QUEEN’S PLATE CONTENDERS GETTING BUSY
Less than 5 months before the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine, some of the top 2-year-olds of 2016 have been getting back to work.
The Plate nominations are expected to be released in the next couple of weeks and a one of the early favourites, TIZ A SLAM, had his seventh workout of 2017 at Payson Park in Stuart, Florida for trainer Roger Attfield.
The handsome Tiznow colt, owned and bred by Chiefswood Stable, record his second 5 furlong move on Friday, 1:03 breezing. The colt won 3 of his 4 races last year including the Cup & Saucer Stakes on the grass. Attfield will be seeking his 9th Plate win, which would be a record.
STATE OF HONOR, owned by Manfred and Penny Conrad, ran a 91 Beyer Figure when 3rd in the Sam F Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay and Mark Casse trains this big colt. The Conrads also have SAILING HOME as a contender and he ran an 80 Beyer Figure in his recent run in Ocala, his season debut.
KING AND HIS COURT, winner of the Coronation Futurity for Gary Barber, recently got back to the races in the Sam F Davis at Tampa Bay Downs but did not seem to take to the dirt and trailed the field.
Also working on Friday for the Attfield stable was Robert Harvey’s homebred colt ESCONDERA (Eskendereya), who has had 4 preps this year. The colt worked half a mile in :51 breezing. He was 3rd in the Coronation Futurity.
Vandal Stakes winner CHANNEL MAKER (English Channel) had a recent workout from the gate on the dirt at Gulfstream Park, 1:01. 37, for Joey Gee Thoroughbreds and trainer Danny Vella.
Training in Aiken, S.C. are a pair of Gus Schickedanz sophomores, Megagray and Woodbridge, who have not recorded workouts yet.
The fast, stakes winning filly STALLION HEIRESS recently posted an 84 Beyer Figure for a turf stakes win at Fair Grounds.
Ivan Dalos has at least 2 Canadian-breds in action in Florida currently – GAMBLE’S CITIZEN (Proud Cititzen) and AVIE’S MESA (Sky Mesa) – are with Josie Carroll at Palm Meadows.
LORD OF GREATNESS standing at stud in Florida
One of Woodbine’s more popular runners because of his longevity and incredible race record has been LORD OF GREATNESS, who turned 11-years-old this season and has entered stud in Florida thanks to Nick and Tish Gonzalez and Candice Warwick.
Lord of Greatness was a true warrior on the track as he showed up every year and loved to win races.
A Florida-bred son of Greatness, Lord of Greatness was claimed in the summer of 2016 by trainer Nick Gonzalez Jr., his wife Tish and Candice Warwick for $6,250. The group raced the then-10-year-old a few times and he landed a third place in the Bob Summers Memorial Stakes in August. That would be the horse’s final race. It was his 74th start in a career that began in 2008 and saw him win 18 races and finish 2nd or 3rd a super 23 other times.
A $55,000 2-year-old in training purchase by Danny Dion’s Bear Stables in 2008, Lord of Greatness won his career debut at the maiden special weight level for trainer Reade Baker. The colt finished 6th in the Swynford Stakes in his next start to none other than Mine That Bird, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby the following year.
Settling in for high claiming, Lord of Greatness was taken for $40,000 by Tucci Stables in his 8th career race and he won a couple of times for that barn.
He changed hands again, late in 2010, when Entourage Stable and Robert Tiller claimed him for $25,000 and he went to win 10 races for that stable during the next several years. At the top of his game Lord of Greatness was winning for $62,500 claiming. In 2015, he was claimed by Peter Armata for $20,000 and went on to win several races for his new owner. Last year the horse landed at the bottom level at Woodbine and was re-claimed by Tiller for $6,250. He had 4 starts for his former trainer before he was claimed again by his current owners.
Incredibly, the horse was never gelded as he was known as a gentle fellow. And while he was working hard at Woodbine all those years, his full brother Good Lord, one year younger, was winning stakes races and racked up $800,000 in earnings.
Lord of Greatness was retired by the Gonzalez couple with earnings of over $500,000. They couple sought out a place for their horse to stand at stud and Prestige Stallions in Ocala was on board, the same farm that stands Greatness.
Lord of Greatness stands for a fee of $2,000 (US). His video is below.
EPICHARIS WINS IN JAPAN, EARNS KENTUCKY DERBY POINTS
Epicharis (Jpn) (Gold Allure) defeated Adirato (Jpn) in the Hyacinth at Tokyo Racecourse to remain unbeaten in four starts and garnered 50 points and an invitation to compete in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 6 at Churchill Downs.
The one-mile Hyacinth was the second race in a new two-race race series in Japan that could annually produce a starter in the Kentucky Derby, thanks to a partnership between Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Japan Racing Association. The new “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby” is separate from the 35-race “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series.
One position in the Kentucky Derby starting gate is awarded to the horse that accrues the most points in the “Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby” and accepts an invitation to compete. That invitation will go to Epicharis. Should the connections of Epicharis decline, the horse with the second-most points, Cattleya Sho winner Mont Saint Legame (Jpn) may accept. If Mont Saint Legame declines, the horse with the third-most points, Hyacinth runner-up Adirato (Jpn) may accept. No other invitation will be extended beyond the top three point earners.