You might play the speed figures, sheet numbers or simply current form and come up with one of the 3 favourites for today’s  Plate.

You might just play high profile horses who have won big races- you’d still get the favourites.

Or, you might just go with the local horsepeople, owners, trainers, jockeys who have been on fire lately.

Who do you like?

1/El Brujo/Windways Farm/Malcolm Pierce/Emma-Jayne Wilson/15-1

Is he the forgotten horse? How strange this game as he was the big Plate guy a month ago but he bombed in the Trial after new tactics were used and he fought jockey Patrick Husbands. Full circle comment: Emma-Jayne Wilson is back on board and she is a confident and strong rider. The Windways farm team suffered a blow this wek when JIM BEGG passed away at 82 on Wednesday. Begg owned their first Plate winner Victor Cooley. His son Jeff runs the farm.

2/Flip for the Coin/Molinaro Stable/Vito Armata/Emile Ramsammy/30-1

How about DEJA VU? The owner and trainer hit in the Plate with 80 to 1 shot  T J’S LUCKY MOON who died this year in his retirement. This guy has not done much this year and he is Ontario sired but who knows.

3/Active Duty/Woodford Racing/Mark Casse/Corey Fraser/20-1

Jockey COREY FRASER was super on the Plate seminar on Saturday morning and talks with great praise of his mount ACTIVE DUTY. The gelding provided Fraser with his biggest win – last year’s CORONATION FUTURITY, and while it has been since 1976 since Norcliffe was the last to win the Plate after having won the Coronation at 2, this gelding handles the trip. Fraser said he wants to save ground and have some pace to run at.

4/Milwaukee Appeal (f)/C.E.C. Farms/Scott Fairlie/Stewart Elliott/3-1

The morning line fave – will she be the public’s choice at the end of the betting? She is al the rage of the sheets players,she reportedly is thriving for the red-hot Scott Fairlie barn. If Scott’s running her, she’s ready to go again despite just 2 weeks off.

5/Mr. Foricos Two U/Annecchini & D’Alimonte/Catherine Day Phillips/Mike Smith/15-1

The fun loving partnership of ROCCO D’ALIMONTE and FRANK ANNECCHINI have had a good year with their horses and have done very well since moving over to trainer Catherine Day Phillips 3 years ago.

They won another race yesterday with their fleet filly FASHION JENNY and just seem to have lady luck on their side quite often. Their flashy gelding is a popular pick.

6/Reservoir/Goldie Stables and Weila Ye/Julia Carey/Jim McAleney/20-1

Red-hot JIM MCALENEY has never won the Plate and he’s tried 14 times. This could be his day. This is a large gelding who has been a bit spooky in his career – he flipped in the gate before a claiming race when he was supposed to debut. He is 2 for 2 in his career now and beat older horses on the grass at 9 fiurlongs last time.

The Breeders’ Stakes is the main goal but they said ‘why not?’ for the Plate.

JUN21leop1.jpg7/Eye Of The Leopard/Sam-Son Farm/Mark Frostad/Eurico Rosa da Silva/7-2

Sam-Son Farms, A.P, Indy colt, Plate Trial win… all the stuff is here. A good trip will be key.

8/Rapid Release/Dolantori Racing/Roger Attfield/Jono Jones/8-1

Roger Attfield, the king of Plates. This trainer and jockey won t=last year’s Plate with a flashy chestnut too – Not Bourbon.

9/Bucephalus/Knob Hill Stable/Kevin Attard/Tyler Pizarro/30-1

At yesterday’s Plate seminar at Woodbine, Jim Clark, founder of IN-FORM SHEETS handed his analysis of the Plate and this fellow was on top. Only by one point but he was the leader and those who like the blinkers on move, may look his way.

10/Stardust Ziggy/UN Stable/Lorna Perkins/Jerry Baird/20-1

He’s  a maiden with a big stretch kick but the one who beat him last time was not entered in the Plate by Mark Casse. Has the breeding and capable connections but he’s never won a race.

11/Tasty Temptation (f)/Woodford Racing/Mark Casse/Patrick Husbands/4-1

JUN21appeal1.jpgThe grey filly will get lots of play from that troubled trip in the Oaks – but she gets in trouble a lot and the bottom line is, she’s won one race.

OAKS FINISH, same for Plate? Milwaukee Appeal, far right, draws off from Tasty Temptation. Terence Dulay photo

12/Shut It Down/K.K. Sangara/Lorne Richards/Russell Baze/20-1

The distance is the only question here – he was well rated last time in a 2 turn event, got into some traffic trouble but then he stalled when clear.

13/Keino West/Track West Racing/Steve Attard/Gerry Olguin/15-1

Another of the longshot player’s faves. He woke up a bit more with blinkers on last time when 5th in the Plate Trial but he needs to go forward even more.


One of the most exciting initiatives offered in recent years by WOODBINE is the TURBO CHARGED PICK 6 that launches today and will replace the regular Pick 6.

The Turbo Charge Pick 6 will be offered on Sundays only.

Surely with tons of folks on hand tomorrow there should be a good pot up for grabs if you can pick the last 6 winners on the card – including the Plate.

Here are some thoughts on the PICK 6 AND THE CO-FEATURED STAKES RACES:

race 6 – first level allowance at a route distance is a perplexing affair – PALMERS is the logical one for the Melnyk Stable but he’s a win shy guy. COLD HARBOR has a chance to get the Analais Delmas barn off the schneid today if he times his move right. GLADWYNE is another possibility.

Race 7 SINGSPIEL STAKES,  a tiny field on what is likely to be yielding turf. SPICE ROUTE will be the big favourite if he runs but he’d have to be mindful of thelack of pace in the 6 horse field. Trainer Roger Attfield’s other runner MUSKATIER looks good and maybe last year’s winner, the front running MISSION APPROVED.

Race 8 – allowance/opt. claimer ar 6 furlongs – lots of speed is entered and that may play perfectly for YUMMY WITH BUTTER, who rarely wins. Trainer Scott Fairlie is loaded today – CAPTAIN RAUCOUS and GANTU.


Race 10 – allowance at 6 1/2, JIMMYMAC BEAR was 2nd in his season debut and looked ready, STRAY CAT STRIDE is an interesting longshot.

Race 11 – maiden allowance is tough, VELVET GARDEN is the best of those who have raced this year, maybe CHUSAN.


Sunday, Woodbine, post time: 2:05 p.m. EDT

HIGHLANDER S.-GIII, $200,000, 3yo/up, 6fT


1 True Vindication Vindication Pierce 10-1

2 Shadowless Stormy Atlantic Bell 9-2

3 True to Tradition Rahy Lake 10-1

4 Yankee Injunuity Yankee Victor McMullen 15-1

5 Smart Enough Horse Chestnut (SAf) Fisher 10-1

6 Mr. Nightlinger Indian Charlie Calhoun 5-2

7 Legal Move Bold Executive Fournier 12-1

8 Heros Reward Partner=s Hero Capuano 7-2

9 Field Commission Service Stripe Vella 8-1

10 Stuck in Traffic Kiridashi Gonzalez 20-1


Sunday, Woodbine, post time: 4:16 p.m. EDT

SINGSPIEL S.-GIII, $150,000, 3yo/up, 1 1/2mT


1 Sligovitz Sligo Bay (Ire) Attfield 9-2

2 Mission Approved With Approval Contessa 5-2

3 Spice Route (GB) King=s Best Attfield 7-5

4 Torquay Deputy Commander de Toro 12-1

5 Cobotown Ron Compadre Delmas 12-1

6 Musketier (Ger) Acatenango (Ger) Attfield 7-2




CASANOVA STUD ENTERPRISES won its first stakes race when STYLISH CITIZEN rallied down the middle of the Polytrack to win the $100,000 Charlie Barley Stakes yesterday.

The race, originally scheduled for one mile on the grass, was taken off the turf in midday because the rain simply has not stopped in Toronto in the last 3 days. At 1 mile and 70 yards, there were a few scratches including morning line fave SKIPADATE.

After Eugene Melynk’s CONGOR BAY streaked to a 6 length lead early in the race, the field corralled him nearing the quarter-pole with BEAR’S PROSPECTOR the first to make a bid to the lead. Along the rail, CROWN ISLE was rallying hard while STYLISH CITIZEN moved wide under Jim McAleney.

Trainer John Ross asked McAleney to try and take the Kentucky bred Proud Citizen colt off the pace for this, his 3rd race of the year, and the 1-time winner loved that style. He posted a career best 86 Beyer Figure. A $20,000 purchase,the colt had won his maiden in November for a $50,000 claiming price.

The other stakes race of the day was the HILL ‘N’ DALE, a $100,000 event won by a filly owned by….HILL ‘N’DALE. SMART SURPRISE,who has been a surprise since she moved to Polytrack last year when she came to Woodbine as a maiden in August. Coddled on the pace by Patrick Husbands, who won three races on Friday, Smart Surprise (Smart Strike) rolled home as a big winner as the 2nd favourite at 8 to 5.

She earned a 94 Beyer Figure for the 1 1/16 miles. Her stablemate, SERENADING, was 4th for Hill ‘n’ Dale and Glenn Sikura. The winner is now 6 for 19 in her career. Josie Carroll trains.

JIM MCALENEY won three races on the card.

BEN HUTZEL, a director at Woodbine, won the 2nd race with hsi first time starting 2yo filly MARITIME PASSION, a Stormy Atlantic Ontario bred and half sister to Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner RETREACEABLE.

Bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale, the filly was an $80,000 weanling purchase.

Jockey JUSTIN STEIN was seemingly okay after being dumped by KINSHASA’S PARADIS in race 3 when that one bolted inwards from his rail post out of the gate and then ran the wrong way around the track while the race was on. The winner of that allowance event was LUVYATOTHEMOON, who has won two races in succession now for Mike Kowalski and trainer Sammy DiPasquale. He was bred by Ron Clarkson and is by One Way Love.



How the Plate horses got their names…


BUFFALO NEWS:Happy Handicapper /By Bob Summers

Rapid Release passes the eyeball test

TORONTO—The United States’ Triple Crown season was not kind to the Happy Handicapper, so he’s taking a new approach for the Canadian version of the biggest three races of the year for 3-year-olds.

No more poring for hours over past performance charts and video replays in his quest to find a winner for Sunday’s 150th Queen’s Plate (5:26 p. m., Channel 5). This time he’s relying on those old reliable indicators—first impressions and instinct.

That’s how he came up with Rapid Release (No. 8) as his top selection for the 1v-mile Lope for the Loonies.

On Monday afternoon at Woodbine, seven of the 13 horses in the Plate were paraded in the walking ring for the viewing pleasure of several hundred guests at the annual pre-Plate barbecue. Rapid Release, a beautiful, well-muscled, compact chestnut with a white blaze on his face was the one that caught the H. H.’s eye as the best looker in the bunch.

Later, he sat down to learn more about the colt from trainer Roger Attfield, the 69-year-old Canadian Hall of Famer who has won the Plate a co-record eight times, including last year with Not Bourbon.

Attfield said he had his eye on Rapid Release, a cleverly-named Ontariobred son of Action This Day and Bail Money, when he went up for sale at an auction of 2-year-olds in England last October.





Sports reporter

Come late tomorrow afternoon, you will hear much about Queen’s Plate tradition as Canada’s biggest horse race turns 150 years old, about how it’s stood still while the world turned around it, about timelessness and constancy.

If anything, though, the Queen’s Plate has endured by being mutable, from its first running seven years before Confederation, at a sandy course in Toronto’s present-day Junction neighbourhood, to this milestone renewal on the synthetic rubber-fibre-sand mix known as Polytrack.

It’s not a plate at all, actually, rather a slender gold-plated trophy about 30 centimetres tall, in its sixth iteration since debuting as a somewhat bulbous and jug-eared, sterling-silver chalice in 1899. That royal first prize of 50 guineas? It’s a bank draft for 50 gold sovereigns, guineas having gone out of circulation under King George III, simply a racing-prize tradition continued in the Plate’s original charter.




There is a little bit of magic tied up in the history of Rapid Release, the fourth choice on the morning line for Sunday’s Queen’s Plate at Woodbine.

A flashy chestnut gelding who could become trainer Roger Attfield’s record ninth Plate winner, Rapid Release was foaled at the famed Windfields Farm that closed down last year. His dam, Bail Money, was the stable star for the Sackatoga Stable, the high school buddies who used the money they received when Bail Money was claimed from them to buy their eventual Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide. His breeder, Stuart Hyman of Toronto, has plowed millions of dollars into the industry in just five years, hoping for that first big horse. A son of Action This Day, Rapid Release is the second foal of the St. Jovite mare Bail Money, who is a focal point of a middle section of the book “Funny Cide,” told by the Sackatoga Stable and Sally Jenkins.




 MR. FORICOS TWO U with his team – FRANK ANNECCHINI (holding lead shank), ROCCO D’ALIMONTE (other side of horse’s head) and trainer CATHERINE DAY PHILLIPS with Blake and Colton. www.horse-races.net photo.







By Bill Tallon

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Rocco D’Alimonte and Frank Annecchini have shared a long and productive history as business associates, friends, horseplayers, and horse owners.

On Sunday, D’Alimonte and Annecchini will be looking to add the most exciting chapter of all to their evolving story as the owners of Mr. Foricos Two U, who is in with a fighting chance as he makes his stakes debut in the 150th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate.

“For me, having a horse in the Queen’s Plate for the first time is like having 50 years removed from my life,” said the 59-year-old D’Alimonte, who was born it Italy but emigrated to Canada with his family at an early age. “I feel like I’m 9 years old, and I just got a horse for a present.”

Annecchini, 52, who also was born in Italy and has been in Canada since his infancy, is less fanciful but equally enthusiastic as he contemplates his first Queen’s Plate venture.

“It’s a thrill,” said Annecchini. “It’s fabulous.”