06/25/2012 1:15PM

Woodbine: Queen's Plate once again has strong filly performances


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Fillies once again held their own in the Queen’s Plate, with Irish Mission and Dixie Strike running second and third behind winner Strait of Dover.

Both were coming out of the June 3 Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race won by Irish Mission, with Dixie Strike fifth as the odds-on choice.

And both fillies could meet for a third time in the $500,000 Prince of Wales over 1 3/16 miles on dirt at Fort Erie on July 15.

Irish Mission was beaten 1 1/4 lengths after looking like she had a chance to run down the leader in the final furlong.

“We’ll definitely look at the Prince of Wales,” said trainer Mark Frostad. “She loves the dirt. She trains here at the training track, every day.”

Dixie Strike came from last place in the Queen’s Plate’s field of 14 and was beaten a total of five lengths.

“All winter, at Palm Meadows, she was training better on the dirt than any horse I had,” said trainer Mark Casse. “There’s a good shot we could go to the Prince of Wales.”

Colleen’s Sailor and Ultimate Destiny, fourth and fifth in the Queen’s Plate, also will be considered for the Prince of Wales.

“I couldn’t have expected anything better, with just two races, going in,” said Roger Attfield, who trains Colleen’s Sailor. “He ran his race, for sure.”

Mike Keogh, who trains Ultimate Destiny, also was pleased with his horse’s effort.

“The way the race unfolded, he was wide the whole way,” said

“He’s trained very well on dirt, in South Carolina and here on the training track.”

Classic Bryce, eighth in the Queen’s Plate, is a possibility for the Prince of Wales.

“I thought we were in a perfect spot at the quarter pole,” said trainer Darwin Banach, noting that jockey Todd Kabel “said he had a ton of horse, then it was gone.

“He scoped clean after the race, but he had a really bad case of the ‘thumps,’ ”said Banach, referring to a conditiuon similar to hiccups, caused by an electrolyte imbalance linked to the use of Lasix.

“He’s never done anything like that before, and it’s very easy to treat. “

Trainer Reade Baker, who had watched River Rush finished sixth as the favorite and Macho Whiskey end 12th of 14 in the Queen’s Plate, had a succinct assessment of their performances.

“One bounced, the other’s a sprinter,” said Baker.

River Rush was coming off a 5 1/4-length win in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial on June 3 while Macho Whiskey was coming up short for the second time around two turns.

“They’ll both be looking for nonwinners-of-two, on turf or Polytrack,” said Baker.

Wilcox, 11th when making his third career start in the Queen’s Plate, was coming off his maiden win over 1 1/16 miles on turf and will be returning to that surface.

“I think he’ll rebound, and we’ll go forward to the Breeders’ with him,” said trainer Josie Carroll.

The $500,000 Breeders’, a 1 1/2-mile turf race that concludes the Canadian triple crown, will be run here Aug. 5.

Making Amends and Golden Ridge, who finished seventh and 10th in the Queen’s Plate for Casse, and Peyton, who ended 13th for trainer Mike Doyle, will be regrouping and looking for appropriate allowance spots.

Washington Dash and Big Creek, who invaded from south of the border, were on their ways home Monday morning after finishing ninth and 14th, respectively.