Seventy-three horses have been made eligible for the 154th edition of the Queen’s Plate.
The historic Plate, set for Sunday, July 7th at Woodbine, is North America’s longest continuously-run stakes race and first jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.
A $500 payment must have accompanied the nomination by May 1st.
Last year, Canyon Farms’ Strait of Dover went wire-to-wire to earn the winner’s share of the $1 million purse.
Many from the country’s strong two-year-old Canadian-bred crop last year are pointing to the 1 ¼-mile race as well as several recently emerging sophomores.
Some observers consider Grade 1-placed Dynamic Sky, fresh off a high-profile bid on the Kentucky Derby trail, the division leader. Trained by Mark Casse for John Oxley, the Ontario-bred has two stakes wins, including the Simcoe Stakes at Woodbine last year. He finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November.
Coronation Futurity hero Up With the Birds is also well-regarded after a win and a second in turf stakes in the United States over the winter. The Malcolm Pierce-trainee would be win number six for Sam-Son Farm.
River Seven will be well-backed after a win in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine in October and some fine winter preparations in Florida for trainer Nick Gonzalez and Tucci Stables. Gonzalez won the Plate in 2011 with Big Red Mike.
Pyrite Mountain is thought by many to have emerged as the race’s favourite after his fine score in the Wando Stakes this past Sunday. Mark Frostad, who has four wins in the Plate, trains the colt for Awesome Again Racing.
Also nominated is Uncaptured, Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year, but the Casse trainee is not expected to stay on the Queen’s Plate trail.
Twelve fillies are also on the list, including the promising Nipissing, who is trained by Rachel Halden for Chiefswood Stables, who captured the Plate in 2005 with Niigon, and Spring in the Air, Casse and Oxley’s reigning champion two-year-old filly.
The Queen’s Plate will air on CBC.
The entire list of nominees follows:
BERT’S BAR/Josie Carroll/Melnyk Racing Stable Inc./Speightstown
BOOKIES NIGHTMARE/Carolyn Costigan/Borders Racing Stable Ltd./Discreet Cat
CAPONE/Kevin Attard/Pinkston Racing/Stormy Atlantic
CLAPHAM HEIGHTS/Mark Casse/Melnyk Racing Stable Inc./Langfuhr
CLEARLY READY/Carolyn Costigan/Borders Racing Stable Ltd./More Than Ready
COUNTY LINEMAN/Mark Frostad/Ginger Punch Racing Limited Partnership/Silent Name
CRYSTA’S COURT (f)/Justin Nixon/JMC’s Racing Stable/Silent Name
DANCE AGAIN (f)/Malcolm Pierce/Sam-Son Farm/Awesome Again
DANCE FOR COLE/Katerina Vassilieva/Spirit Winds Stable Inc./Philanthropist
DENIM BAY Paul Buttigieg/Buttigieg Training Centre/Survivalist
DERBY NOISE/Mike DePaulo/Frank Romano/Real Quiet
DOWNTOWN/Reade Baker/Perfect Sting Racing Limited Partnership/Street Sense
DRAGON PUFF/Sam DiPasquale/M. Stroud, T. Rootham & G. Clarke/Peaks and Valleys
DRENCHED/Josie Carroll/Donver Stable/Stormy Atlantic
DYNAMIC SKY/Mark Casse/John C. Oxley/Sky Mesa
EMINENT FORCE/Paul Nielsen/Anne & William Scott/War Front
EXPRESSLY YOURS (f)/Sean Smullen/Macho Uno Racing/Big Brown
FAITHFUL ROSE/Ricky Singh/Singing Springs Racing, B.& L. Fawns/Best of the Bests
FIAKER/Dan Vella/Stronach Stables/Macho Uno
GLOBAL EXPRESS/Roger Attfield/My Meadowview, LLC/Street Sense
HERE’S GEORGE/Sid Attard/George Bigliardi/ Phiianthropist
HIGHLAND BAY/Denyse McClachrie/J. Mazur and S.Wagman/Sligo Bay
HIS RACE TO WIN/Malcolm Pierce/Sam-Son Farm/Stormy Atlantic
HOLY WHIRL WIND/Reade Baker/Jim and Susan Hill/Pulpit
HONORABLE GUEST/Mark Casse/G.G. Racing Stables/Old Forester
INGLORIOUS SONG (f)/Mark Frostad/Awesome Again Racing Limited Part./Broken Vow
IRATUS LEO/John MacKenzie/Greenoaks Farm/Kitalpha
JACK PINE/Liz Charamlambous/Cudney Stables/Philanthropist
JADE DRAGON/Robert Tiller/ F. DiGiulio, A. D’Onofrio and J. Peri/Trajectory
JAGGER M/Mark Casse/Gabe Grossberg/Harlan’s Holiday
KAIGUN/M. Casse/Quintessential Racing Fla. LLC & Horse’n Around/Northern Afleet
KID DREAMS/Neil Drysdale/Robert S. Evans/Lemon Drop Kid
KITTEN CANDY/Robert Tiller/Frank D. DiGiulio/Candy Ride
LADY BANKS (f)/James Lawrence II/George and Stephanie Autry/Successful Appeal
LUCK SEEKER/Barbara Minshall/Derby Dreamers Racing Stable/Heatseeker
LUKES ALLEY/Josie Carroll/Melnyk Racing Stable Inc./Flower Alley
MAHA AHA/Robert Tiller/Frank D. DiGiulio/Sligo Bay
MAJOR IRONSIDES/Paul Nielsen/Anne & William Scott/Langfuhr
MIDNIGHT ARIA/Nick Gonzlaez/Tucci Stables/Midnight Lute
MIGHTY QUINN/Peter Berringer/Victoria Meadows and Partner/North Light
MOLINARO LAKE/Vito Armata/Molinaro Stable/Tempolake
MOUNT BREW/Mike Keogh/Palmetto Racing Stable/Milwaukee Brew
NIIGON’S GLORY/Rachel Halden/Chiefswood Stable/Niigon
NIPISSING (f)/Rachel Halden/Chiefswood Stable/Niigon
NORTH TIP/Michele Nihei/Robert Harvey and A. Wortzman/Broken Vow
PHILEGO/Mike DePaulo/Denny Andrews and David McDougall/Philanthropist
PINK TRILLIUM (f)/Chad Brown/Stronach Stables/Unbridled’s Song
POWER PHIL/Robert Tiller/ Frank D. DiGiulio/Philanthropist
PYRITE MOUNTAIN/Mark Frostad/Awesome Again Racing Limited Part./Silent Name
RACKMAN/Nick Nosowenko/Mike& Nick Nosowenko/Niigon
RIVER SEVEN/Nick Gonzalez/Tucci Stables/Johannesburg
ROOTHAM TRIPLE E’S (f)/Sam DiPasquale/Stroud, Rootham & Clarke/Weather Warning
ROYAL BAY/Scott Fairlie/TC Racing Inc./Sligo Bay
RUMBLING ROCKET/Mike Silvera/Calypso Racing Stables/Peaks and Valleys
RUTHERFORD RD (f)/Mike Doyle/Windhaven Farms Inc./First Samurai
SAVE MY SOUL/C. Day Phillips/Annecchini & D’Alimonte Holdings Inc./Perfect Soul
SCIPIO/Reade Baker/Stronach Stables/Orientate
SHERWOOD DRIVE/Josie Carroll/Donver Stable/Langfuhr
SILENT ADMIRER/Reade Baker/Ghostzapper Racing Limited Partnership/Silent Name
SMOOTHSTONE/Malcolm Pierce/Sam-Son Farm/Giant’s Causeway
SO OUTSPOKEN/Todd Pletcher/Repole Stable/Benardini
SPRING IN THE AIR (f)/Mark Casse/John C. Oxley/Spring At Last
STAR CONTENDER/Mark Casse/John C. Oxley/Henny Hughes
SWEET LITTLE MAN/Dan Vella/Don Amos/Jazil
TAP O’THE MOUNTAIN (f)/Ian Black/Janet Jeanpierre/Peaks and Valleys
THE B’S AND E’S/Wesley Ward/Mark Dodson/Marcavelly
TIZ RO (f)/Brian Lynch/Raroma Stable/Hard Spun
TORMENTA FIERA/Mike Doyle/A & L Racing Stables Inc./Perfect Soul
UNCAPTURED/Mark Casse/John C. Oxley/Lion Heart
UP WITH THE BIRDS/Malcolm Pierce/Sam-Son Farm/Stormy Atlantic
VICTORY EXCHANGE/Josie Carroll/Ivan Dalos/Exchange Rate
WARBRED/Mark Casse/Farr Bloodstock Inc., Gary Leeman & Howard Davidson/War Cry
WHITE RABBIT/Michael Pino/Jal Dastur/Spring At Last