06/15/2008 11:00PM

Stronach changes Queen's Plate plans


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - There is a major Stronach shuffle heading into the Queen's Plate as Harlem Rocker, initially the stable's leading candidate, is out of the race, and Ginger Brew, winner of the June 8 Woodbine Oaks, could be in.

Harlem Rocker, who came into the June 1 Plate Trial with three wins in as many starts, including Aqueduct's Grade 3 Withers, bombed there as the 1-5 favorite.

A Polytrack breeze last Saturday was to determine Harlem Rocker's path, but although the colt went in 58.20 seconds, outworking stablemate and recent allowance winner Barreling Home, the work was fast early and slow late, and the Queen's Plate was off the menu.

"We believe he's better on dirt," Mike Rogers, manager of operations for Frank Stronach, said on Monday morning. "As of right now, Frank intends to run Ginger Brew and Jungle Brew in the Plate."

Ginger Brew scored by six lengths in the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks, and immediately following the race her connections were adamant that she would not run back in the Queen's Plate.

That plan evidently has changed, although Ginger Brew will run only if all systems are perfect.

"She came out of the race fabulous," said Ginger Brew's trainer, Brian Lynch. "If something was to happen, that she wasn't 100 percent going in, she wouldn't run."

Ginger Brew would have to be supplemented to the Queen's Plate at a cost of $25,000.

Jungle Brew is winless in just two starts but is coming off a solid second-place finish in a 1 1/8-mile maiden race on Plate Trial Day.

On Saturday, Jungle Brew worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 in company with older stablemate Perfect Bullet, a recent allowance winner here.

In other Queen's Plate developments:

* Solitaire, based at Saratoga with trainer Jim Bond, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.40 last Saturday.

"I put another horse with him, just to keep him honest, and he just kind of drew away from him," said Bond, who shipped in Solitaire to finish a close second behind Queen's Plate favorite Not Bourbon in the Plate Trial. "I just wanted to get a good five-eighths under him. He did exactly what I needed, galloped out good, and came back good."

Solitaire will return to Woodbine on Wednesday or Thursday.

* Sebastian's Song, D. Flutie, and Mamma's Knight all worked six furlongs here Sunday in their final major tune-ups.

David Clark was aboard as Sebastian's Song worked behind older stablemates Dubai Gold and Colorful Judgement and finished in 1:12.60.

"They were 3 1/2 lengths in front of him," said trainer Alec Fehr. "He relaxed behind there until about the quarter pole, where David moved him out and he rolled by them."

Sebastian's Song finished third in the Plate Trial, beaten 3 3/4 lengths.

Emile Ramsammy rode D. Flutie, who was clocked in 1:11.40 after being joined by stablemate Cheers Mate, who went five furlongs in 1:01.80.

D. Flutie, beaten a nose by Jungle Brew as the third-place finisher in the June 1 maiden race, will be making his fifth career start in the Queen's Plate.

"He worked really well," trainer Mike Keogh said. "We're all set; we're just going to keep him healthy and happy."

Justin Stein will ride Mamma's Knight for the first time in the Queen's Plate, and the pair got to know each other through a 1:13 drill.

"The farther he went, the stronger he got," Stein said. "He pretty much did it all on his own."

Mamma's Knight is coming off an impressive victory in a first-level Ontario-sired allowance at 1 1/16 miles here June 4.

Harvest Home, who finished fourth behind Jungle Brew and D.oFlutie in the June 1 maiden race, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 on Sunday while going in company with stakes-winning older stablemate Catch the Thrill.

Mark Frostad, who trains Harvest Home, caught the colt galloping out six furlongs in 1:15 and seven furlongs in 1:28 under jockey Corey Fraser.

* East End Tap, who finished fifth in the Plate Trial, worked five furlongs in 1:01 here Saturday under jockey Tyler Pizarro.

"He galloped out three-quarters in 1:14," trainer Reade Baker said. "I took the blinkers off him, and they'll be off for the Plate."

East End Tap had worn blinkers for the second time in his career when making his first start for Baker in the Plate Trial.

* Took the Time and Shadowless tuned up with five-furlong breezes Monday.

Took the Time worked in company with stablemate Avie's Lady, a 3-year filly, and both were clocked in 1:00.

Simon Husbands was aboard Took the Time, who is to be ridden by Ramon Dominguez in the Queen's Plate.

"He was just galloping the last quarter," said trainer Mark Casse. "Simon didn't let him gallop out; he's done enough."

Shadowless, who is coming off a third-place finish in a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles here May 24, was clocked in 1:02.20 under Emma-Jayne Wilson.

"He sat off another filly for the first half, then went on by her," said trainer David Bell. "It was an easy breeze."