06/19/2012 1:49PM

Woodbine: Prince Raphael out of Queen's Plate due to injury


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The probable field for Sunday’s Queen’s Plate was back to 14 on Tuesday with the defection of Prince Raphael, who was injured during a workout over the main track here last Sunday.

“He came out of breeze great, but we found a problem on Monday,” said Debbie England, who trains Prince Raphael for owners Oslen and Cristina Belle and Doug Reddington.

England did not specify either the nature of the injury nor how long Prince Raphael would be off but did say no surgery would be required.

“We need a little more information,” she said.

The $1 million Queen’s Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, is one of six stakes scheduled for Sunday’s 12-race blockbuster program which begins at 12 p.m.

Three graded turf stakes for 3-year-olds and upward – the $250,000 King Edward at one mile, the $200,000 Highlander at six furlongs, and the $150,000 Singspiel at 1 1/2 miles – also will be contested.

There has been an important development on the King Edward front as trainer Darrin Miller told Woodbine stakes manager Julie Bell that Havelock would be participating.

Havelock, who shipped in to win the Grade 2 Play the King over seven furlongs of turf last year, also had been nominated to the Highlander and Miller had been on the fence.

Rajiv Maragah, who also will ride the maiden Washington Dash for Miller in the Queen’s Plate, has the call on Havelock.

The $150,000 My Dear, a five-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies, and the $100,000 Trillium, a 1 1/16-mile overnight stakes for fillies and mares which will need a field of at least five to be carded, also are on tap.

Entries for all of Saturday and Sunday’s races, with the exception of the Queen’s Plate, were to be drawn on Wednesday.

The Queen’s Plate entry box closes at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. A $10,000 entry fee must accompany horses currently nominated and supplementary entrants must ante up $25,000.

The draw will take place at the Queen’s Plate breakfast in the walking ring.

The draw will be two-tiered with connections first drawing for their order of selection and then choosing their own positions after a short period of consultation.

River Rush, 5 1/4-length winner of the Plate Trial here, and Strait of Dover, a 6 1/4-length victor in the Marine here May 12, are expected to vie for favoritism in the Queen’s Plate.

* The Queen’s Plate will be run under Woodbine stakes race surveillance program. All entrants must be on the grounds by 11 a.m. Friday morning, blood samples will be drawn, and Woodbine security will be conducting spot checks until Sunday afternoon.