It has arrived, finally (did it seem like longer this year because of the July 4 date?). THE QUEEN’S PLATE, no. 151 (for me, my first was Fiddle Dancer Boy) and with it a 4th visit from HRH QUEEN ELIZABETH II and PRINCE PHILIP.

The field is a decent one, very competitve, no big favourite and maybe, just maybe, someone will emerge as a star not just here, but down south too.

The popular picks when taking a poll yesterday around the track included ROAN INISH, MOBILIZER (many, many published scribes picked him, he figures to go off as favourite) and BIG RED MIKE.

Sam-Son’s trio is getting a bit of interest and on the WOODBINE PLATE SITE, it is WHO WE GUNNA CALL the popular pick.

Lots of interesting folks to cheer for and the place will be packed with fans of the game and trust me, lots of folks who want to see the Queen.

 And let’s remember the stars of the show today – the horses. You can bid on a saddle towel worn by one of the 13 runners and take home a token of the race. The proceeds go to racehorse retirement – LONGRUN THOROUGHBRED RETIREMENT SOCIETY. Check out the Woodbine or LongRun sites for more details, but in honour of WAKE AT NOON, let’s respect our horses today.

Enjoy the day, drink water, find shade and pick a winner!






Today’s TORONTO STAR has an analysis of some picks for the Plate. Heym the logical ones are MOBILIZER and ROAN INISH but why pick a favourite?

My picks include those 2 plus GHOST FLEET as the big longshot play and GIANT’S TOMB and D’S WANDO…

woodbine is offering a free download of the thorograh sheets for the race here:


 below in the photo, the ultra gritty tough gal ROAN INISH is a popular pick. Her ride Davy Moran is fearless, the filly loves a fight and from all reports, her training is better now than before the Plate. DAVE LANDRY PHOTO




Three veteran horsemen chasing first Queen’s Plate victory

In the last half a decade, thoroughbred owner Mel Lawson, trainer Sid Attard and jockey Richard Dos Ramos have won close to 4,000 races.

They have won hundreds of stakes races, awards and millions of dollars in purse earnings.

And they would consider their careers in racing complete if they can capture the big one, the Queen’s Plate, this country’s most famous horse race.



This Plate up for grabs

By BILL LANKHOF, Toronto Sun

Sunday’s 151st running of the Queen’s Plate has turned into a free-for-all.

Fan favourites are disappearing so unexpectedly it wouldn’t be surprising if the Royal Tour suddenly announced Queen

Elizabeth II had twisted a fetlock and would be giving it a miss.

This week, Artic Fern came up sore, joining winterbook favourite Hollinger ensconced with vet bills rather than getting a royal pat on a winning nose. There were defections, such as Embur’s Song, gone instead to the Bison City. This opened the starting gate to opportunists who previously had seen little chance of a payday.

“This is an open race. You couldn’t be surprised if any of them jumped up and took it,” said trainer Sue Leslie, who along with co-owners Curtis Joseph and Don Meehan, anteed up a $25,000 supplemental fee to get filly Moment of Majesty into the race. At 12-1, and with Queen Elizabeth II in the seats, Moment of Majesty is the day’s best hunch bet.


The race favourite is Hotep, a 3-1 choice, and brother to last year’s Plate winner, Eye of the Leopard. Trained by four-time Plate winner Mark Frostad, Hotep won the Wando Stakes



Sensational Slam homers in Clarendon

TORONTO, July 3…Making his career debut, Sensational Slam, ridden by Patrick Husbands, overhauled pacesetter Molinaro Handsome and held Naval Attack safe on the outside to win the $150,000 Clarendon Stakes for Ontario-foaled two-year-olds, Saturday at Woodbine.

Trained by Todd Pletcher for renowned chef Bobby Flay, Sensational Slam, a son of Grand Slam, went postward the 7-5 favourite over 11 rivals in the five and one-half furlong dash.

Molinaro Handsome set most of the fractions, zipping an opening quarter in :22:02 and the half in :45:19, as he opened several lengths on the field turning for home.   But Sensational Slam, a $240,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders Sale in March,  persevered down the middle of the track while another first time starter, Naval Attack, set sail on the outside.

The pair caught Molinaro Handsome, the 3-1 second choice, inside the sixteenth pole, as Sensational Slam prevailed by a neck over Naval Attack in 1:04.78, with Molinaro Handsome one and one-quarter lengths back in third.

“My agent came to me this morning and said that Todd said the horse is very lazy but he can run,” recounted Husbands.  “Today, he really showed me he’s a lazy horse. He left  a step slow and  I had to ride him.  Never got him on the bridle.  I had to call on him.  He was gaining, but gaining slowly.  But he’s a pretty nice baby.  He’s a class horse, he has the breeding.  He won the race on the wrong lead, right from the top to the bottom.”

Bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, the Grand Slam colt is out of Fort Erie stakes winner ROMAN ROMANCE and Glenn Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms sold him as a 2yo for $240,000.

Sensational Slam returned $4.90, $3.60 and $2.80, pairing with Naval Attack ($5.70, $3.50) for a $27.90 (8-10) exactor.  An 8-10-6 (Molinaro Handsome, $2.80 to show) triactor was worth $73.70.


according to Stephanie Diaz editorial:

Wake At Noon’s Death a Sad Wake-Up Call

By Stephanie Diaz – Sunday, July 4, 2010

For thoroughbred aficionados, the news out of Lexington, Ky., this week wasn’t particularly enlightening. But it was better than the news out of Toronto, where an aging champion paid the ultimate price for one man’s egregious error.

At the third annual Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, held at the historic Keeneland Racecourse, attendees learned that the incidence of racehorse fatalities are not significantly different for (a) horses running on dirt, synthetic or turf racing surfaces, (b) horses carrying more weight, or running at different distances, or (c) horses running on wet or otherwise “off” tracks.

The report, known as the Equine Injury Database and based on a year’s worth of data from 378,864 total starts at 73 racetracks, essentially confirmed what most of us already know: The major determiner in racehorse fatalities is the care they receive from their humans.

At Woodbine Racecourse last Tuesday, 13-year-old Wake At Noon took to the training track in the early morning hours for his first recorded workout in almost three years. Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2002 never made it back to the barn. At the quarter pole, he broke a foreleg and fell. Struggling to stand, he broke the other leg. He was euthanized on the track.