05/22/2013 2:34PM

Woodbine: Queen's Plate nominees face older in Friday feature


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Canadian Triple Crown nominees Honorable Guest and County Lineman will both negotiate a mile and a sixteenth for the first time Friday at Woodbine against older Ontario-sired opposition in the $56,000 allowance feature.

Honorable Guest finished either first or second in his seven 2-year-old outings, although he was demoted to fifth by disqualification in the Colin Stakes.

Honorable Guest checked in second in the Victoria, Simcoe, and Bull Page stakes before capping his season with a victory over Ontario-sired foes in the seven-furlong Frost King Stakes. Off some bullet works, he was favored in his season debut in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance, but could only manage third after a five-wide journey.

Trainer Mark Casse said the July 7 Queen’s Plate is a possibility for Honorable Guest, who is a son of speed sire Old Forester.

“We wanted to give him an opportunity to make it to the Plate, if we can,” said Casse, who has enlisted Gary Boulanger for the mount.

County Lineman graduated in a seven-furlong maiden special here in early December. He was beaten a pole when returning from a layoff in a March 9 allowance at Gulfstream, and suffered another double-digit loss in another allowance in April, which was on the Polytrack at Keeneland.

County Lineman rebounded in a seven-furlong Ontario-sired allowance here May 3, which he won from off the pace over a modest field. On May 17, he breezed five-eighths on the training track in a quick 1:00.20.

Trainer Mark Frostad will give jockey Luis Contreras a leg up on County Lineman, who has a blend of speed and stamina in his pedigree.

The Phil England-trained entry of Drink Or Sink and Th Original Scotty were both well beaten at Tampa last time out.

Drink Or Sink displayed good Polytrack form in the fall before heading to Tampa, where he went too fast on the lead with the addition of blinkers in a March 27 optional claimer on the grass. The blinkers come off on Friday.

Th Original Scotty is also shedding the hood. He set the early pace before tiring in the March 2 Challenger Stakes on the dirt. He also made some noise here on the Polytrack in the fall, including a runner-up placing at this nonwinners-of-three class.

The Roger Attfield-trained Good Better Best came up empty while experimenting on the dirt at Gulfstream March 30. He is back on the surface over which he wound up second in the 2012 Steady Growth, a mile and sixteenth stakes for Ontario-sired stock.