06/28/2017 12:30PM

Holy Helena draws post 3, favored at 3-1 in Queen's Plate

Michael Burns
Holy Helena works five furlongs at Woodbine on Monday in 1:01.80.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Woodbine Oaks winner Holy Helena was made the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a 13-horse field of Canadian-bred 3-year-olds for the 158th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate at the pick-your-post draw on Wednesday.

Owned by Stronach Stable and trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Holy Helena will be making just her fourth start on Sunday, from post 3, in the 10-furlong test. Her Oaks rider, Luis Contreras, was aboard when the athletic daughter of Ghostzapper worked an easy five-eighths in 1:01.80 on the Tapeta on Monday.

“She breezed really good,” said Contreras. “She did it very easy. She’s feeling great. She’s still learning, but she’s got a lot of potential, too. She’s impressed me every time I ride her. She’s very professional. She knows what she’s doing.”

Holy Helena will try to become the third filly to complete the Oaks-Plate double since 2011, when Inglorious did it with Contreras riding. Lexie Lou turned the trick in 2014.

Channel Maker, based at Saratoga with trainer Bill Mott, is the 4-1 second choice off a strong second in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes. Mott opted for post 1 over his only other option, post 13. Rafael Hernandez retains the mount on the son of English Channel.

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Reigning Canadian champion male 2-year-old King and His Court, the Plate Trial runner-up, is next in line at 5-1. Gary Boulanger will break the Mark Casse-trained gelding from post 6.

Second-time starter Aurora Way is listed at 6-1 under Julien Leparoux, who won last year’s Plate on Sir Dudley Digges. Trained by Stu Simon, Aurora Way graduated June 10 in a professional manner traveling 1 1/16 miles with an 81 Beyer Speed Figure.

Casse also sends out the probable pacesetter, 8-1 shot State of Honor, who faded to third in the Plate Trial after coming up empty in the Kentucky Derby. Patrick Husbands has the mount from post 7.

Inflexibility, a troubled third as the favorite in the Oaks, is 10-1 from post 5. Her Eclipse Award-winning connections, jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Chad Brown, will attract lots of attention.

Tiz a Slam, the Queen’s Plate winter-book favorite, starts from post 12 as a 10-1 outsider. With Eurico Da Silva up, he breezed a half-mile in 48.60 seconds on Wednesday for trainer Roger Attfield, who is seeking a record-breaking ninth win in the race.

Plate Trial victor Guy Caballero is also 10-1. He is one of two entrants trained by Catherine Day Phillips, along with 30-1 shot Watch Me Strut.

Rounding out the field are Malibu Secret (20-1), Megagray (30-1), Spirit of Caledon (50-1), and Vaughan (50-1).