06/20/2009 11:00PM

Eye of the Leopard takes Queen's Plate

Michael Burns Photo
With Eurico Rosa Da Silva up, Eye of the Leopard captures the 150th Queen's Plate at Woodbine on Sunday by overtaking Mr. Foricos Two U in the final strides.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Favored Eye of the Leopard ($6.70) overtook front-runner Mr. Foricos Two U in the final strides to capture the 150th running of the

$1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine on Sunday.

With Eurico Rosa Da Silva aboard, Eye of the Leopard prevailed by a neck while covering the 1 1/4-mile distance on Polytrack in 2:03.84. It was the fifth Plate victory for Sam-Son Farm, and the fourth for trainer Mark Frostad.

"The horse ran a super race," said Frostad. "I was a little worried at the sixteenth pole, whether or not we were going to get there, but Eurico persevered, and it all worked out."

Mr. Foricos Two U, with Mike Smith up, dueled with Reservoir through moderate fractions of 24.05 seconds, 48.11, and 1:12.93. Eye of the Leopard and Woodbine Oaks winner Milwaukee Appeal both assumed stalking positions, and the former joined Mr. Forcios Two U on the lead midway on the far turn, as Reservoir began to retreat.

Mr. Foricos Two U took control early in the stretch, as Eye of the Leopard drifted wide near the eighth pole, but Eye of the Leopard battled back as Mr. Foricos Two U weakened late. Milwaukee Appeal was just a head behind the runner-up in third, and Tasty Temptation, the only other filly in the field, wound up fourth.

Completing the order of finish were Flip for the Coin, Keino West, Shut It Down, Rapid Release, Stardust Ziggy, Bucephalus, Reservoir, Active Duty, and El Brujo.

"He broke well," said Da Silva. "I thought the pace would be much faster. He was so professional - very relaxed. At the quarter pole, I thought it wasn't going to be easy. I was pushing him so hard, and he was trying so hard. He got there in the last yard."

Smith said his mount was on his toes in the early going.

"He really wanted to do something today," Smith said. "I figured he was going to be a little fresher than he normally is. It was a gallant effort. He didn't see [Eye of the Leopard] way out there."

Eye of the Leopard, a homebred by A.P. Indy, earned $600,000, which boosted his bankroll to $735,540.

All being well, Frostad said, Eye of the Leopard will make his next start in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie on July 12.

Smart Enough is fast enough in Highlander

Smart Enough ($16.40) outran all the other speed en route to a convincing score in the .

Smart Enough covered six furlongs over a course labeled good in 1:08.26, winning by two lengths over 11-1 shot Field Commission. Favored Heros Reward finished third.

Jeremy Rose got a leg up from trainer John Fisher on Smart Enough, who also won the 2007 Highlander.

"He relaxed real well off the bit, and had something to finish with," said Rose.

* Musketier ($6) disposed of favored Mission Approved in the stretch before drawing away to take Sunday's other stakes, the , at 1 1/2 miles on the grass.

* The pick six, which Woodbine seeded with $150,000, returned $203,499.