02/26/2016 11:36AM

Shakhimat early favorite for Queen's Plate

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Michael Burns
Shakhimat, shown winning the Coronation Futurity Stakes, is listed at 3-1 in the winter book for the July 3 Queen's Plate at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Coronation Futurity winner Shakhimat has been installed as the early 3-1 favorite for the 157th Queen’s Plate at Woodbine on July 3.

The 89th edition of the Queen’s Plate winter book, compiled by Ron Gierkink and Alex Campbell of Daily Racing Form and Keith McCalmont, manager of communications for the Woodbine Entertainment Group, offers hypothetical odds on all 88 3-year-olds nominated to the Canadian Triple Crown.

Shakhimat earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure for his 9 3/4-length victory in the Coronation Futurity on Nov. 8 and will seek to become the first Coronation Futurity winner to take the Queen’s Plate since Norcliffe won the 1975 Coronation Futurity and the 1976 Queen’s Plate. A win by Shakhimat also would give trainer Roger Attfield a record ninth Queen’s Plate title.

Shakhimat has not raced since the Coronation Futurity and is with Attfield at his winter base at Payson Park in Florida. Attfield said the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park on April 2 is a target for Shakhimat.

“We’re just starting to put plans together to see which way we’ll go with his racing,” Attfield said. “I’m thinking we’ll work towards the Spiral at Turfway Park, and I’ll race him once before that, but I’m not sure where or how at the moment.”

Amis Gizmo was named the 7-2 second choice after a 2-year-old campaign that saw him go undefeated in four stakes starts. After winning three sprint stakes to begin his career, Amis Gizmo capped his 2015 campaign with a victory in the Kingarvie Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Woodbine’s Polytrack on Nov. 28.

Amis Gizmo is one of three Canadian Triple Crown nominees for trainer Josie Carroll and owner-breeder Ivan Dalos. All three horses are in the top 10 in the Queen’s Plate winter book, with Glorious Song Stakes winner Ami’s Mesa listed as the sixth choice at 6-1 and Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes winner Gamble’s Ghost the eighth choice at 8-1.

Battery was named the 4-1 third choice off his first-level allowance win over 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 10, when he earned an 86 Beyer for trainer Todd Pletcher and owner Harrell Ventures LLC.

Grade 2 Summer Stakes winner Conquest Daddyo was named the 9-2 fourth choice and is one of 18 nominees for trainer Mark Casse. Conquest Stables LLC owns 11 of Casse’s nominees, including Conquest Daddyo. After his win in the Summer Stakes, Conquest Daddyo finished fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and began his 3-year-old campaign with a sixth-place finish in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 30.

Scholar Athlete (5-1), who was third in the Coronation Futurity for trainer Graham Motion and owner West Point Thoroughbreds, completes the top five winter-book choices and was entered in Saturday’s Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Rounding out the top 10 were Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner Caren (7-1); Mike (9-1), a full brother to 2011 Queen’s Plate third-place finisher Pender Harbour; and Kingarvie Stakes runner-up Aye Aye Captain (10-1).

The list of Canadian Triple Crown nominees with odds is available at www.queensplate.com.