05/25/2010 11:00PM

Smart Sky best of Plate prospects


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Nominees to the $1 million Queen's Plate on July 4 are prevalent in two maiden special weight events on Friday's nine-race card at Woodbine. They are headed by Smart Sky in race 2, a 1 1/8-mile route on Polytrack.

Smart Sky failed to fire in his two winter excursions at Gulfstream Park, but was a wide-closing second on a speed-favoring track in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint here April 17. He ran even better going 1 1/16 miles most recently, when he rallied wide from far back to lose by a nose to the upwardly-mobile Mobilizer.

Smart Sky worked three-quarters in 1:15 last Friday for trainer Mike Doyle.

Vicar Street wasn't a badly-beaten fourth behind Smart Sky after coming from the back of the pack in his last race May 8. He was previously third behind the talented duo of Artic Fern and Dark Cloud Dancer in a tough seven-furlong maiden special. Artic Fern returned to beat Mobilizer after leading throughout a rapid allowance route last Sunday.

The other Plate-eligible runners in race 2 are Captain Canuck and Indy League.

The beautifully-bred Cognashene looks best of the four Plate nominees in the ninth, a one-mile turf race

Cognashene closed for third in his first start in February on the grass at Fair Grounds, and then went on to finish second as the favorite in a slow maiden special over Keeneland's Polytrack. He never challenged during a wide trip in his local debut on the main track.

Malcolm Pierce trains Cognashene, who is by Dynaformer and out of Canadian Oaks winner Catch the Ring.

Older maidens Prized Humor and Gazumba, who are both Kentucky-breds, should have an impact in the ninth if they handle the grass.

Prized Humor is adding blinkers off a third-place finish behind Mobilizer and Smart Sky. He could go favored under Eurico Da Silva.