05/19/2011 8:56AM

Woodbine's Marine Stakes lures Queen'splatekitten


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The aptly named Queen’splatekitten will prep for the $1 million Queen’s Plate in the $150,000 Marine Stakes Saturday at Woodbine. The 1 1/16-mile event has lured five other 3-year-olds, including Oh Canada and the Belmont-based Walker’s Landing.

Queen’splatekitten graduated here in December on the Polytrack for trainer Brian Lynch. He was subsequently sold to Mill House, and has been trained this year by Todd Pletcher, who won last year’s Marine with Exhi.

Queen’splatekitten won a turf allowance at Gulfstream following a two-month layoff before ending up second in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes there March 12. Most recently, in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland, he was a tired seventh after racing four wide throughout.

Eurico Da Silva, who was aboard for Queen’splatekitten’s maiden win, has the mount.

“I really like his style,” said Da Silva. “He’s a very laid-back horse, but he’s also very competitive. In the race I rode him in, he responded easily when I asked him for his best. I still had a lot of horse left at the wire.”

Oh Canada rallied to capture the six-furlong Woodstock Stakes in his season opener. He went a furlong farther over a speed-favoring track May 7 in the rapidly run Queenston Stakes, coming from off a slow pace to end up third.

Trainer Bob Tiller said there’s a chance Oh Canada won’t run in the Marine, and that he will discuss it with owner Frank DiGiulio Jr. before making a decision on Saturday morning.

“At first, we had no intention of running here, but the field came up small, and he’s been doing good,” Tiller said. “We’re getting to a point where we have to find out if he’ll go long. I believe he will, but he has to prove it. This would give him a month between races until the Plate. He’d have to run well for us to run him back in the Plate, but he doesn’t have win. If we run here, he will not run back in the Plate Trial.”

Walker’s Landing, a stretch-runner trained by Chad Brown, has made all four of his starts on the grass. He just missed in his debut in the fall at Aqueduct, and was seventh in a subsequent maiden special at Gulfstream.

Walker’s Landing prevailed in a one-mile maiden special March 4 at Tampa. He is coming off a 20-1 upset score in a one-mile allowance at Belmont, for which he earned an 89 Beyer Figure, the highest in the Marine field.