WE MISS ARTIE TOPS QUEEN'S PLATE FIELD
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's We Miss Artie, winner of the Plate Trial on June 15, has been installed as the 8-5 morning line choice in a field of 15 for the $1 million Queen's Plate, Canada's most famous horse race, Sunday at Woodbine.
The 155th edition of the Plate for Canadian-foaled three-year-olds, the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America, will be televised live on TSN in HD (High Definition) in a special presentation from 4:30 – 6:00 pm ET. Post time is 5:38 pm. The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Right Honourable David C. Onley, will be the Royal Guest of Honour.
All starters carry 126 pounds, except the lone filly Lexie Lou, who will tote 121 pounds for the mile and one-quarter classic over Woodbine's Polytrack. The winner will receive $600,000.
At the Queen's Plate breakfast on Thursday morning, the selection order for post positions was drawn first via the traditional 'pill-pull', followed by the choosing of post positions by the connections for each horse, a system which has been in place for the Plate since 1998.
We Miss Artie (PP6, 8-5), trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Javier Castellano, proved a comfortable winner of the Trial by three-quarters of a length over Majestic Sunset, his first outing at Woodbine and his first start since a 10th place finish, just eight and one-quarter lengths behind California Chrome in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3. He'll try to become the 26th Plate Trial winner since 1944 to win the Plate, the last being Big Red Mike in 2010.
"I think my horse ran really well (in the Trial)," said owner Ken Ramsey, after choosing post six with the second selection. "(Jockey Javier) Castellano said he was saving himself for the Queen's Plate. He's doing exceptionally well (at Saratoga)."
For More on the Plate field, click here: http://weg.bz/1qTCwcJ
EIGHTY NINE RED SURPRISES IN ACHIEVEMENT
There were only five horses in the co-featured $150,000 Achievement Stakes, Saturday at Woodbine.
And Eighty Nine Red was the longest price of the bunch, sent postward a 16-1 outsider. No problem. Ridden by Jesse Campbell for trainer Mike DePaulo, Eighty Nine Red, tucked along the rail, stalked the pace of favoured Flashy Margaritta, then came out turning for home and prevailed in a stretch drive, taking the six furlong event for Ontario-bred three-year-olds by one length in 1:10.28.
Flashy Margaritta, who had cranked out reasonable fractions of :22.97 and :45.67, held on for place, while Spadina Road closed for third.
Owned by John Russell and George Schramm, the son of Bold Executive-Timeless Silver had opened his 2014 campaign in style, easily winning a five furlong allowance contest. But after a third place finish to Speightsong in the seven furlong Queenston, then a seventh place finish to Flashy Margaritta in the turf, six furlong Bold Ruckus, Eighty Nine Red returned to the Polytrack and prevailed.
"I was a little worried going into the (far) turn. It was pretty tight. (Jockey) Patrick (Husbands, aboard Flashy Margaritta) was doing his job, doing what I would have done," said Campbell. "I loved the way this horse responded today. I had high hopes for this horse all along. He put it all together today. He really ran a good race."
Eighty Nine Red had been kept eligible for the Queen's Plate but his connections decided to shorten him up.
Added DePaulo, "Jesse did a great job. The horse ran on and we got it done. Being by Bold Executive, there haven't been too many who have run that far (the Queen's Plate distance of a mile and one-quarter). Hopefully he'll make a real good sprinter for us."
Eighty Nine Red paid $34.90, $9.90 and $3.30, combining with Flashy Margaritta ($3.50, $2.20) for a $119.80 (1-2) exactor. A 1-2-5 (Spadina Road, $2.70) triactor was worth $287.40.
STACKED DECK ACES THE CHARLIE BARLEY
Bruce Lunsford's homebred Stacked Deck, with Chantal Sutherland-Kruse, made his seasonal debut a winning one, hanging on to defeat Speightsland in the co-featured $100,000 Charlie Barley Stakes, Saturday at Woodbine.
The one mile tilt on the lawn for three-year-olds drew an excellent field of nine, with Speightsong, the Queenston Stakes winner and multiple stakes winner Jose Sea View vying for favouritism.
Dismissed at 14-1, Stacked Deck, trained by Barb Minshall, stalked the pacesetting Tuscan Getaway until the turn into the long E.P. Taylor Turf Course stretch. The now gelded son of First Samurai-Bel Air Beauty took over in mid-stretch, opened a length, then was all out to hold off another longshot, 16-1 Speightland, for the nose victory in 1:33.45. Florida Won was a close third, a length behind.
Tuscan Getaway had set all the fractions over a lightning fast turf course, :22.99, :45.42, and 1:09.10, while being pursued by Stacked Deck, before giving way.
"Thankfully my horse had something left over," said Sutherland-Kruse. "The plan wasn't really to be that close. We were hoping for a stalking trip. We broke well. I didn't think he had much left turning for home, but he kind of foolS you."
Added owner Bruce Lunsford, who also raced the sire and the dam, "Barbara did a tremendous job bringing this horse back. To win this race off the bench after we couldn't get an allowance race to go, we think we've got big things ahead of us with this horse."
"He's a great horse," said Minshall. "He's a smart horse, so clever."
Stacked Deck had three starts last year, two on the grass, but he broke his maiden in his final outing over Woodbine's Polytrack.
POST / HORSE / TRAINER / OWNER / JOCKEY
1 / Cap in Hand / Sid Attard / Tucci Stables / Steven Bahen
2 / Coltimus Prime / Justin Nixon / Cabernet Racing Stables / Jesse Campbell
3 / Athenian Guard / Mike DePaulo / A & L Racing Stables / Omar Moreno
4 / Asserting Bear / Reade Baker / Bear Stables / Chantal Sutherland-Kruse
5 / Man o' Bear / Reade Baker / Bear Stables / Emma-Jayne Wilson
6 / We Miss Artie / Todd Pletcher / Ken & Sarah Ramsey / Javier Castellano
7 / Majestic Sunset / Mark Casse / John Oxley / Gary Boulanger
8 / Lions Bay / Jamie Attard / M. N. V. & J. Earle / David MoraN
9 / Heart to Heart / Brian Lynch / Terry Hamilton / Eurico Rosa da Silva
10 / Matador / Mark Casse / John Oxley / Julien Leparoux
11 / One Destiny / Alec Fehr /Winston Penny & Alec Fehr / Justin Stein
12 / Tower of Texas / Roger Attfield / Thomas Van Meter II & Scott Dilworth / John Velazquez
13 / Niigon Express / Paul Attard / Chiefswood Stable / Gerry Olguin
14 / Lexie Lou / Mark Casse / Gary Barber / Patrick Husbands
15 / Ami's Holiday / Josie Carroll / Ivan Dalos /Luis Contreras