WHO WILL HOLD THE QUEEN’S PLATE TROPHY TODAY? (photo by Terence Day, www.horse-races.net)
SEAN and DOROTHY FITZHENRY of Ontario were brought into horse racing by friends Debby and Dennis Brown and strated out with shares of racehorses. They stepped into the breeding sphere less than a decade ago and have maintained a quality broodmare band and bred some very good runners, most of whom they sell.
Occasionally, the couple have raced horses on their own, especially when it is one they could not sell. GUY CABALLERO is one of those.
A quirky, somewhat mischievous leggy bay gelding, Guy Caballero was offered at 2 sales as a yearling and each time, the Fitzhenrys bought him back. They wanted $100,000 for the son of Quality Road – Dixie Chicken, but did not get it.
The gelding was a handful as a young horse in training, dropping riders and doing all that boy- stuff. His paddock mate and best buddy is Watch me Strut, who, incredibly, will also be in the Plate field today and both are groomed by Sherri Wickett.
Guy Caballero won the Plate Trial as the longest shot in the race and comes into the Plate with a legitimate chance of victory. He has an American rider, Jose Ortiz was brought in to partner him as Rafael Hernandez elected to stay with Channel Maker.
That is just one story of so many from the 13-horse Queen’s Plate field, set to leave the gate at 5:36 this afternoon on what promises to be a huge day at Woodbine racetrack.
The Hats & Horseshoes party, with red carpet, games, food, fashion and what sounds like a very cool Innovation tent, will set the table for the day of racing, 13 events that start at 12 noon.
Here are some tidbits on the 158th QUEEN’S PLATE HORSES… who do you like?
CHANNEL MAKER – First Queen’s Plate starter for Joe Guererri’s Joy Gee Thoroughbreds, which has burst into the Ontario racing scene in the last 2 years. Joey G. purchased the old Gardiner Farms, called it Winview, and has this gelding in the Plate with new partners Gary Barber and Adam Wachtel.
Channel Maker, by English Channel, was bred by Ivan Dalos, and he carries his head high, was a bit rank in the Marine Stakes in which he was 2nd.
First Plate starter for American trainer Bill Mott.
HOLY HELENA, the fab filly who could be favoured. Laid back, uncomplicated gal was trained by Kevin Attard last year but went to New York to get ready fro the Oaks. She won that race well and in fast time – very fast time. Luis Contreras has won the Plate – on a filly, Inglorious.
SPIRIT OF CALEDON, a son of Plate winner Mike Fix. Owners Chad and Christa Joe from BC paid $25,000 to supplement him off his 3rd place finish to watch Me Strut in an allowance race.
INFLEXIBILITY, American owned and trained but bred by Anderson Farms Ontario. Lean filly had an unlucky journey in the Oaks when 3rd to Helena. Trainer Chad Brown reportedly has been ultra high on her – “she’s a Grade 1 filly”.
KING AND HIS COURT – he’s the Champion 2yo of last year who has been happy to be back home after a tough winter. Gary Barber and Wachtel are the owners, Patricia and Robert Webeer the breeders.
Can’t forget the ole’ Coronation Futurity jinx through.,., it has been since 1975 since Norcliffe won Plate that a CF winner has won the Plate.
STATE OF HONOR – iron horse no doubt, like his stablemate. Ran in the Tampa Bay Derby, the Florida Derby, the Kentucky Derby, the Plate Trial. Bred by the Conrards of Kitchener.
MALIBU SECRET – Sam-Son Farms. Malcolm Pierce looks for his first Plate win. Was eyeing the Charlie Barley Stakes on turf but will try the Plate and gets blinkers.
MEGAGRAY – blinkers are on this colt who has more good stuff to come, it’s just that he has not had the firepower in 2 races this season yet.
VAUGHAN – a maiden who gets blinkers off a 3rd in a grass race. Bred by the late Mel Lawson.
AURORA WAY – one of 2 for Chiefswood Stable of Robert and Mark Krembil of King, ON. This guy won his only race, can he overcome the inexerpience? Last year’s winnig Plate jockey, American based Juilen Leparaoux rides.
TIZ A SLAM was the Plate fave in the winter, has been having trouble putting it together this year but has a peak effort coming. Roger Attfield goes for 9 Plate wins.
WATCH ME STRUT, an allowance winner who cost $6,000, races for Catherine Day Phillips and George Ledson. An improving gelding.
Post Horse Jockey Trainer M/L Odd
1 Channel Maker Rafael Hernandez Bill Mott 4-1
2 Guy Caballero Jose Ortiz Catherine Day Phillips 10-1
3 Holy Helena Luis Contreras James Jerkens 3-1
4 Spirit of Caledon Jerome Lermyte Pat Parente 50-1
5 Inflexibility Javier Castellano Chad Brown 10-1
6 King and His Court Gary Boulanger Mark Casse 5-1
7 State of Honor Patrick Husbands Mark Casse 8-1
8 Malibu Secret Alan Garcia Malcolm Pierce 20-1
9 Megagray Jesse Campbell Mike Keogh 9-1
10 Vaughan Slade Callaghan John Mattine 50-1
11 Aurora Way Julien Leparoux Stu Simon 6-1
12 Tiz A Slam Eurico Da Silva Roger Attfield 10-1
13 Watch Me Strut David Moran Catherine Day Phillips 30-1
WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT VIDEO ON THE PLATE FIELD
OH CANADA – MELMICH WINS THE DOMINION DAY AGAIN
MELMICH, a 6-year-old by Wilko bred by Andy Stronach, continues to amaze. One of the top older horses in the land the last 2 years, the gelding won the Dominion Day for the 2nd straight year on Saturday. 97 Beyer Figure. Owned by Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman, trained by Kevin Attard. Ridden by Eurico da Silva. Thank you Cindy and Terence Dulay for the photos