03/06/2003 12:00AM

Wando tops Queen's Plate book


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wando, an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Grey Stakes here last October before disappointing in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, has been made the 7-2 choice in this year's "winter book" for the 144th running of Woodbine's Queen's Plate.

This year's winter book, a hypothetical exercise conducted by Woodbine's oddsmaker, Jennifer-Morrison Learn, was announced Thursday to coincide with the launch of the Woodbine Entertainment Group's free Queen's Plate Fantasy Challenge, a contest at www.WoodbineEntertainment.-com/ fantasy.

A record total of 194 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds were nominated for the $1 million Queen's Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race here on June 22 that is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

Wando is a homebred owned by Gustav Schickedanz and trained by Mike Keogh, who also are the connections behind Mobil, the winter book third choice at 6-1.

Mobil finished in a dead heat for first place with Arco's Gold in the 1 1/8 mile Coronation Futurity here last November only to be disqualified and placed second.

Arco's Gold, undefeated in three starts last year for trainer John Ross, is the second choice on the Plate list at 5-1.

Rounding out the top five are Quiet Dare (8-1), impressive winner of the 6 1/2-furlong Sunny's Halo here last November, and Goldies Legacy (15-1), an easy winner of a five-furlong maiden race in his only start for trainer Sid Attard.