06/21/2006 11:00PM

Wanna Runner gets post 9 in Plate


Wanna Runner, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, will break from post 9 in Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate 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.

"Bob wanted him to be as close to the inside as possible, and that was the best choice left," said Warren Byrne, a California-based bloodstock agent who represented Baffert and Pegram at the draw.

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 the formidable team of 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 lifetime 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. "I love the post."

All eight contestants from the 1 1/8 mile Plate Trial on June 4 are entered back in the Queen's Plate.

Pipers Thunder, the Plate Trial winner, is the fifth choice in the Queen's Plate at 10-1.

Ascot Bill, the Plate Trial runner-up, had the first choice of posts, and his trainer, Steve Attard, selected post 6.

"He'll be second-to-last to load," said Attard. "I don't want him to stay in the gate too long."