We Miss Artie
is the first horse Ken and Sarah Ramsey will run in the Queen's Plate as owners.
They bred Queen'splatekitten, who ran in the race in 2011, but sold
him privately after his second start. Queen'splatekitten finished
Best known for running homebreds by their star stallion Kitten's
Joy, the Ramseys purchased We Miss Artie for $90,000 at the 2012
Keeneland September yearling sale.
Ken Ramsey sent his farm manager Mark Partridge to the sale
specifically to buy a Kentucky Derby prospect, but Partridge was so
impressed by We Miss Artie that he convinced Ramsey to bid on him
despite his turf pedigree.
We Miss Artie did not disappoint, becoming one of two horses that
the Ramseys ran in this year's Kentucky Derby, finishing 10th in a
"He didn't run all that badly, and he did the best he could do. No excuses, no problems," said Ramsey.
Last time out, We Miss Artie continued his undefeated streak on
synthetic surfaces, which includes wins in the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity
at Keeneland and Grade 3 Spiral at Turfway, with a geared-down
3/4-length score in the Plate Trial under regular pilot
"Javier may have cut it a little bit close," said Ramsey. "But, he
said the horse still had gas in the tank. We've never won the Queen's
Plate...and that's the goal. He came out of the race super and has
trained well, and we think we have a good shot."
A victory in Sunday's
$1-million test would make for an emotional scene with many of the
Ramsey family in attendance as We Miss Artie is named for Artie Ignagni,
the late husband of Sarah's first cousin Jessie. Both Jessie and her
eldest daughter Kathy
will be at Woodbine for the race.
The horse arrives at Woodbine from Saratoga on Wednesday,
BAKER LOADED FOR 'BEAR'
Reade Baker, a fixture at the top of the Woodbine trainer
standings, will hope to continue an already successful season, which saw
the conditioner notch his 1000th career win on June 15, with a first
Queen's Plate score in Sunday's $1-million Gallop for
Baker will saddle a pair of 'Bears', Asserting Bear and Man o' Bear, for Danny Dion's Bear Stables in Sunday's 1 1/4-mile classic.
Man o' Bear, a strapping chestnut son of Corinthian-Mahalo, broke
his maiden in an off-the-turf maiden allowance route in September and
completed his five-race juvenile campaign with a third-place run in the
Coronation Futurity won by stablemate Asserting
Unfortunately, Man o' Bear was injured during the running of his
season finale and needed time off and only just made his sophomore debut
in the Plate Trial when fifth.
"He got a crack in his cannon bone on the Poly in the Coronation
Futurity," explained Baker. "I thought he was going to win coming around
the turn, but he got hurt and needed some time off.
"We're playing catch up now, but when you see him in the paddock
you'll see that he's a magnificent beast in perfect health. I've always
thought he was a better horse than Asserting Bear, but he hasn't run to
prove that yet."
By comparison, Asserting Bear has enjoyed a perfect path to the
Plate competing in a number of Kentucky Derby preps topped by a rallying
fourth-place run in the Grade 3 Spiral at Turfway Park which was won by
Plate favourite We Miss Artie.
"Around the turn it looked like he was checked and fading out of
the race but he picked himself up and made a run. He was just gobbling
up ground at the end," recalled Baker, of Asserting Bear's gutsy Spiral
Last time out, Asserting Bear crossed the wire first in the Marine
Stakes but was disqualified and placed third when the stewards ruled he
had obstructed the late run of Plate rival Ami's Holiday.
"I don't think he should have come down,” Baker said.
And even if Ami's Holiday had found a clear path, Baker remains
convinced his horse would have won. "He wasn't getting by me. This
horse has too much inner strength to let that horse by him."
‘HEART’ IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE
A son of English Channel, Heart to Heart will be a longshot in
Sunday’s running of the Queen’s Plate. But, the colt’s connections are
certainly pumped at the prospect of contesting the 155th edition of the
Fashioning two wins, one second, and a third from seven starts,
Heart to Heart might be the silent type, but his trainer, Brian Lynch,
is hoping he speaks volumes with his effort in the “Gallop for the
“He’s an unassuming guy,” said Lynch, of the bay that was
previously conditioned by Michael Stidham. “He’s not this big, imposing
horse. In the barn, you don’t even know he’s there. But, we’ve
fine-tuned him heading into this race and we’ve come to know
a lot more about him.”
Owned by Terry Hamilton, Heart to Heart burst out of the gates,
winning his career bow by 8 ¼ lengths last July at Arlington Park.
This May, he waded into the Marine Stakes mix. Under Emma-Jayne
Wilson, he battled valiantly in the 1 1/16-mile main track event, but
finished sixth, yet just 1 ¾-lengths behind the winner.
“The Marine was a test run,” noted Lynch. “When you have a
Canadian-bred two-year-old, there’s always that one race (Queen’s Plate)
you look at. So, we’ll take that kick at the can. The question, of
course, is the 1 ¼-miles. But, he’s coming into the race
in great shape, and hopefully, he’ll have his biggest race yet.”
Heart to Heart will have the services of champion jockey Eurico
Rosa da Silva, who piloted Eye of the Leopard to Plate glory in 2009,
then partnered Big Red Mike to victory one year later.
JACKPOT HI-5 SET FOR QUEEN’S PLATE RACE
The Jackpot Hi-5 will have a mandatory payout on the 155th edition
of the Queen’s Plate (Race 11). The carryover pool currently stands at
The wager, not won since May 23,
requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact
order. It’s a 20-cent minimum bet and has a takeout of 15 per cent, a
Woodbine has offered a large mandatory payout on the bet before. On May 17,
the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 had a carryover pool of $656,386.93. A
total pool of $2,002,026 was generated, spawning winning tickets of
EARLY LOOK AT THE POSSIBLE JULY 6 QUEEN'S PLATE FIELD (16)
HORSE / TRAINER / OWNER / JOCKEY
Ami's Holiday / Josie Carroll / Ivan Dalos /Luis Contreras
Asserting Bear / Reade Baker / Bear Stables / Chantal Sutherland-Kruse
Athenian Guard / Mike DePaulo / A & L Racing Stables / Omar Moreno
Cap in Hand / Sid Attard / Tucci Stables / Steven Bahen
Coltimus Prime / Justin Nixon / Cabernet Racing Stables / Jesse Campbell
Heart to Heart / Brian Lynch / Terry Hamilton / Eurico Rosa da Silva
Lexie Lou / Mark Casse / Gary Barber / Patrick Husbands
Lions Bay / Jamie Attard / M. N. V. & J. Earle / David Moran
Majestic Sunset / Mark Casse / John Oxley / Gary Boulanger
Man o' Bear / Reade Baker / Bear Stables / Emma-Jayne Wilson
Matador / Mark Casse / John Oxley / Julien Leparoux
Niigon Express / Paul Attard / Chiefswood Stable / Gerry Olguin
One Destiny / Alec Fehr /Winston Penny & Alec Fehr / Justin Stein
Rhythm Blues / Nick Gonzalez / Hillsbrook Farms /TBA
Tower of Texas / Roger Attfield / Thomas Van Meter II & Scott Dilworth / John Velazquez
We Miss Artie / Todd Pletcher / Ken & Sarah Ramsey / Javier Castellano