06/25/2011 10:18AM

Queen's Plate Weekend


The Queen's Plate, the Kentucky Derby of Canada, headlines a fascinating weekend of racing in North America.

The Plate, the 10th race at Woodbine on Sunday, attracted a field of 17 three-year-old hopefuls.  There are some familiar names with Woodbine Oaks heroine INGLORIOUS (second in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds behind Kathmanblu) tackling the boys, the appropriately-named QUEEN'SPLATEKITTEN, second in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes on grass at Gulfstream for trainer Todd Pletcher and BOWMAN'S CAUSEWAY, fourth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and eighth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.  

They all must have them nailed on tight to down CHECK YOUR SOUL, a son of Perfect Soul seeking his fourth straight victory for legendary trainer Roger Attfield.  Check Your Soul's maiden win on grass going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland went faster than a 'n3x' allowance for older males contested over the same course on the same day.  He then went on to score at odds-on in his polytrack debut - the Wando Stakes at Woodbine on May 1 - before taking the Plate Trial on June 5 in very impressive fashion.
In the Plate Trial, Check Your Soul hopped straight up in the air at the break and was three wide near the back of the pack on the first turn.  Check Your Soul made a steady advance on the backstretch, geared up while wide on the turn and made the front turning for home.  With Patrick Husbands' whip turned down, Check Your Soul exploded away from his opponents in the stretch to win by 3 1/4 lengths. 

The break will obviously be key for Check Your Soul in the Plate.  With 16 rivals, it is imperative for Husbands not to lose too much ground at the start of this 1 1/4-mile test.  No matter how talented a runner may be, it isn't easy to weave one's way through and around a plethora of horseflesh.  With a clean start, Check Your Soul should make his presence felt.

OH CANADA looms an interesting longshot for trainer Robert Tiller.  Never off the board from five starts, Oh Canada adds blinkers following a third-place finish behind Queen'splatekitten in the Marine Stakes on May 21.  Tiller doesn't have great numbers with first-time blinkered runners (1 for his last 34), but there doesn't appear to be much speed in the Plate and Oh Canada should be forwardly-placed heading into the backstretch. 

HIPPOLYTUS also adds blinkers.  He finished fourth in the Plate Trial, but will now make the third start of the form cycle for Mark Casse.  He needs a Beyer boost, but isn't the worst stab on the bottom of exotic wagers.

PENDER HARBOUR was my "winter book" Plate horse after he won the Kingarvie Stakes to conclude his juvenile season.  The gelded son of Philanthropist underwent knee surgery over the winter and may slowly be rounding back into form for trainer Michael DePaulo.

Selections:  Check Your Soul, Oh Canada, Queen'splatekitten


Some quick-and-dirty selections for this weekend:


For more-detailed video analysis of some of the other major stakes races this week, please click on the link below, scroll down to the lower video player and click on the race name on the right:



More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.


Laura More than 1 year ago
One thing I forgot.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY CALVIN!
Laura More than 1 year ago
For those who are interested in the First Crop Sires, I posted an article about Flashy Bull at the IM Blog. http://ironmaidensthoroughbreds.blogspot.com/ WTG Cathy on the exciting venture at Arlington! I know the connections of Getta Rhythm - did I bet? Of course not. I figured he'd be a scratch, lol. FRIDAY, July 1 is handicapping chat at 9:00 PM. We'll review all the weekend's graded stakes at the main IMT website. There's even an I-Phone App so you can join in if you're traveling! Racing fans in FL, I'm working with ThoroFan to start a chapter at Gulfstream/Calder - and later on at Tampa. If you're interested in joining, please let me know. Here's info on what ThoroFan does: http://www.thorofan.com/about/ Laura
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
meathead01 ..word has it that Mike A is still sans computer at the moment...Bummer.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie "...MKB, if you had written down the names of the 71 horses back in December and followed them throughout this year (some of us did - :).." LOL ! Did you realize that by the time we finished this MKB "season" ...we had 115 MKB horses out there !! Nice to see you back & 'catching up.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Virgin Queen "BSB= a 3-letter word that if u say around your parents you'll end up getting your mouth washed out with soap." VQ you got me ROFLMAO ...Classic !!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
knm " I just can't get my mind around your abbreviations" LOL! It's an endearing Virgin Queen trait, & trust me ...if I can eventually figure it all out, you will too :)
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Blackseabass "If I show up at Del Mar when you and Sharona are there I'll spend the day telling stories and..." OMG ! ! That would be so cool...I do hope you can make it :)
Virgin Queen More than 1 year ago
" jonah, lets see if i can answer some of your questions about becoming a WINNER while wandering around a bit. i'll start with a few maxims. 1) plan your work then work your plan. 2) greed kills. 3) be realistics in your expectations. 4) take a long term view." i had no idea after all these yrs being on formblog that King Solomon posted on the blog. BSB..i c caseyjeaux answered your trivia question i probably here that song a couple of times a week on the raido. KNM sry 4 the confusion..the ony thing i can say in my defence is that CurtV is public enemy #1 when it comes 2 abbrevations. i reread the post...some of these u probably know. u=you r=are 2=to 1=one 4=for v=versus in this case..some should b self explanatory e.g euro v ameican imo=in my opinon sry=sorry BSB= a 3-letter word that if u say around your parents you'll end up getting your mouth washed out with soap. annie..thx 4 the update on prayer for relief. peace 2 all VQ
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Okay enough foolin' around havin' fun with KNM & LSD . I hope you two had as much fun reading it as I had writing it. Jonah , I'll finish answering you later about the mdn coin flips and whatever else I didn't get to earlier . I got a little sidetracked by my friend KNM when I came back. I felt I should explain my $#!+ disturbing post regarding the Queens Plate from earlier today. LOL.
p ensign More than 1 year ago
"Mr. Illman's comment (thoughtless as it may have been) was demeaning. There is no need to make comparisons." It's only demeaning if you are starting out with an inferiority complex! Why can't you assume the superior position and make a joke about him "comparing" our silly little race with your great big one. sheesh
Annie More than 1 year ago
Taz, Sorry about QUEEN'SPLATEKITTEN. I guess the extreme burden of bearing the name, as if he was expected to win that race, was just too much for him. :) On the upside, a Blue Thong won the race. Proving once again that females can NEVER be considered inferior to males, no matter what the species. :) Annie