Updated on 06/27/2012 3:04PM

Woodbine: Queen's Plate goes to front-running Strait of Dover

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Michael Burns
Strait of Dover sets a Woodbine track record for 1 1/4 miles by winning the Queen's Plate in 2:01.99.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario—Strait of Dover went right to the front under Justin Stein and never looked back to win a rapid renewal of the $1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine on Sunday.

Strait of Dover lowered the 1 1/4-mile Polytrack record by .19 of a second to 2:01.99 in the 153rd running of the Canadian classic. Trained by Danny Vella, Strait of Dover returned $9.60 as the second betting choice, and earned $600,000 for owner Canyon Farm.

Woodbine Oaks winner Irish Mission, an 8-1 shot, rallied four-wide from mid-pack to finish 1 1/4 lengths  back in second. Dixie Strike, another good filly, closed belatedly for third, and the stalking Colleen’s Sailor tired to complete a superfecta worth $4,271.35. Ultimate Destiny edged out 7-2 favorite River Rush for fifth in the 14-horse field of Canadian-breds.

On a track that was noticeably favoring speed, Strait of Dover set honest but not taxing fractions of 23.85 seconds, 47.74, and 1:12.31, with light rain falling.

“I’ve loved this horse all along,” said Stein. “He’s shown me that he’s a racehorse. He wants to win. He calmed right down as we went into the gate. I didn’t have to be on the lead, but no one else wanted to go. We were going pretty easy, so I just let him roll on up there. He galloped around there like a champ.”

The Plate was the fourth straight win for Strait of Dover, and hehas finished first in all five starts on Woodbine’s Polytrack, counting a maiden race in which he was disqualified. He was coming off an easy victory in the May 12 Marine Stakes, and then missed the Plate Trial Stakes due to a minor blood disorder, which wasn’t a major concern for Vella.

“I wasn’t scared to miss the Trial,” Vella said.

It was the second Queen’s Plate victory for Vella, who said pre-race strategy included the option of making the lead with Strait of Dover.

“We talked about it with Justin, analyzed the race, and thought it was a possibility that we’d end up on the front end,” Vella explained. “We really didn’t want that. You’re doing the work for everyone else, but if you’re there, you’re there. Justin is a great rider, with a lot of confidence. He knew when he was out there that he’d have to try and slow it down. He’s a great horse, and it was a great ride.”

Vella said Strait of Dover, a son of English Channel, is not a cinch to run back in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes on the dirt at Fort Erie on July 15. Strait of Dover ran poorly on the dirt at Hastings as a 2-year-old.

Alex Solis said he had a good trip aboard the huge chestnut Irish Mission, trained by Mark Frostad.

“She ran really hard,” Solis explained. “She was trying to get that horse, and he’s a very nice horse. Every time I would get close to him, he had another gear. It was a great race. It took a track record to beat [her].”

JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Congratulations to Strait of Dover on the wire-to-wire win in the Queen's Plate. It was a very nice win. And a very nice close on the part of Irish Mission to get up for the place spot. It was the first time I've watched Queen's Plate Day at Woodbine. I will make sure to watch it again next year.
Koushik More than 1 year ago
Super Horses are getting sell here www.morepay8.com. Choose yours best one by very reasonable cost.
Brett Amand More than 1 year ago
DIXIE STRIKE ran Huge closing like a train................. I Own ASPEN RIDGE...in Ocala... 1/2 to 1ST DAM NOBLE STRIKE...
jmpatane More than 1 year ago
if union gets outside he wins by 3 lengths, belmont time is underated. Queensplate, he may not have been challenged but straight of dover ran a good race that set a track record, weak field but a fine effort by the winner, even if he did have a perfect trip
jmpatane More than 1 year ago
if union rags gets outside he wins by 3 lengths, belmont time is underated
Steve More than 1 year ago
if he would have won by 10, the time would have been an average 2:28 and 2/5ths
Tom F More than 1 year ago
Who care......good betting race and hit the 0.40 cent super
Elijah Allison More than 1 year ago
yea you wish you hit the super you mean
Chris Szabo More than 1 year ago
The 1st #BC bred to ever win #Canada's most prestigious race, PLUS BC owned, PLUS a jockey born in #NewWestminster BC, who in the past rode at #HastingsRacecourse! Certainly a triumphant day 4 BC! #horseracing #QueensPlate #Woodbine
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
News Update from Europe: Black Caviar Tears Two Muscles in Diamond Jubilee Stakes Win at Royal Ascot By Ray Thomas The Daily Telegraph June 24, 2012 7:20PM CHAMPION mare Black Caviar has suffered two muscle tears and severe bruising to her hind quarters in her famous win in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Sunday. Trainer Peter Moody confirmed Black Caviar had pulled up sore after her narrow win. Veterinarians inspected the mare this morning at her Newmarket stable base and located the muscle injury and bruising. Moody said he was unsure at what stage of the race Black Caviar suffered her injuries. However, the trainer said veterinarians had informed him "she would have definitely felt it during the run." "She's had something like this before," Moody said. "She's entering quarantine today, we're sending her home, but we'll be able to have the injuries treated whilst she's in ­quarantine.&qu­ot; Moody said Black Caviar ate up after her Royal Ascot win but admitted the mare was "very flat and tired" this morning. Moody said no decision on Black Caviar's racing future would be made until after the mare had returned to Australia, recovered from her injuries and enjoyed a deserved spell. Moody is still hopeful Black Caviar will be right to race in Melbourne again during the coming spring carnival. Black Caviar's muscle injuries and bruising could explain why her customary acceleration and speed were missing during the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The 'Wonder from Down Under' was still poised to register another comfortable win when jockey Luke Nolen controversially dropped his hands near the line, almost costing the mare her unbeaten record. Once again Black Caviar has been able to overcome the odds to keep her 22-race undefeated streak going. In hindsight, given the vagaries of travel, Nolen's riding blunder and the injuries the mare sustained during the race, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes may now go down as one of her greatest ever wins.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
1 maiden, multiple horses that just broke their maiden, horses that were 4-5 seconds slower than their rivals, not a single horse with a 90 Beyer, ever. I threw out the copy but it was nothing more than what should have been a 75k OC race. Not a 1,000,000 "Kentucky Derby".
Carson Wiest More than 1 year ago
its people like you that make me remind myself why Canada is a by far greater nation that the States.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
This race looked extraordinarily weak on the racing form and boy did it live up to its appearance. This is the best group that Canada can scrounge together for what is their 1st leg of their triple crown? If that is the case, Im going to get into training, run up to Canada with a check for $10,000 and find me a 2 year old. Today was the fastest time since 1990 something? WOW! The fractions look like they were walking. Look, the race was lame. Say what you will, the proof is in the pudding.
IHAnother More than 1 year ago
Dude, have a look at the fractions and the final time. Fractions were strong for a mile and a quarter and the final time virtually the same as the K Derby. Oh and how about that super slow Belmont won by U Rags. Stay in the USA and prep for the next Belmont and hopefully it will be run in donkey time again so you could get up in time with a perfect trip. Once IHA was out the Belmont was just another small field NY stakes race.
littlelouis99 More than 1 year ago
yeah maybe you should try and by a queens plater for $10,000.after all iha was bought for $11,000 dominated the best 3 year olds in all of the usa!! now that's lame,i guess the ky derby and preakness was all that could be scrounged together in a country 10 times bigger than canada, your lame
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
Nice effort by a 3 year old colt, fractions were evenly spaced with a good cruising speed all the way around. He started strong and finnished strong. Hopefully this colt will go to SA for the BC Classic.