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Elysian Field, Paramount Prince in 17-horse King's Plate field

Elysian Field, Paramount Prince Elysian Field, Paramount Prince - The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Oaks winner Elysian Field and Plate Trial champion Paramount Prince will highlight the 17-horse field for the $1-million King's Plate.

The King's Plate, North America's oldest continually run race, goes Sunday on Woodbine Racetrack's Tapeta course. The 1 1/4-mile race is the first leg of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown.

Elysian Field won the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks by 2 1/4 lengths July 23 at Woodbine. The filly, a 5-1 pick, overtook stablemate Ticker Tape Home and jockey Patrick Husbands in deep stretch to finish the 1 1/8-mile race on Woodbine's Tapeta course in 1:49.83 with jockey Sahin Civaci aboard.

Earlier on the same card, Husbands rode Paramount Prince to a convincing five-length, wire-to-wire win in the $150,000 Plate Trial. The 11-1 long-shot covered the identical 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:49.99 to earn Husbands a fourth Trial title.

Elysian Field was established as an early 8-1 pick for Sunday's race while Paramount Prince was at 10-1 odds.

Both horses are trained by Mark Casse, 15 times Canada's top thoroughbred conditioner. Casse will chase a third Plate win, his previous two coming with fillies (Lexi Lou in 2014, Wonder Gadot in 2018).

"Coming into a race like this, some horses are thriving and getting better, and that would describe her,” Casse said of Elysian Field.

Predictably, Casse was also bullish on Paramount Prince.

"After the (Plate Trial), he kept going, he galloped out a good mile and a quarter so I don’t think the distance (for King's Plate) would be an issue for him," said Casse. "And I think Patrick let him do it too because we knew down the road, he’s going to have to run a little farther."

Kalik, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Woodbine's Kazushi Kimura, was named the early 3-1 favourite. The son of Collected-Coronation Street won three straight starts, all turf, from March to June and is 3-1-0 from six races.

"With Chad, you know the horse will be in top condition coming into the Plate," said Kimura. "To be in The King’s Plate is amazing.

"The race has so much history. You can feel the excitement building and I hope that we can say we won the first King’s Plate since 1951. I know I have a big chance with this horse."

Stanley House, twice a winner from seven starts, is the 4-1 second choice. Kaukokaipuu, also a two-time winner from 11 races, is the 6-1 third selection.

Wando is the last horse to win the Canadian Triple Crown, doing so in 2003 for late owner/breeder Gustav Schickedanz. Hall of Famer Mike Keogh, who retired last year, was the trainer with Husbands riding Wando to all three victories.

Trainer Kevin Attard, who won the '22 Plate with filly Moira, will have three horses in Sunday's race. They include filly Wickenheiser along with Velocitor and Philip My Dear.

Conditioner Roger Attfield will chase a record ninth Plate title with Twowaycrossing.

The field Sunday, with start position, horse, jockey and early odds, includes:

1) Stanley House, Javier Castellano, 4-1; 2) Elysian Field, Civaci, 8-1; 3) Philip My Dear, Daisuke Fukumoto, 30-1; 4) Twin City, Gary Boulanger, 30-1; 5) Morstachy’s, Leo Salles, 50-1; 6) Kalik, Kimura, 3-1; 7) Velocitor, Justin Stein, 30-1; 8) Wickenheiser, Rafael Hernandez, 12-1; 9) Silent Miracle, Ryan Munger, 30-1; 10) Midnight in Malibu, Adam Beschizza, 30-1; 11) Touch’n Ride, Jose Campos, 12-1; 12) Cool Kiss, Emma-Jayne Wilson, 30-1; 13) Paramount Prince, Husbands, 10-1; 14) Twowaycrossing, Antonio Gallardo, 30-1; 15) Kaukokaipuu, Rico Walcott, 6-1; 16) El Cohete, Eswan Flores, 50-1; and 17) Moon Landing, Luis Contreras, 20-1.

The second leg of the Triple Crown will be the $400,000 Prince of Wales, a 1 3/16-mile race on dirt at Fort Erie on Sept. 12. The final event will be the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes, a mile-and-a-half turf race at Woodbine on Oct. 1.

Elysian Field and Wickenheiser will be the lone fillies in the field and carry 121 pounds. The other starters will carry 126 pounds.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2023.