06/10/2013 12:15PM

Woodbine: Dynamic Sky in the thick of Queen’s Plate contention

Michael Burns
Dynamic Sky (No. 3), with Joel Rosario riding, wins the Plate Trial by a nose on Sunday to stamp himself as a Queen’s Plate contender.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Dynamic Sky, who had been blanked in four starts since winning the seven-furlong Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 12, got back on target when he scored by a nose here in Sunday’s 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial.

Mark Casse, who trains Dynamic Sky for John Oxley, had watched the colt finish third here in the seven-furlong Queenston and had brought in jockey Joel Rosario for the $150,000 Plate Trial for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

“I think the horse looks good. He’s been training here for a while, and we took the blinkers off,” Casse said. “Did that help? Maybe.”

In any case, it would appear that Dynamic Sky will be heading into the $1 million Queen’s Plate, a 1 1/4- mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds here July 7, as one of the leading contenders.

“The farther the better for him,” Casse said. “I think Joel had to put him in a drive a little early, to catch up around the turn, and maybe going a mile and a quarter he can sit a little closer and then he won’t have to make up so much ground.”

Casse also sent out Jagger M to finish a closing sixth in the Plate Trial, beaten 4 3/4 lengths, and Kaigun to end another half-length back in seventh.

“I thought Jagger M ran quite well,” said Casse, who had watched the colt finish second in the Queenston, his local seasonal debut. “He ran the last three-eighths in something like 36, and his last eighth in 12. I don’t know how you can run any faster than that. This horse just sprinted home.

“And, I’ve got to believe he will learn a lot from the race. That was his first time around two turns. I would say there’s a good chance he’d go to the Plate”

Kaigun was making his third career start after graduating over 1 1/16 miles here three weeks earlier.

“I thought Kaigun ran okay, but we threw a lot at him and he was confused, I think,” Casse said.

The trainer said that jockey Gary Boulanger said the horse “was on and off the bit all the way.”

“I’ll have to talk to the owners, but I’m thinking we go to an allowance race, then aim for the Prince of Wales,” Casse said.

The Prince of Wales Stakes, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, will be run over 1 3/16 miles on Fort Erie’s dirt surface July 30.

His Race to Win impresses

His Race to Win, coming off his first lifetime win in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race here May 12, turned in a career effort when he missed by the slimmest of noses in the Plate Trial.

“I’m really pleased,” said Malcolm Pierce, who trains His Race to Win for Sam-Son Farm. “He’s just been going in the right direction since he broke his maiden.

“He shows me he deserves a spot in the Queen’s Plate gate, along with Up With the Birds.”

Heading straight to the Queen’s Plate off an impressive six-length score in the open Marine at 1 1/16 miles here May 26, Up With the Birds is the early Queen’s Plate favorite for Pierce and Sam-Son.

Gonzalez thinking positive

Midnight Aria and River Seven, both owned by Carlo and Lou Tucci and trained by Nick Gonzalez, remain under serious consideration for the Queen’s Plate after their respective third- and seventh-place finishes in the Plate Trial.

Jesse Campbell set the pace aboard Midnight Aria, who hung tough to be beaten just 1 1/4 lengths after finishing a similarly game third in the May 5 Wando over 1 1/16 miles.

“I was happy with his race,” Gonzalez said. “Jesse said he can do what he wants to do with him.”

River Seven, making just his second start of the season after finishing fourth in the Queenston, stumbled badly leaving the gate.

“He had his chances compromised with that bad start, but he didn’t hurt himself, grab a quarter, or nick himself or anything,” Gonzalez said.

“We’ll regroup.”

Pyrite Mountain still on target

Pyrite Mountain, a closing fourth as the lukewarm Plate Trial favorite off his Wando win, will be proceeding as scheduled to the Queen’s Plate.

“It was a paceless affair,” trainer Mark Frostad said. “He closed into it well enough. It looks like another eighth of a mile will suit him well.”

Kid Dreams headed back home

Kid Dreams, the California shipper trained by Neil Drysdale, was beaten only four lengths as the fifth-place finisher but is off the Queen’s Plate trail.

“He spun his wheels on it,” said Drysdale, who was giving Kid Dreams a chance to prove himself over the local Polytrack. “We’ll go back to California and back to the grass.”