06/03/2007 11:00PM

Jiggs Coz exits Plate Trial strong


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It has been 15 years since a winner of the Plate Trial came back to win the Queen's Plate here at Woodbine, and the vanquished include favorites such as A Bit O'Gold and Win City.

But, in a season that has already seen Street Sense end the so-called Breeders' Cup Juvenile jinx by winning the Kentucky Derby, Plate Trial winner Jiggs Coz is in a strong position to end the local trend in the $1 million Queen's Plate on June 24.

Jiggs Coz, under regular rider David Clark, stalked a moderate pace before going on to a handy 3 1/4-length victory in the Plate Trial, with his final time of 1:50.77 yielding a Beyer Speed Figure of 88.

"He came back awesome," said trainer Sid Attard, at the barn here Monday morning. "He's not even tired. He's feeling really good."

Although the 1 1/4 miles of the Queen's Plate will be unfamiliar territory for all contestants, Attard is confident that Jiggs Coz can handle the trip or any pace scenario that might develop.

"I think he's going to like it better," Attard said. "To me, he's getting better with every race. He can sit off the pace, or sit right there."

Jiggs Coz won the seven-furlong Queenston in his seasonal bow here and trained at Keeneland over the winter.

No bleeding for Marchfield

Marchfield, trained by Mark Casse, stalked in third place before closing to be a clear runner-up in the Plate Trial under regular rider Patrick Husbands.

"Most importantly, he scoped great after the race," Casse said. "We have a concern after what happened in Miami. We're always worried about him bleeding again, and Sunday was a tough day for bleeders with it being so hot."

Marchfield bled badly in his last start at Gulfstream, and had been off for two months when he returned to action with a game maiden victory over 1 1/16 miles here May 6.

"Sid's horse is going to be tough to beat, no question about it," Casse said, referring to Jiggs Coz. "We're just going to need a little luck.

"Our horse just kind of keeps going and going and going; he doesn't have any big burst of speed. He needs the pace to be fast."

Alezzandro earns Queen's Plate slot

Alezzandro earned a berth in the Queen's Plate with his third-place finish in the Plate Trial under Jono Jones. Making just his second start following a 6 1/2-furlong maiden win three weeks earlier, Alezzandro led early and was beaten a total of six lengths.

"I didn't want to be up on the lead," said Kevin Attard, who trains Alezzandro. "But coming off one sprint and going a mile and an eighth was a big challenge, and I thought he handled it well. That should tighten him up a lot."

Leonnatus Anteas returns

Leonnatus Anteas, Canada's champion 2-year-old after winning three stakes races here in as many starts at 2, made his long-awaited seasonal bow here Sunday in a third-level allowance at seven furlongs.

Facing older rivals, Leonnatus Anteas stalked the pace and rallied to finish a nose runner-up behind the hard-knocking 6-year-old Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk.

"He looked good this morning," his trainer, Attard, said at the barn on Monday. "He was fatigued, no doubt about it, but rightfully so."

Leonnatus Anteas was making his first start in seven months Sunday and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 89.

If all goes well, Leonnatus Anteas could be making his second start of the season in the Queen's Plate, Attard said.

Mike Fox preps for Queen's Plate

Mike Fox, trained by Ian Black, remained on course for the Queen's Plate after working six furlongs in 1:12.40 here Monday. Bruce Smither, a trainer who also is the regular exercise rider of Mike Fox, was in the irons as the colt got his first three furlongs in 35 seconds and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26.60.

Mike Fox defeated older rivals in his last start, which came in a second-level allowance over 1 1/16 miles here May 23.

Daheer to be supplemented to Plate

Daheer, trained in Saratoga by Kiaran McLaughlin, is slated to be supplemented to the Queen's Plate, according to Woodbine stakes manager Julie Bell.

Entry-day supplements, at a cost of $25,000, will be allowed for the Queen's Plate for the first time.

Daheer has raced twice, finishing up the track at Keeneland in his 6 1/2-furlong debut and then winning his maiden over 1 1/16 miles at Belmont while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

Strike Softly's next race undecided

Strike Softly won the Grade 3 Hendrie over 6 1/2 furlongs of Polytrack in her seasonal bow here May 13, and doubled up in the Gradeo3 Nassau over 1 1/16 miles of turf last Saturday.

Trainer Mark Frostad said he was thinking of running her in the Grade 2, $150,000 Vagrancy at Belmont on June 17. "But this race was sitting here, it was a big purse, so we stayed at home," he said.

Strike Softly took home $210,000 of the $336,700 Nassau purse, including a $30,000 bonus for being Ontario-bred, and has now banked $755,900 while winning on dirt, turf, and Polytrack.

The $100,000 Hill 'n' Dale, a 1 1/16-mile race, is the next main-track race for the division here June 16, but Strike Softly was not nominated.

"That would be too close back for her," Frostad said.

The Grade 2, $300,000 Dance Smartly, at 1 1/8 miles, will be run July 22, a gap of seven weeks from the Nassau.

"That might be a bit too far away," Frostad said. "It's sort of a funny schedule; we'll see if we can make it work."

Deverell breaks wrist

Apprentice jockey Dean Deverell suffered a broken wrist in a starting gate accident during training hours here last Thursday.

Roger Poynter, who books mounts for Deverell, said the rider would be reexamined Thursday to see if surgery is required.