06/23/2004 12:00AM

'Jimmy' earns himself a shot

Michael Burns Photo
Plate Trial winner A Bit O'Gold is the expected favorite in this year's Queen's Plate.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Up until just over two weeks ago, trainer Roger Attfield had no plans to participate in this year's Queen's Plate.

But after Just in Case Jimmy won his maiden over 1 1/16 miles here June 12, earning a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 89, Attfield decided it was worth taking a shot at the $1 million race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

"I'd trained him towards getting him to the Plate if it looked like he was good enough," said Attfield, who also owns Just in Case Jimmy in partnership with Bill Werner and will be looking for his eighth Plate victory. "I thought his last race was quite a good race, and in a year like this, he deserves a chance to have a go at it."

A field of 14 is expected for the Queen's Plate, with the expected favorite to be Plate Trial winner A Bit O'Gold.

Just in Case Jimmy tuned up for the Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race, here Wednesday morning, breezing five furlongs on the fast main track in 1:01 under rider Richard Dos Ramos. The clockers caught Just in Case Jimmy traveling his first three furlongs in 36 seconds and galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.40.

"He did it nice and handy, and he galloped out strong," said Dos Ramos. "I think there's no doubt that he'll get the [Plate] distance. He runs nice and relaxed."

Attfield also says he believes Just in Case Jimmy will move up with the stretch out.

"I really think he'll love the mile and a quarter, and some of the others won't," said Attfield.

Plate draw Friday morning

The draw for the Queen's Plate will take place here Friday at the traditional Queen's Plate breakfast, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the walking ring.

The draw will be a two-stage process, with a random draw first establishing the order in which the connections of each entrant will select post positions. Following a five-minute consultation period, they will begin to choose their posts according to that order.

The "draft" style draw has been used for the Queen's Plate since 1998.

Perdita Felicien, the current world champion in 100-meter hurdles and one of Canada's top hopes for this summer's Olympic Games in Athens, will be the ceremonial drawmaster.

* Jockey Stewart Elliott, who will ride Long Pond in the Queen's Plate, will also be here Friday morning and will be available to the media in the walking ring from approximately 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

On Sunday, from 10 a.m. through 12 p.m., Woodbine will host a public autograph signing with Elliott on the second floor of the grandstand.