06/22/2008 12:00AM

Maiden tries to turn the tables

Email
Michael Burns
Not Bourbon will attempt to give trainer Roger Attfield a record-tying eighth Plate victory.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Not Bourbon and Solitaire, the top two finishers in the Plate Trial Stakes, will clash again Sunday at Woodbine in the 149th running of the $1 million Queen's Plate. The prestigious event has also lured Woodbine Oaks winner Ginger Brew among its cast of 15 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

The 11-race card also features a pair of Grade 3 turf stakes, the $200,000 Highlander and the $150,000 Singspiel. Post time for the first race is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.

The 1 1/4-mile Plate, on Polytrack, is first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. It will be followed by the July 13 Prince of Wales Stakes, over 1 3/16 miles on the dirt at Fort Erie, and the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Stakes on the grass here Aug. 3. The last horse to sweep the series was Wando in 2003, when the Queen's Plate was run on dirt.

Not Bourbon, a speedy Charles Fipke homebred, will attempt to give trainer Roger Attfield a record-tying eighth Plate victory. Not Bourbon won his second consecutive stakes after stalking the pace in the Trial, which was his first start around two turns.

Jockey Jono Jones said Not Bourbon settled beautifully in the early stages of the nine-furlong Trial.

"I had my doubts he would stay, but I wasn't too surprised," said Jones. "I got him to relax, and he ran his race. If he does it again, it'll take a good horse to beat him. His turn of foot is awesome."

Solitaire, a maiden based at Saratoga with trainer James Bond, was making just his second start in the Trial. With Robert Landry aboard, he closed steadily from off slow fractions to finish a neck behind the winner.

"I think he's a real live horse," said Landry. "He was winter-trained, and has a great foundation. For as few races as he's had, he's been professional about everything. I think he learned a lot in the Trial. I just loved way that he handled everything. I don't think it was that hard on him. He really only ran the last part of it. He came back and worked well the other day.

"I have a lot of confidence in the horse and the trainer," Landry added. "I wouldn't want to be riding any other horse in the race."

Trainer Brian Lynch entered two Stronach Stable runners, the filly Ginger Brew, who was supplemented at a cost of $25,000, and the promising maiden Jungle Brew.

Ginger Brew rallied from well back and overcame some bumping early in the stretch to win the nine-furlong Oaks easily, on a brutally hot day here June 8.

"Coming back in two weeks is always a concern, but she seems to be in good shape," said Lynch. "She's healthy and happy enough after that race. We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't think she had a chance."

Jungle Brew was a fast-closing second in both of his races in maiden special company.

"I couldn't be more happy with him," said Lynch. "The big question is whether or not he can get the mile and a quarter in his third start. When he levels off, he covers a lot of ground. I wouldn't be taking a shot with him if I thought that he was way out of his league."

Sebastian's Song made an early bid for the lead on the far turn in the Trial, before fading to third. Trainer Alec Fehr said he believes that effort was a step forward for Sebastian's Song.

"I was excited when he ran like that," said Fehr. "It was an improved race from his previous start."

Deputiformer, victorious in the Cup and Saucer Stakes at 2, is coming off two straight fifth-place finishes under Jerry Baird, who said the gelding has not been responding to rating tactics.

"We've been trying to take him back, and he really hasn't been happy," said Baird. "When I worked him last time, I took a long hold of him, and he relaxed and really kicked on at the end. I was quite impressed with him."

Took the Time and Palmers, a pair of Mark Casse-trained runners, are both coming off a runner-up placing in a first-level allowance.