06/15/2012 12:42PM

Woodbine notes: Carroll singles Wilcox for Queen's Plate


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Heading into this week, trainer Josie Carroll was considering any or all of Beeker Street, Canadian Navy, and Wilcox for the June 24 Queen’s Plate.

But by Friday morning Carroll had decided that only Wilcox would represent the stable in the $1 million, 1 1/4-mile showpiece for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

“Wilcox worked extremely well the other day,” said Carroll, who had sent out Wilcox for a seven-furlong drill in 1:28 here Wednesday morning.

“He galloped out very strongly. His rider had trouble pulling him up. He should love the mile and a quarter.”

Wilcox has seen action just twice, winning his maiden over 1 1/16 miles on turf here May 26 after finishing eighth over the same distance on Polytrack four weeks earlier.

Beeker Street and Canadian Navy also are lightly raced, but Carroll feels that competing in the Queen’s Plate would not be in their best interests.

“I think they’re both very nice horses,” said Carroll, “but they got a bit of a late start on the year, and it’s asking a little too much of them to get a mile and a quarter at this point.”

Beeker Street won his first two career starts this spring at seven furlongs, including the Queenston Stakes, before finishing a well-beaten seventh in the 1 1/8 mile Plate Trial.

Canadian Navy also has raced three times, winning his maiden over seven furlongs in his second career start here this spring before finishing third in a first-level allowance for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.

Looking like 14 in the gate

As of Friday morning the Queen’s Plate was shaping up with a field of 14.

In alphabetical order, with riders where confirmed, the horses are Big Creek (Ramon Dominguez), Classic Bryce, Colleen’s Sailor (John Velazquez), Dixie Strike (Patrick Husbands), Golden Ridge (Luis Contreras), Irish Mission (Alex Solis), Macho Whiskey (Emma-Jane Wilson), Making Amends (Eurico Rosa da Silva), Peyton (Julien Leparoux), Prince Raphael (Richard Dos Ramos), River Rush (Jim McAleney), Strait of Dover (Justin Stein), Ultimate Destiny (Steven Bahen), and Wilcox.

Dixie Strike, coming off a disappointing fifth-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks, breezed five furlongs on the main track and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.40 with Husbands in the irons here Friday morning.

“Her company ran off early, so Patrick just sat chilly on her,” said Mark Casse, who trains Dixie Strike for owner John Oxley.

“He was very pleased with her, and I was pleased with her. I told Patrick not to let her gallop out, so he shut her down.”

Locals head to Presque Isle

Sweet Cassopeia and Sweet Starlet, both based here at Woodbine in the same barn, have shipped to Presque Isle Downs for Tuesday’s $100,000 Satin and Lace Stakes.

The prospective field for the Satin and Lace, a 5 1/2-furlong race for fillies and mares, also includes Dr. Diamonds Prize and Honey Chile, both of whom finished second in graded sprint stakes here at the current Woodbine meeting.

Dr. Diamonds Prize was beaten 2 1/2 lengths in the 6 1/2-furlong Hendrie here May 19 by Roxy Gap, who defeated Honey Chile by a neck in the six-furlong Whimsical four weeks earlier.

Sweet Cassipoeia, trained here by Barbara Minshall, ran fifth in the Whimsical and third in the Hendrie before disappointing under third-level allowance terms here June 8.

Sweet Starlet, owned and trained by Jim Ensom, is undefeated in two starts here this year at the $62,500 optional claiming/second-level claiming level. Her regular rider, Gerry Olgion, has the mount in Erie.

Attfield stars breeze

Musketier and Simmard both breezed on the training turf course here Friday of the watchful eye of Nancy Sullivan, an assistant trainer in the Roger Attfield barn.

Simmard was clocked in 47 seconds for four furlongs with Patrick Husbands in the irons, while Musketier went a leisurely five furlongs in 1:03 under exercise rider Darren Fortune.

Both Musketier and Simmard are aiming for next Sunday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Singspiel, a 1 1/2-mile turf race that is one of five supporting stakes scheduled for the Queen’s Plate undercard.

Awards on tap

The Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club will be hosting its annual awards day here Sunday, recognizing its choices for the outstanding performers at Woodbine in 2011.

The club’s signature award, claimer of the year, is going to Consolidator Joe, a homebred 4-year-old who is owned by Syd Cooper and trained by Norm McKnight.

Consolidator Joe won 5 of his 7 starts last year, with four of those successes coming for claiming prices of $40,000 to $50,000.

Jockey Luis Contreras, trainer Roger Attfield, and owner Danny Dion’s Bear Stable also will be presented with awards by the TTRC, with presentations taking place in the winner’s circle.