06/18/2006 11:00PM

Baffert, Pletcher send Plate invaders


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wanna Runner, a California invader trained by Bob Baffert, looms the likely choice in a field of 13 for Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate.

Sterwins, a promising but lightly raced gelding trained by Todd Pletcher, will be the other out-of-towner in the 147th running of the Queen's Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Among the top locally based candidates are Malakoff, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Marine here May 20, and Shillelagh Slew, a highly regarded colt who will be making only his second start of the year and is coming into the Queen's Plate off an eight-week layoff.

Pipers Thunder, Ascot Bill, and Edenwold, the top three finishers in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial here June 4, also pointed toward the Queen's Plate.

Malakoff, Atlas Shrugs, and Cifercat had their final major works for the Queen's Plate on the main track Sunday.

Malakoff breezed six furlongs in 1:13.40 in company with stablemate Victorian Rose and with regular rider Todd Kabel in the irons.

"He worked lovely," said Brian Lynch, who trains Malakoff.

Going straight from the Marine to the Queen's Plate always was the plan for Malakoff, but losing some training time because of a recent virus was not.

"He missed about 10 days; we just walked him," said Lynch. "We treated him aggressively and got him back on track. He needed a little rest anyway after the Marine."

Atlas Shrugs, the fifth-place finisher in the Plate Trial and winner of the six-furlong Woodstock and the seven-furlong Queenston here this year, breezed six furlongs in 1:14.60 under jockey Corey Fraser.

"He was very happy," said trainer Reade Baker, who watched as Atlas Shrugs worked in company with an older stablemate.

Cifercat, fourth in his stakes debut in the Plate Trial, drilled a mile in 1:39.60 under jockey Richard Dos Ramos.

"He finished up very strong; that's what I wanted," said Abraham Katryan, who trains Cifercat. "I didn't want to work him in company; he gets really hyper. He just does his own thing. I'm surprised he worked so good."

Pipers Thunder also worked six furlongs on Sunday, at his home base of Chiefswood Farm.

Trainer Eric Coatrieux said that Pipers Thunder was timed in 1:13 under regular rider Ray Sabourin and in company with stablemate Mint Prospect.

Queen's Plate probables Thinking Out Loud, Bridgecut, and Hot Deputy all had their final tune-ups at six furlongs on the main track Saturday.

Thinking Out Loud, winner of last year's 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity, went in 1:11.80 under jockey Jim McAleney.

"He broke off behind two other horses and got a lot of dirt in his face," said trainer David Bell. "He went past them and finished strong."

Bridgecut, also trained by Bell, was clocked in 1:14 with his Queen's Plate rider, apprentice Emma-Jayne Wilson, in the irons for the first time.

"He worked his first five-eighths with an older horse," said Bell. "Then, when Emma asked him, he lengthened his stride and went on out by himself. He finished strong."

Hot Deputy, who finished last of eight in the Plate Trial, breezed in 1:15 while going in company with older stakes-winning stablemate Organ Grinder

Jockey Constant Montpellier, who has picked up the mount on Hot Deputy, was aboard for the drill.

Stormkick, who had been under consideration for the Queen's Plate, also breezed six furlongs on Saturday - but his trainer, Michael Doyle, will be looking for a less demanding race.

Doyle does plan to have a Queen's Plate starter, however, in Pyramid Park, who finished seventh in the Plate Trial but was a close second in the Coronation Futurity.

Queens's Plate

Probables for the 147th Queen's Plate at Woodbine June 25

Ascot BillS. AttardJ. Stein
Atlas ShrugsR. BakerC. Fraser
BridgecutD. BellE. Wilson
CifercatA. KatryanR. Dos Ramos
EdenwoldJ. CarrollE. Ramsammy
Hot DeputyS.C. AttardC. Montpellier
MalakoffB. LynchT. Kabel
Pipers ThunderE. CoatrieuxR. Sabourin
Pyramid ParkM. DoyleS. Callaghan
Shillelagh SlewM. DePauloD. Luciani
SterwinsT. PletcherJ. Velazquez
Thinking Out LoudD. BellJ. McAleney
Wanna RunnerB. BaffertV. Espinoza