07/03/2010 11:00PM

Attfield out for record ninth Plate

Michael Burns
Plate Trial runner-up Mobilizer is Roger Attfield's hope for a ninth Queen's Plate victory.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Not Bourbon's popular win in the 2008 Queen's Plate was certainly memorable for Roger Attfield, because it was his eighth triumph in Canada's best-known race, a milestone that put him in a tie with Harry Giddings Jr. for the trainer with the most Plate victories.

With Queen Elizabeth II in attendance Sunday at Woodbine, Attfield has a chance to break the record when he runs Mobilizer in the 151st running of the $1 million event. Mobilizer's sire, 2005 Epsom Derby winner Motivator, is a stallion at the queen's farm in England.

The 1 1/4-mile Plate heads an excellent 12-race card that includes two turf stakes, the Grade 2 Highlander and the Grade 3 Singspiel. Post time for the first race is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.

CBC will televise the Plate from 4:30-6 p.m., and the U.S horse racing network TVG will have a crew on hand. Post time for the Plate is 5:38 p.m.

The Plate, for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, followed by a pair of $500,000 races, the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales Stakes on the dirt at Fort Erie July 25 and the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Stakes on the grass here Aug. 15. The Queen's Plate is run over Polytrack.

Mobilizer, owned by Stronach Stable, came along the rail from a stalking position to finish a close second in the nine-furlong Plate Trial Stakes.

"He ran a good race in the Trial," said Attfield, who is adding quarter-cup blinkers to Mobilizer for the Plate. "He was in a little tight, and maybe got a little antagonized."

Twelve other Canadian-bred 3-year-olds were entered, including Roan Inish, who took the nine-furlong Woodbine Oaks in just her second start of the year June 13.

Having three weeks between the Oaks and the Plate this year, as compared with the usual two-week gap, means little to trainer Carolyn Costigan, who said that the longer break made it necessary to work Roan Inish.

"If it was two weeks, I just would have done nice, easy gallops into the second race," said Costigan.

Costigan said that Roan Inish has thrived on light campaigning and that her best days should be ahead.

"She's very lightly raced this season, and improving off of past performances," Costigan said. "Her pedigree suggests that she should be getting better with age."

Hotep, a full brother to last year's Plate winner, Eye of the Leopard, is one of three uncoupled Sam-Son Farm runners in the lineup, along with Giant's Tomb and Dark Cloud Dancer.

Hotep could go favored off his runner-up finish behind Grade 2 Lexington winner Exhi in the 1 1/16-mile Marine Stakes.

Trainer Mark Frostad worked all three of them together last Sunday. Hotep went the fastest, getting the six furlongs in 1:13.60 after rallying between the other two in the stretch.

"We weren't going to try and break any speed records," said Frostad. "We just wanted to get a nice, easy breeze into them. Hotep started back a little, and then came up and joined them. It worked out well."

Frostad said the blue-blooded Dark Cloud Dancer could end up setting the pace.

"We might use him as a rabbit to set a decent pace, if nobody else goes," Frostad said.

Big Red Mike established a slow pace in the Plate Trial, and then held off Mobilizer to prevail by a half-length under Eurico Da Silva. The 92 Beyer Speed Figure that he earned is the highest last-out Beyer Figure in the Plate cast.

Da Silva, who rode Eye of the Leopard last year, said he has no firm strategy with Big Red Mike.

"I'm not making any plans," Da Silva said. "When the gate opens, that's when I'll decide what to do."

Mobthewarrior ran the race of his life in the Trial, finishing third after racing wide in a stalking position.

"He's thrived since the Trial," said trainer Greg De Gannes. "I love him going a mile and a quarter."

Trainer Sid Attard said he's taking the blinkers off Ghost Fleet following the colt's dull effort in the Trial.

"He never ran an inch," said Attard. "We were shocked. I never really did like blinkers on him."

D's Wando also never fired in the Trial after running near the back of the pack.

"I think if he's ridden a little different, and given a chance early, he will close," said trainer Ian Black.

Moment of Majesty was supplemented at a cost of $25,000. She rallied strongly on the outside in the Oaks, only to be outfinished by Roan Inish.