06/13/2010 11:00PM

Big Red Mike displays bad manners


Eurico Rosa Da Silva, aboard Big Red Mike for the first time, also delivered a strong ride to get home first by a half-length in Sunday's 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial.

Big Red Mike was making his stakes debut in the Plate Trial and was a front-running winner, surrendering the lead only when headed briefly by eventual runner-up Mobilizer about a furlong out.

"Actually, the race went against the way we wanted," said trainer Nick Gonzalez. "We've been breezing him in company, put him in behind horses. But, it was a paceless race. Speed was good on the afternoon, he ended up on the lead on a pretty slow pace, and he came home pretty strong.

"He's a fighter; he's a pretty gutsy horse."

Unfortunately, Big Red Mike's feistiness also has its negative side.

"He's a difficult horse to train in the morning," said Gonzalez. "He's pretty headstrong."

Big Red Mike actually unseated Da Silva in front of the grandstand, apparently taking exception to something in his field of vision.

"He was bad in the paddock, too," said Gonzalez. "We'll have to work on that."

Stakes Beyers almost identical

The Woodbine Oaks, which had been run two weeks prior to the Queen's Plate, was moved up a week and run on the same card as the Plate Trial for the first time this year.

The effect was to create a kind of Queen's Plate preview day, enabling comparisons between the two races run at the same distance.

Roan Inish's final time was 1:50.53, comparing favorably to Big Red Mike's clocking of 1:50.41.

Big Red Mike's Beyer Speed Figure came back at 94 and Roan Inish's at 93, both numbers representing career highs.

Smart Sky earns Queen's Plate shot

A third 1 1/8-mile race on Sunday's card produced a Queen's Plate candidate in Smart Sky, who was a head winner in a field of six which included two older rivals.

Smart Sky, trained by Michael Doyle, was timed in 1:52.52, which translated to an 83 Beyer.

"I know he didn't run very fast,", said Doyle "But he'll be all right, especially at a mile and a quarter."

Somme delivers in stakes debut

The $118,000 Alywow, the first of three stakes here Sunday, also produced a hotly-contested finish with Somme emerging victorious by a half-length under jockey Patrick Husbands.

"I expected a big race from her," said trainer Josie Carroll. "That's why we went right to a stake."

Somme had won her maiden when in her first start of the year in a one-mile turf race here May 23 and Carroll admitted some concern over the cutback to 6 1/2 furlongs of grass in the Alywow.

"I thought there would definitely be enough pace in there," said Carroll. "I told Patrick I thought it would definitely be a case of timing."

Husbands had that base covered as he launched an aggressive stretch rally which got Somme home by a half-length in the open stakes for 3-year-old fillies.