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Woodbine: Carroll has four Queen’s Plate prospects
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Josie Carroll already has two Queen’s Plate wins on her r é sum é , having sent out Edenwold in 2006 and the filly Inglorious last year.
And while the 2012 Queen’s Plate is coming up fast, with just seven weeks remaining until the $1 million showpiece, Carroll does have four prospects on the list for the 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.
Beeker Street, an impressive winner of his April 15 debut at seven furlongs, will try to advance his cause here Saturday in the $150,000 Queenston at the same distance.
The Queenston, for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, attracted a field of eight that also is scheduled to include Danger Bay, Dead On, Fastestwhogetspaid, Making Amends, Menlo Castle, Peyton, and Run for Aruba.
Beeker Street is a homebred who races for the Donver Stable of Vern and Donna Dubinsky, who also campaign Inglorious.
“He’d been training pretty strong all winter,” said Carroll, who had Beeker Street at Palm Meadows.
“I think I’m asking a lot of him, to go from his first start to a stakes race, but I think if we have any Queen’s Plate hopes this is what we have to do.”
Drago’s Best, who was in Carroll’s Fair Grounds division, debuted with a second-place finish there Jan. 12 and ended the runner-up again three weeks later, with both races coming over six furlongs.
Owned for his breeder, Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings Limited, Drago’s Best made his local debut here April 7, winning his maiden at five furlongs, and then knocked out his first allowance condition at six furlongs here last Saturday.
“I think he’s a good horse,” said Carroll. “He’s done everything right so far, and I think he wants to go farther.
“I’m keeping him eligible for the Plate. We’ll find out after we stretch him out whether we’ll continue on that path.”
Canadian Navy, owned by Earle Mack, won his maiden in his second career start here last Friday with an emphatic score at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Last year, Canadian Navy debuted on the final day of the meeting and finished a closing second in a 5 1/2-furlong dash won by subsequent stakes winner Incredicat.
“I wanted to get that start into him, before I took him to Florida,” said Carroll “This is a beautifully made horse. He has a wonderful stride on him.
“I always liked this horse. The next step will be to stretch him out, and see where we are.”
Rounding out the Carroll quartet is Cant Catch Wynston, who is owned by the trainer in partnership with Steven Organ and Laconian Racing Stable.
Cant Catch Wynston, who is Ontario-sired, won his seven-furlong debut in restricted maiden company here April 14.
“He’s probably not a Plate horse, but he’ll run all day,” said Carroll. “Until he proves otherwise, he’s a hopeful.”
As for Inglorious, that champion 3-year-old filly was returning from a 6 1/2-month layoff and making her debut on grass when she finished second to the talented turf specialist Marketing Mix in a difficult one-mile allowance race at Keeneland on April 11.
While Carroll had considered bringing back Inglorious on Saturday in the Grade 2, $200,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, she has shifted her focus to Woodbine’s June 2 Nassau Stakes.
“She’ll go straight to the Nassau,” said Carroll
The Grade 2 Nassau, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares, is worth $300,000.
Attfield lacking bullets
Trainer Roger Attfield returned to Woodbine this week but barring any dramatic change he will be not be gunning for his ninth Queen’s Plate win this year.
“I don’t have a Canadian-bred 3-year-old colt, and I don’t have a 3-year-old filly,” said Attfield, who also expects to be a spectator on Woodbine Oaks Day, June 3.
Attfield also has lost some firepower in the older stakes ranks, with Society’s Chairman and Sand Cove retiring to stud last fall. Sand Cove took ill and was euthanized before getting a chance to breed a mare.
And the older filly and mare turf ranks, formerly an overpowering division for Attfield, is in search of a new leader.
Perfect Shirl, the most likely candidate for that honor, was injured last month.
“They put three screws in a cannon bone. She’ll be back for the fall,” said Attfield, who plans to lay up the filly on his farm in Loretto, Ontario.
Miss Keller, Canada’s champion turf female in 2010 and runner-up in the voting last year, was retired and sold in England last fall.
Mekong Melody, Oregon Lady, No Explaining, and Lady Shakespeare, all turf stakes winners for Attfield, also have headed to the breeding shed.
Attfield reports that Lady Shakespeare, owned by Charles Fipke, has been bred to Galileo in Ireland but is scheduled to return to Ontario to foal.
Williams heads out
Apprentice jockey Scott Williams has packed his tack and returned to Edmonton for the Northlands Park meeting that begins this Friday.
“Friends and family” were the reasons Williams cited for leaving Woodbine after he moved here this spring with an eye toward the long term.
The 23-year-old Williams will be serving a two-day suspension incurred at Northlands last year on Friday and Saturday. His apprentice allowance is scheduled to expire on Dec. 4.
Williams had 19 mounts at the current Woodbine meeting and compiled a record of 2-4-2.
Mazur to hold seminar
Handicapping guru Jim Mazur will be on hand here Saturday for a one-hour seminar beginning at 11 a.m. on the third floor of the grandstand.
Attendees will receive free copies of Mazur’s “Derby Zone” and “Triple Crown Handicapper”.
Advance wagering in most pools for the Kentucky Derby card will be available at all Woodbine Entertainment Group locations beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. Pick threes, pick fours, and the pick six pool will not open until the conclusion of Friday’s Churchill Downs card.
Mobile betting available
Woodbine’s HorsePlayer Interactive (HPI) has launched a new mobile betting platform that has been optimized for iPhone and Android smartphones but is compatible with a wide range of mobile devices and screen sizes.
Customers can place wagers and access live video streaming, programs, account funding, results, replays and the HPI rewards through their mobile devices at the HorsePlayerInteractive.com site.