06/20/2005 12:00AM

Quality over quantity the Queen's Plate theme

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
The Plate Trial DQ of Dance With Ravens (above) is under appeal.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The field for Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate may be lacking in the accustomed quantity, with only nine horses expected to participate as of Monday.

But contention runs deep in the $1 million Queen's Plate, with the majority of the candidates capable of capturing the 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

There also is an unusual amount of intrigue surrounding this year's Queen's Plate.

There are unknown quantities with the filly Gold Strike taking on males after her impressive win in the June 12 Labatt Wooodbine Oaks, and with both King of Jazz and Wild Desert slated to make their first local appearance.

And there is the controversial Plate Trial, in which shipper Three in the Bag was awarded first-place money upon the disqualification of Dance With Ravens. That decision is under appeal to the Ontario Racing Commission.

Dance With Ravens first will be looking to state his case on the racetrack and had his final major Plate tune-up last Saturday with six furlongs in 1:13.20.

Regular rider Todd Kabel was aboard Dance With Ravens, who settled a couple of lengths behind his stablemate Longship and exercise rider Hugh Chatman before coming on to finish on virtually even terms with his stablemate.

"It was not a real stringent work, but a nice cruising work" said Mark Frostad, who trains Dance With Ravens for Sam-Son Farm. "He galloped out real well."

Get Down, the official second-place finisher in the Plate Trial, also was on the main-track work tab here Saturday, credited with breezing six furlongs in 1:19.

But trainer Nancy Triola, who was aboard Get Down, said the clocking was incidental.

"I just wanted to do a two-minute lick with him for a mile," said Triola. "He went his first half in 54, and the second in 53 and change.

"That's all I wanted to do, really, but they ended up giving me a time for three-quarters."

Get Down, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, was beaten 2 1/2 lengths and was promoted to second place in the June 5 Plate Trial, his second try around two turns and first at Woodbine.

"I'll just keep galloping him now. That's it," said Triola. "He keeps himself pretty fit on a regular basis.

"And, he's coming back in three weeks."

The field for the Queen's Plate will be drawn Thursday, at a ceremonial breakfast. The draw will be two-tiered, with a selection order first being established and the posts then chosen by the connections.


$1 million. Canadian-bred 3-year-olds. 1 1/4 miles. Sunday, June 26

AbloR. AttfieldG. Olguin
Dance With RavensM. FrostadT. Kabel
Get DownN. TriolaR. Migliore
Gold StrikeR. BakerJ. McAleney
Granique A. FehrC. Fraser
King of JazzC. NafzgerR. Bejarano
Runnaway MonM. CasseE. Ramsammy
Three in the BagS. HoughR. Landry
Wild DesertB. FrankelP. Valenzuela