Updated on 07/01/2014 12:40PM

Queen's Plate contenders have final pre-race works

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Michael Burns
Asserting Bear breezes five furlongs in 59.20 seconds on Sunday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – With one week left before the 155th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate, many of the contenders took to the track this weekend for their final works.

A field of 16 is expected for Sunday’s race, and 15 horses recorded workouts over the weekend.

We Miss Artie, the probable Queen's Plate favorite, worked a half-mile in 49.80 seconds over the training track at Saratoga on Monday. It was the 15th-fastest of 35 drills at the distance. Javier Castellano, who guided We Miss Artie to victory in the June 15 Plate Trial Stakes, is slated to ride him again Sunday for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Leading the local contingent Sunday morning was Asserting Bear for trainer Reade Baker, breezing five furlongs in company on the dirt training track. Breaking off a length behind the 3-year-old filly Rimini Rose, Asserting Bear moved along the inside through the turn and blew by his stablemate down the lane, crossing the wire four lengths in front. Asserting Bear was clocked in 59.20 seconds.

“It was super. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Baker said. “He needs company when he works. Usually, he stays with the company at their speed, but he just drew away from that filly today. That’s a very positive sign.”

Also working for Baker on Sunday morning was Man o’ Bear, who handily covered five furlongs in 1:00.80, also on the dirt training track.

Baker confirmed that jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse will retain the mount on Asserting Bear, while Emma-Jayne Wilson will ride Man o’ Bear in the Queen’s Plate.

Ami’s Holiday, who was placed second ahead of Asserting Bear after the two horses bumped in the stretch during the Marine Stakes, worked five furlongs on the main track Sunday morning. Ami’s Holiday, with regular exercise rider Billy O’Connor in the irons, worked in company with stablemate Famous Graduate and was clocked in 59.60 seconds.

“He hit every pole spot on, just like I asked him to do,” said trainer Josie Carroll. “Everything’s on go, and now it’s up to the horse.”

Luis Contreras will have the mount on Ami’s Holiday for the Queen’s Plate.

Trainer Mark Casse, who will saddle three horses in Sunday’s Queen’s Plate, had two workers Sunday after Woodbine Oaks winner Lexie Lou covered five furlongs in 1:02.40 in company with Stealcase on Saturday morning.

Matador breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 in company with Countryman, while Majestic Sunset breezed alone in 1:01.00.

Jockey Patrick Husbands will ride Lexie Lou in the Queen’s Plate, while Julien Leparoux will ride Matador and Gary Boulanger will be on Majestic Sunset.

One Destiny had the top five-furlong workout time of all Queen’s Plate contenders Sunday morning, as he covered the distance in 59.00 seconds on the main track in company with his older full brother and 2012 Queen’s Plate starter Ultimate Destiny. Jockey Justin Stein was in the irons on One Destiny for Sunday’s work and will have the mount in the Queen’s Plate for trainer Alec Fehr.

Athenian Guard (1:00.80) and Niigon Express (1:01.40) also worked five furlongs Sunday morning on the main track.

Four horses breezed six furlongs on the main track Sunday, including Lions Bay (1:13.40), Cap in Hand (1:13.80), Coltimus Prime (1:14.80), and Heart to Heart (1:18.00).

Trainer Roger Attfield, who will seek his record ninth Queen’s Plate victory Sunday, sent out his lone Queen’s Plate contender, Tower of Texas, Friday morning for a six-furlong work in 1:12.80 handily. 

Rhythm Blues breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 Saturday morning for trainer Nicholas Gonzalez.