04/19/2012 12:01PM

Woodbine: Perfect Tay begins drive for Queen's Plate in Wando Stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The road to the June 24 Queen’s Plate begins in earnest Saturday at Woodbine in the $100,000 Wando, and the promising Perfect Tay will make his stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack route for 3-year-olds.

Perfect Tay has made both of his starts over 1 1/16 miles on the grass at Gulfstream. He was based at the Payson Park training center with trainer Roger Attfield prior to his debut for a $75,000 tag on Feb. 18, in which he rallied strongly for second.

Trainer Lorne Richards claimed Perfect Tay from his opener on behalf of True North Stable, and then ran him back a month later in a maiden special. After a stalking trip, Perfect Tay came along the rail in the stretch to edge out the blue-blooded Bill Mott trainee Night Site for the win.

“That race was probably worth two races in experience,” said Richards. “He didn’t get to go when he wanted to, and was in a little tight down on the inside and got shuffled back a bit. But he got lucky, too. The horse on the lead drifted out, and took Mott’s horse out to the center of the track, which opened it up for us. Everything played out for him, but he still had to run at the end. He made the best of the opportunity when it came. It wasn’t the world’s toughest maiden race at Gulfstream, but I was happy with it.”

Richards said he has few clues regarding Perfect Tay’s ability to handle the Polytrack.

“He’s not a real impressive work horse, but he just seems to keep going,” said Richards. “I’m hoping that he shows up. He seems to have settled in here nicely. I haven’t really put [heavy] work into him since I got him. I figured he had a good bottom into him, coming from a winter at Payson.”

Aside from Perfect Tay, the other Canadian-breds in the Wando are Incredicat, Classic Bryce and Big Creek.

Incredicat graduated at first asking in the fall before going to Payson for the winter. Following a layoff, he set a rapid pace before fading to third in an optional-claiming sprint March 24 at Gulfstream.

Classic Bryce wintered in Ocala with trainer Darwin Banach, who won last Sunday’s Woodstock Stakes here with Town Prize.

Big Creek, based at Belmont with trainer Todd Pletcher, was a recent maiden winner traveling a mile at Penn National. The son of Indian Charlie has yet to compete on a synthetic surface.

Attendant, a maiden trained by Mark Frostad, rounds out the five-horse field.