06/22/2006 12:00AM

Wanna Runner draws post 9


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wanna Runner, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, will break from post 9 in Sunday's $1 million at Woodbine.

The field of 13 for the 147th running of the Queen's Plate was introduced at the ceremonial draw Thursday, a two-tiered process in which the connections drew for their order of preference and then selected their own post positions.

Trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Mike Pegram, Wanna Runner drew the eighth choice in the selection process. Warren Byrne, a California-based bloodstock agent who represented Baffert and Pegram at the draw, choose post 9.

"Bob wanted him to be as close to the inside as possible, and that was the best choice left," said Byrne.

Wanna Runner enters the Queen's Plate off back-to-back victories in the 1 1/8-mile WinStar Derby at Sunland Park and the 1 1/16-mile Lone Star Derby. Regular rider Victor Espinoza has the mount.

Malakoff, the morning-line second choice at 3-1, will begin from post 8 under jockey Todd Kabel.

"I'm happy with that," said Brian Lynch, who trains Malakoff for Stronach Stable. "Handicapping the race, I think Wanna Runner is going to be the speed. We'll sit just outside of him."

Malakoff comes into the Queen's Plate off a decisive victory in the Grade 3 Marine at 1 1/16 miles here May 20.

Sterwins, a lightly raced colt who will compete for jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher, is the third choice in the Queen's Plate at 6-1. Sterwins was a romping maiden winner in his second start, over 1 1/16 miles at Monmouth Park on June 10. He will begin from post 5.

Shillelagh Slew will be making his second start of the season in the Queen's Plate, following a first-level allowance victory over seven furlongs here April 29. The fourth choice at 8-1, Shillelagh Slew will break from post 3 under Dino Luciani.

"He's pretty much an off-the-pace type, and he'll be able to save some ground," said trainer Mike DePaulo.

All eight contestants from the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial on June 4 are entered back in the Queen's Plate, including the winner, Pipers Thunder.