06/16/2009 12:00AM

Shut It Down breezes half for Queen's Plate


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Shut It Down breezed four furlongs on the training track here in 48.80 seconds Tuesday in preparation for Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate.

The entrants will be announced Thursday morning at the annual Queen's Plate breakfast. A field of 14 is expected for the 1 1/4-mile race, which is the first leg of the triple crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

The double draw method will be employed, with the order of selection being determined by a blind draw and the connections of each entrant then choosing their own post position.

Exercise rider Carl DeFreitas was aboard for Shut It Down's final Plate workout, which was the fastest of eight at the distance over the dirt training track.

"I sent him over there because it just seems to be a quieter spot," said Lorne Richards, who trains Shut It Down for Vancouver-based owner K.K. Sangara. "There's less drama out there. Every time he goes to the main track it seems like there's a loose horse, or somebody gallops up behind you."

Shut It Down won the restricted seven-furlong Frost King last fall but is coming off a third-place finish in a restricted first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles here Mayo22. He will be ridden by Russell Baze in the Plate.

Born in Vancouver, the 50-year-old Baze finished up the Golden Gate meeting last Sunday with his world-record total standing at 10,525 wins.

"I needed a rider, and he's ridden for K.K. a bit," said Richards, who was based at Hastings before coming east to train a division for Sangara in 2001. "I have nothing but respect for the Baze family. Gary and Mike rode for me a bit when I was down at Longacres."

Russell Baze last rode here in 2003, guiding Attest to a fifth-place finish for Richards and Sangara in the Dominion Day Handicap. In his only previous Queen's Plate appearance, Baze finished eighth aboard Dave the Comet in 1999.

Milwaukee Appeal not definite for Plate

Trainer Scott Fairlie planned to wait until Thursday to make a final call on Milwaukee Appeal's participation in the Queen's Plate.

Although she was an impressive winner of the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks on June 7, the quick turnaround is a concern for Fairlie.

"I'm going over all the race replays of the other horses, and checking out the numbers," said Fairlie, who trains Milwaukee Appeal for Eugene George's C.E.C. Farm. "It's a tough call. You want to make sure you do the right thing."