06/10/2016 12:46PM

Several try to get back on track in Plate Trial

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Shakhimat won the Transylvania at Keeneland (above) and then faded to ninth in the American Turf at Churchill Downs.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – A trio of contenders for Sunday’s $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine look to bounce back from recent losses as they prepare for the $1 million Queen’s Plate here on July 3.

Shakhimat, Amis Gizmo, and Battery each come off an uncharacteristic performance going into the Plate Trial, a 1 1/8-mile Tapeta race that, like the Queen’s Plate, is for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Shakhimat won the Coronation Futurity here in his last start of 2015 and the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland in his first start of 2016. He faded in the stretch after an early speed duel and finished ninth in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race at Churchill Downs on May 7.

“That’s still a little bit of a puzzler, that race,” trainer Roger Attfield said. “He got bumped a little bit, and he jumped on the bridle and got kind of rank.”

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Amis Gizmo went into the 1 1/16-mile Wando Stakes on April 24 here undefeated in four starts, all at 2. He fought for the lead early in the Wando and faded to fifth.

“He seems to be on track,” trainer Josie Carroll said. “Hopefully, we can throw that bad race out. I’m really not sure what happened. We’ve regrouped, and he’s worked well since.”

Meanwhile, Battery ships up from his training base at Saratoga after running 10th in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in March for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The field is rounded out by Aye Aye Captain, Conquest Cavalry, and Sir Dudley Digges.

Key Contenders

Shakhimat, by Lonhro

Last 3 Beyers: 81-91-91

◗ He has flashed early speed in all five of his races, but Attfield said he has worked behind horses.

“I worked him from behind horses at Payson Park two or three times with good older horses,” he said. “He came off the bridle, relaxed, and when he tipped out, he just ran by them. I never thought of him as a one-dimensional horse.”

Amis Gizmo, by Giant Gizmo

Last 3 Beyers: 75-84-86

◗ Aside from a troubled start in his debut, Amis Gizmo has been on or near the lead in each of his races. He looks to have a couple of other speed threats to deal with here.

Battery, by Bernardini

Last 3 Beyers: 56-77-69

◗ He’ll make his first start off a 2 1/2-month layoff. He ran well in two starts at Gulfstream Park this winter, including a second-place finish to Preakness Stakes runner-up Cherry Wine in January.

Aye Aye Captain, by Old Forester

Last 3 Beyers: 72-81-78

◗ He ran second in his 3-year-old debut in a seven-furlong allowance here May 8. With some speed to chase, he should get a good setup from off the pace.