06/13/2012 11:58AM

Woodbine: Golden Ridge puts in strong work for Queen's Plate

Michael Burns
Beeker Street worked without blinkers on Wednesday as he prepares for a possible start in the Queen’s Plate.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Golden Ridge, who will be looking to parlay an impressive maiden victory into a major double in the June 24 Queen’s Plate, breezed five furlongs in 59.40 seconds here Wednesday morning.

Luis Contreras, who has ridden Golden Ridge in each of his three career starts, was aboard for the workout that was more than two seconds faster than the second-ranked move at the distance.

“He worked extremely well,” said Mark Casse, who trains the homebred Golden Ridge for Eugene Melnyk. “I told Luis I wanted a good strong five-eighths, and I caught him galloping out seven furlongs in 1:26.60.

“The track was a little tough this morning; he was working into a strong headwind. He broke off about 10 lengths behind one of my other horses and beat him by about five lengths.”

Golden Ridge, unraced at 2, joined Casse’s string at Palm Meadows last December.

“He was kind of a slow learner at first, then he started catching on,” Casse said. “I’d breezed him a couple of times on the turf there, so I ran him on the turf first time at Gulfstream.”

Golden Ridge finished a solid third in that 1 1/16-mile race at Gulfstream on March 2, beaten just a half-length, and then missed by a neck as the runner-up when trying Polytrack over the same distance at Keeneland six weeks later.

On May 13, in his local debut at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack, Golden Ridge rallied from just off the pace under Contreras to score by 2 1/2 lengths.

“He was very professional,” Casse said. “He’ll sit and make one run. That should be good at a mile and a quarter.

“Even before he ran, we’d hoped he was a Queen’s Plate kind of horse. But he’s not a big, robust colt – he’s more of a tall, lean kind. I knew I didn’t want him to have too many races and had decided that if he broke his maiden that day he’d go straight to the Plate.”

Carroll works trio for Plate

Three Queen’s Plate nominees trained by Josie Carroll worked on the main track here Wednesday morning, with Canadian Navy and Wilcox going seven furlongs together in 1:28 and Beeker Street breezing five furlongs in 1:02.

Na Somsanith was aboard Canadian Navy, with Justin Stein doing the honors on Wilcox. Beeker Street, without the blinkers that he has worn in his three starts, had Patrick Husbands in the irons.

“All I can tell you right now is that they all worked well, and we’ll be making some decisions in the next couple of days,” Carroll said.

Canadian Navy, owned by Earle Mack, has seen action three times and is coming off a third-place finish in a first-level allowance race at 1 1/8 miles here May 27.

Wilcox, a homebred who races for Eugene Melnyk, has started twice and was a smart winner over 1 1/16 miles of turf in his second outing here May 26.

Beeker Street won his first two career starts here this spring at seven furlongs, including the Queenston Stakes, but then faltered to finish seventh in the 1 1/18-mile Plate Trial on June 3.

Vern and Donna Dubinsky, who won last year’s Queen’s Plate with Inglorious, are the owners and breeders of Beeker Street.

Leparoux gets mount on Peyton

Trainer Mike Doyle has called upon Julien Leparoux to pilot Peyton in the $1 million Queen’s Plate.

Peyton, owned and bred by Bill Graham’s Windhaven Farm, finished fifth in the Plate Trial, beaten 7 1/4 lengths but just two lengths shy of the runner-up spot.

Hollinger works for King Edward

Hollinger drilled five furlongs on the training turf course in 1:00.80 here Wednesday morning in preparation for the Grade 2, $250,000 King Edward, a one-mile turf race that is one of five supporting stakes scheduled for the Queen’s Plate program.

Tyler Pizarro was aboard Hollinger, who went in company with stablemate Cafe Elektric for trainer Roger Attfield, with the turf rated firm and the dogs well out.

Cafe Elektric, a 4-year-old, was clocked in 1:01.40.

Forte dei Marmi, also trained by Attfield, had been under serious consideration for the King Edward, but has been entered in Saturday’s $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup.

Rajiv Maragh has the call on Forte dei Marmi for the 1 3/16-mile stakes at Colonial Downs.

Zadracarta attracts deep field

Saturday’s $150,000 Victoria Stakes, a five-furlong race for 2-year-olds, was life and death to attract five entrants.

But the Zadracarta, a supporting feature, fared much better with 11 Ontario-foaled fillies and mares signing on for the overnight stakes scheduled for seven furlongs of turf.

Heading the field will be Jenny’s So Great and Moonlit Beauty, the respective winners of the two most recent runnings of the Zadracarta.

But the lightly-raced Strike Red, who will be making her stakes debut in just her fourth career start, also is looming a formidable presence for trainer Malcolm Pierce.

“I had her ready to go as a 2-year-old, but she got hurt,” said Pierce, who trains the homebred 4-year-old Strike Red for Sam-Son Farm. “Then she had one race last year, got hurt, and I sent her home. Now, we’ve finally been able to put together two races with her.”

Strike Red had been an impressive winner over 6 1/2 furlongs of turf in her debut here last September, but was fifth when returning to face first-level allowance company over one mile of turf at Keeneland on April 20.

Back at Woodbine for her most recent appearance May 20, Strike Red landed her first allowance condition with a four-length score over 6 1/2 furlongs of the E.P. Taylor course.

“From an ‘A-other-than,’ this is a big step up, but I think she’s a very nice filly,” Pierce said.

Cognashene eyeing Singspiel

Pierce also is eyeing the June 24 Singspiel on behalf of Cognashene, a 5-year-old gelding who was up in the nick of time to win under second-level allowance terms over 1 1/16 miles of grass here last time out.

“He was very impressive,” Pierce said. “He probably ran his last eighth of a mile as fast as any horse at the meet, and it seems like it was not too tough a race on him.”

The Grade 3 Singspiel, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up, is one of six stakes scheduled for Queen’s Plate Day.

Cognashene finished third here over 1 1/2 miles of yielding going in last year’s Breeders’ Stakes, his only previous try at the distance.

“He wasn’t seasoned enough at the time to do it,” Pierce said.