THEFT AT WOODBINE IN THE 160TH QUEEN’S PLATE
One Bad Boy sneaks into his home province and steals the $600,000
$18 million was wagered (up $4 million from last year) and it was a good crowd on a day that was certainly less hot and sticky than a year ago.
Queen’s Plate day at Woodbine (and the day-before’s Day 1 of the Queen’s Plate Festival) has firmly taken hold of the the Canada Day long weekend in Ontario with its events and fashion and food and horses.
For true blue horse racing fans there was a delectable, 13- race card put on with a pile of stakes races. The main turf was used, the fluffy and pretty inner turf was used and the Tapeta was in fine form.
Newcomers had the Hats & Horseshoes fun out back and various different parties throughout the plant.
The highlight though was the 1 1/4 mile Plate which featured a handful of serious contenders against many huge longshots were were added in just for the party.
While winterbook favourite AVIE’S FLATTER, owned by Ivan Dalos and trained by Josie Carroll, had been a powerhouse in the weeks leading up to the Plate with one good workout after another, it was SKYWIRE, the Gary Barber/Lou Tucci colt who ended up being made favourite. Ridden by Eurico da Silva, Skywire had been second in the Marine Stakes and won the Wando Stakes and also had some nice workouts heading into the race.
MARK CASSE, who trained Skywire, came to Woodbine for almost a week, attending the post position draw and Woodbine races through Sunday.
Avie’s Flatter was a close second choice and California invader ONE BAD BOY, who wasn’t even nominated for the Plate as of April, was third choice.
Shrewd racing people, those who have watched many races, knew Skywire was going to be tough to beat first time past the finish line.
Loping along as if out for a summer canter, the son of Twirling Candy – Cumulonimble by Stormy Atlantic was under a light hold by jockey Flavien Prat. Prat, who won the Kentucky Derby this year on Country House (through DQ) told the media later that he was shocked no one went with him.
“It wasn’t my plan to go to the lead but no one else went. So I took it.”
Meanwhile, out of the gate, Skywire broke a step slow from his post 10 under Da Silva and then had another US invader, TONE BROKE careen into him and hit his front, right should hard. Skywire was out of the race at that point.
Avie’s Flatter assumed a super position right away under Javier Castellano, getting in from his 14 post under a very hard hold by his ridert o stalk and press the leader. The sleek bay colt joined One Bay Boy off the turn for him but simply couldn’t match strides and was Dalos’ third, second-place finisher in the Plate.
ONE BAD BOY, trained by Richard Baltas, who was not at Woodbine, will now go to the July 23 PRINCE OF WALES on the dirt at 1 3/16 miles at Fort Erie.
This year a Triple Crown sweep will net a horse $500,00 from the OLG. Since One Bad Boy loves the grass (the Plate was on Tapeta, not grass as the TSN Plate show mentioned) the Breeders’ Stakes in August would entice.
Brooke Hubbard and Greg Hall, who own the colt with Steve and Jason Young, are not totally sold on One Bad Boy being a stakes calirbe horse on dirt, but there does not appear to be too many reasons not to try it.
TONE BROKE and perhaps SKYWIRE are expected to continue to the Wales.
ONE BAD BOY’S Plate-winning Beyer Figure of 94 was decent.
AMERICAN SWEEP – 5 stakes won by US trainers and riders.
It was a rough day for the local training and riding colony who, even before not making a mark in the Plate, chased home US horses all day in the graded stakes events.
The Grade 1 Highlander was won by WET YOUR WHISTLE for David Palmer and trainer Mike Trombetta under rider Alex Cintron.
HOLY HELENA, trained by Jimmy Jerkens and ridden by Javier Castellano, was a popular winner of the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes. This 2017 Plate winner has been an amazing turf mare since her Plate heroics. She is an Ontario bred by Ghostzapper for Stronach Stables.
SYNCHRONY, one of the top grass horses in the US, won the Grade 2 King Edward for Joespehine Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stud. Mike Stidham trains the lovely Tapit 6-year-old and Castellano rode him as well.
Junior Alvarado rode Sam-Son Farms’ DESERT ISLE to victory in the Zadracarta Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The Bernardinin filly is trained by Graham Motion.
And THE BLACK ALBUM (Fr) and jockey Flavioen Prat won the Charlie Barley Stakes for Team Valor and Gary Barber, trainer Rodolphe Brisset.
Derek Chin and trainer Kevin Attard have Plate winner’s half sis in barn
ONE BAD BOY was bred by Ron Clarkson and is a Twirling Candy ridgling from the Stormy Atlantic mare Cumulonimble. The mare was a multiple stakes winner in Illinois bred races in Chicago and she preferred races up to 1 1/16 miles. She was bought in 2013 for $60,000 by Clarkson at the Keeneland November sale and he sold that first foal, by Majestic Warrior, for $5,500.
The mare has since produced MS BAD BEHAVIOR – sold by Clarkson for $75,000 and now earner of $320,000 as a miler for the same SayJay, Hall and Hubbard group.
He sold a yearling filly last year at the CTHS sale from this mare to Derek Chin for $90,000. Kevin Attard is train her her and she is named BLESSED TRULY.
ONE BAD BOY was a $65,000 (US) Keeneland Sept. yearling.
TO DQ OR NOT TO DQ – The way Tone Broke
Plate favourite SKYWIRE and American invader TONE BROKE completely changed the dynamics of the Plate and certainly contributed to the coast-to-coast romp by ONE BAD BOY on Saturdau.
There was quite a bit of questioning after an inquiry however, that left TONE BROKE (3rd place finisher) up after he crashed into Skywire at the break.
(Tone Broke is 11 and Skywire is 10) SKYWIRE, who did break a step slow still felt a hard crash by Tone Broke against his front end and had no chance to make an impact in the race