03/18/2009 11:00PM

Square Eddie top pick in Queen's Plate futures


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Square Eddie, runner-up in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, has been made the 5-2 favorite in the annual winter book for the June 21 Queen's Plate here at Woodbine.

The winter book, a hypothetical exercise compiled by Woodbine oddsmaker Jennifer Morrison, lists odds for all of the 123 nominees currently eligible for the $1 million Queen's Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race that is the first leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Square Eddie, bred in Ontario by Kinghaven Farm and based in California with trainer Doug O'Neill, was sidelined by a microfracture in a cannon bone in early February.

Next in Morrison's line at 6-1 is Utterly Cool, who made all of his four starts on turf last year and was a 10 1/4-length winner of Woodbine's 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer for trainer Sid Attard.

Rounding out the top five are Active Duty, at 10-1, and El Brujo and Van Lear Rose, both at 12-1.

Active Duty, winner of last fall's 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity at Woodbine, is in California with trainer Mark Casse and most recently was seventh in a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

El Brujo, runner-up in the Coronation, is in training with Malcolm Pierce at the Fair Grounds, while Van Lear Rose, a respectable sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, is with trainer Catherine Day Phillips in Florida.

The next nomination deadline for the Queen's Plate is May 1, when a sustaining payment of $1,500 or a late nomination fee of $5,000 is due.

Entry-day supplements, at a cost of $25,000, also will be available.