QUEEN’S PLATE UPDATE
BERGER ARRIVES AT WOODBINE, STATE OF HONOR ON HIS WAY
Queen’s Plate hopefuls from the Mark Casse stable BERGER (Rosberg) and STATE OF HONOR are preparing for upcoming prep races for the Queen’s Plate.
BERGER, recently purchased by Gary Barber from Copper Water Thoroughbreds off a sensational debut win at Gulfstream Park, had workouts at Churchill and Keeneland and then Woodbine yesterday as he gets set for a shot at the Plate trail.
STATE OF HONOR will be at Woodbine shortly after faltering in the Kentucky Derby after being sent hard to the lead. He finished 19th and will try some training to the Plate but a start in the Prince of wales is more likely.
AVIE’S MESA is a serious Queen’s Plate contender at the Sky Mesa colt, owned and bred by Ivan Dalos, returns to Woodbine racing on Saturday in race 7, an allowance event against older horses. The dark bay won his debut on the grass last fall and was 4th in the Cup & Saucer.
Like so many other Canadian sophomores, Avie’s Mesa spent the winter in the south and he had several races there. He was recently 3rd, beaten less than a length, in a 9 furlong grass race with an 80 Beyer Speed Figure.
Saturday’s QUEENSTON STAKES, the 61st running of the 7 furlong race, is often a springboard to the Marine of Plate Trial but this year, of the 8 entrants, not many appear to be 1 1/4 mile horses. Favoured LOKINFORPURSEMONEE is indeed an off-the-pace sprinter while second choice YORKTON is by Speightstown and appears to be a sprinter.
Gus Schickedanz’s WOODBRIDGE has won at 1 1/16 miles and he had a mild rally in the Woodstock so he could go forward with more distance.
PREAKNESS PROBABLE STARTERS
Horse Trainer Jockey Last Race/Finish
Always Dreaming Todd Pletcher John Velazquez Kentucky Derby, 1st
Classic Empire Mark Casse Julien Leparoux Kentucky Derby, 4th
Cloud Computing Chad Brown Javier Castellano Wood Memorial, 3rd
Conquest Mo Money Miguel Hernandez Jorge Carreno Arkansas Derby, 2nd
Gunnevera Antonio Sano Mike Smith Kentucky Derby, 7th
Hence Steve Asmussen Florent Geroux Kentucky Derby, 11th
Lookin At Lee Steve Asmussen Corey Lanerie Kentucky Derby, 2nd
Multiplier Brendan Walsh Joel Rosario Illinois Derby, 1st
Royal Mo John Shirreffs Gary Stevens Santa Anita Derby, 3rd
Senior Investment Kenny McPeek Channing Hill Lexington Stakes, 1st
PREAKNESS STORYLINES TO TAB
from the Baltimore Sun
Neither mud nor inexperience nor the ambitions of 19 other gifted and unpredictable thoroughbreds could keep yet another favorite from winning the 143rd Kentucky Derby.
Always Dreaming did not quite fit our usual image of a Derby leading man. He had never even run a stakes race before April 1 and his trainer, Todd Pletcher, was known for falling short at Churchill Downs. But as it turned out, the bettors were right. The colt’s stellar performance in the Florida Derby and subsequent strong workouts signaled that he was peaking at the right time
LOOSE ON THE TOWN has been running wild in his recent grass sprints in the U.S. The Ontario bred by Speightstown – Gauze by Saint Ballado, won on Thursday at Belmont Park in a 6 furlong dash, 1:08.10 – good for a 96 Beyer Figure.
The Anderson Farms bred 5yo gelding is owned by Jim and Susan Hill and trained by Brian Lynch.
Funnily enough, his younger half brother, CONQUEST LEMONRAID, just won at Woodbine with an 83 Beyer Figure and he could be on the Queen’s Plate trail.
SIR DUDLEY DIGGES, last year’s Queen’s Plate winner, got back on the winning track when he too a 1 mile turf race at CHurcill Downs during Derby week with a 91 Beyer Figujre. The dark bay son of Gio Ponti ran the distance in 1:39.20 on an off turf course.
AJAX DOWNS UNDERWAY
The 48th season of Quarter Horse racing is underway at Ajax Downs and day 2 of the meeting is this Sunday, Mother’s Day.
The track will unveil it’s new line of colourful merchandise on Sunday, offer a flower promotion to the first 100 Mom’s on site and there are 7 races on tap including the featured $27,000 allowance for fillies and mares at 250 yards.
Stakes winner Ice Fishn looms the big favourite in the race for owner Stephanie Keeble.
Ajax made the Toronto Sun today: