Updated on 06/20/2011 3:15PM

Queen's Plate: 17 3-year-olds still candidates for Woodbine's premier event

Michael Burns
The filly Inglorious, winning the Woodbine Oaks, is among the prime contenders expected to run in Sunday's Queen's Plate.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Check Your Soul, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial, and Queens’platekitten, who captured the 1 1/16-mile Marine, top a large list of candidates for Woodbine’s $1 million Queen’s Plate.

As of Monday morning the connections of 17 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds were looking to contest the Queen’s Plate, the 1 1/4-mile race which will be run for the 152nd time here Sunday afternoon.

Check Your Soul, trained here by Roger Attfield, and Queen’splatekitten, based at Belmont with Todd Pletcher, are expected to vie for favoritism in a field which also will include Inglorious, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks.

Other leading contenders include Bowman’s Causeway, runner-up in the Plate Trial and slated to return from Saratoga for trainer Chad Brown.

The Queen’s Plate will attract a number of import riders with John Velazquez scheduled to ride Queen’splatekitten, Garret Gomez recruited for Curgone, Robby Albarado getting the call on Enduring Star, Willie Martinez taking the mount on Strike Oil, and Ben Creed coming in with Maple Leaf Kitten.

Also, Chantal Sutherland is scheduled to ride here for the first time since deciding to keep her tack in California following her winter campaign there.

Ojibway Signal and Curgone both tuned up for the Queen’s Plate here Monday with five-furlong workouts.

Regular rider Justin Stein was aboard Ojibway Signal, who breezed on his own in 1:00, the fastest of 33 works of the distance..

“He galloped out strong,” said David Bell, trainer and co-owner of Ojibway Signal. “He’s happy, doing real good.”

Curgone, with jockey Neil Husbands, was timed in 1:01.40 while going in company with stablemate Crown’s Path and rider Jesse Campbell.

“They finished head and head, but Curgone galloped out 15 lengths in front,” said trainer Greg De Gannes, who caught his Queen’s Plate hopeful pulling up through a mile in 1:44.

Ojibway Signal and Curgone both will be longshots in the Queen’s Plate after finishing third and fourth, respectively, in a restricted first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles here June 1.

Okimya, winner of a 1 /16-mile restricted allowance race in his seasonal bow here June 3, had what trainer John Mattine termed a “pretty strong gallop” on Monday morning under new rider Jesse Campbell.

“It was just to let them get comfortable with each other,” said Mattine. “He ran hard in his first race. Now, we’ve got to bring him back up again.”

Queen’splatekitten worked a half-mile in 50.01 seconds Monday morning over Belmont Park’s inner turf course, going in company with the multiple turf sprint stakes-winning filly Rose Catherine, who was given the same time.

The work was done around a triple set of traffic cones, commonly referred to as dogs, over a course labeled good.

Queens’splatekitten’s two previous works were on the dirt.

"That’s his third work, he’s doing good,’’ said Pletcher, who plans to ship Queen’splatekitten to Woodbine on Thursday. The Queen’s Plate will be this colt’s first beyond 1 1/8 miles.

"I don’t think the distance will be an issue as long as he settles the first part, and he settled very well last time,’’ Pletcher said.

Oh Canada, coming into the Queen’s Plate off a third-place finish in the May 21 Marine, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.80 here Sunday under exercise rider Niketo Griffiths.

“He’s breezed on his own, the last three times,” said Bob Tiller. “He’s a lazy horse by himself. He used to work in company, but this is the way we’re bringing him into the race.”

Emma-Jayne Wilson has picked up the mount on Oh Canada.

Bowman’s Causeway breezed four furlongs at Saratoga on Sunday in 49.20.

Head Honcho joins Queen’s Plate cast

Head Honcho, winner of the June 1 allowance race in which Ojibway Signal and Curgone competed, was given the green light to proceed to the Queen’s Plate after breezing five furlongs in 1:00.40 here Saturday.

Assistant trainer Candice Bowyer was aboard Head Honcho, who worked in company with older stablemate Vicar Street and exercise rider Richard Robertson.

“He sat off Vicar Street then caught him, turning for home, and galloped out well,” said trainer Catherine Day Phillips.

- additional reporting by David Grening