Plate victory.
- Attard's sons will saddle Niigon Express (Paul) and Lions Bay (Jamie) and have bet each other a round of golf on the outcome. Paul Attard selected post No. 13 for his horse, the same spot that his sire, Niigon, won the Plate from in 2004.
- Trainer Reade Baker who recently won his 1,000the career race is also seeking his first Plate with two contenders. Asserting Bear (10-1) will have jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse in the irons and Baker describes his colt's best quality in one word, "guts." Baker will also send Man o' Bear (30-1) postward for Bear Stables and will have the other female jockey in the race, Emma-Jayne Wilson, who won the 2007 Plate aboard Mike Fox.
The post position draw with trainer, jockey and morning line odds is included below:
|1||Cap in Hand||S. Attard||Bahen||50-1|
|5||Man o' Bear||Baker||Wilson||30-1|
|6||We Miss Artie||Pletcher||Castellano||8-5|
|8||Lions Bay||J. Attard||Moran||30-1|
|9||Heart to Heart||Lynch||da Silva||30-1|
|12||Tower of Texas||Attfield||Velazquez||20-1|
|13||Niigon Express||P. Attard||Olguin||30-1|
|14||Lexie Lou (f)||Casse||Husbands||4-1|