Cooler Mike, who will be looking to give his trainer his first stakes win in the Queen’s Plate, is the homebred who nearly got away.
“He was the last one that we had out of the mare,” said trainer Nick Nosowenko who also is the co-owner of the gelding in partnership with his father, Mike Nosowenko. “She’s getting fairly old now.”
The Nosowenkos entered Cooler Mike in the local CTHS select yearling sale but he did not meet his reserve of $58,000. According to Nick Nosowenko, there was more to the story.
“He actually got purchased but the buyer wouldn’t sign the ticket so we ended up taking the horse back,” said the trainer. “It’s funny how things work out.”
The stakes placed Cooler Mike, who sports a record of three wins and two seconds from eight starts, is coming into the Queen’s Plate well under the radar, and that’s just fine with his conditioner.
“It’s time for the little guys to win,” said Nosowenko. “The big boys have been winning it every year.”
Nosowenko’s previous Plate starter, Rackman, who is half-brother to Cooler Mike, was also named after his father, Mike.
“My dad, going back 50 years, used to bring a cooler to the backside for the help after every race,” said Nosowenko. “Everybody knows him and knows about his cooler and it was kind of fitting.”
The Rackman moniker was born during a family trip to Las Vegas.
“Back in the day, they used to have racks of coins so he used to always walk around with racks of dollar coins,” said Nosowenko. “One day he was coming up to the room and the elevator opened and I saw him and said ‘“Rackman, where have you been?’ So that name kind of stuck.”
Jesse Campbell, who was a regular here for six years and returned to the saddle just recently at Arlington Park, has been recruited for the mount on Cooler Mike.
PROBABLE FIELD FOR THE 159TH RUNNING OF THE QUEEN’S PLATE
Horse / Trainer / Owner / Jockey
Aheadbyacentury / John Ross / Jack of Hearts Racing and J.R. Racing / Luis Contreras
Alternative Route / Al Stall, Jr. / Spendthrift Farm LLC & Town and Country Racing, LLC / Mitchell Murrill
Boyhood Dream / Michael Maker / Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey / Alan Garcia
Cooler Mike / Nick Nosowenko / Mike and Nick Nosowenko / Jesse Campbell
Dixie Moon / Catherine Day Phillips / Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry / Eurico Rosa da Silva
Inge / Norm McKnight / Bruno Schickedanz / TBD
Marriage Counselor / Michael Maker / Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey / Jalon Samuel
Neepawa / Mark Casse / Chiefswood Stable / Florent Geroux
Pawnbroker / Michael Maker / Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey / Joel Rosario
Real Dude / Sid Attard / Stronach Stables / David Moran
Rose’s Vision / Stu Simon / Chiefswood Stable / Javier Castellano
Say the Word / Graham Motion / Sam-Son Farm / Rafael Hernandez
Silent Poet / Nick Gonzalez / Stronach Stable / Gary Boulanger
Strike Me Down / Graham Motion / Sam-Son Farm / Jose Ortiz
Telekinesis / Mark Casse / Stonestreet Stables LLC / Patrick Husbands
Wonder Gadot / Mark Casse / Gary Barber / John Velazquez