Ken and Sarah Ramsey's We Miss Artie
, the 4-1 favourite when the
Queen's Plate Winterbook odds were released in March, heads a field of
seven for Sunday's
$150,000 Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine.
The Plate Trial, at one mile and one-eighth on Polytrack for Canadian
foaled three-year-olds, will be televised live on TSN2 as part of a
special one and one-half hour presentation on Woodbine Oaks day. Post
time for the Plate Trial is 5:10 p.m., while
the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, for Canadian-bred three-year-old fillies, goes at 5:45 p.m.
All Plate Trial starters carry 126 pounds, the same weight they'll carry if they proceed to the Queen's Plate on July 6. Twenty-five Plate Trial winners have gone on to win the 'Gallop for the Guineas' since 1944.
We Miss Artie, trained by Todd Pletcher, comes to Woodbine for the first time for the 71st
edition of the Plate Trial. A winner in three of his nine outings,
including the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland last October and
Grade 3 Spiral
at Turfway Park in March, the dark bay colt has not raced since
finishing 10th, eight and one-quarter lengths behind California Chrome in the Kentucky Derby on May 3 at Churchill Downs.
However, he's had three breezes at Saratoga since and is unbeaten in
his two Polytrack efforts - at Keeneland and Turfway. The earner of
$609,000, more than the total of his six rivals, will be ridden by
Javier Castellano. Pletcher won the 1998 Queen's
Plate with Archers Bay after finishing second in the Trial. He also
won the Plate Trial in 2000 with Pete's Sake.
Trainer Roger Attfield, who has won a record-tying eight Queen's
Plates, has another contender this year in Tower of Texas, recently a
close fourth place finisher, one length behind Asserting Bear in the
Marine Stakes on May 25.
The son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense took six cracks to
break his maiden, but the $195,000 Keeneland yearling purchase has
never finished worse than fourth. Gary Boulanger, who won the 2001 Plate
aboard Oaks winner Dancethruthedawn, will ride.
Man o'Bear, owned by Bear Stables and trained by Reade Baker, makes a
belated seasonal debut in the Plate Trial. Last year, the son of
Corinthian finished third in three stakes, including the rich Coronation
Futurity in November. He'll be ridden by
Emma-Jayne Wilson, who is the only female jockey to win the Queen's
Plate, doing so with Mike Fox in 2007.
John Oxley's Majestic Sunset will try to duplicate his performance in
last year's Coronation Futurity, when a closing second to Asserting
Bear. Another son of Artie Schiller, Majestic Sunset is still a maiden
after eight starts, though, most recently finishing
sixth to Tower of Texas on May 10.
Trained by Mark Casse, who won last year's Trial with Oxley's Dynamic
Sky, Majestic Sunset will be handled by Alan Garcia, who rode the colt
to a second place finish on the grass at Keeneland in April.
"It's hard to look at him and say he's a Queen's Plate horse, but in
the back of my mind I know this horse has a lot of ability but he's
running out of time. He'll need to put it together this weekend," said
Completing the field are maiden Ascot Martin
, trained by Mike Keogh,
with Luis Contreras up; Man Cave
, a two-time winner for trainer Ashlee
Brnjas, with Jesse Campbell aboard and Rhythm Blues
, trained by Nick
Gonzalez, with Patrick Husbands.
$150,000 Plate Trial Stakes, One mile and one-eighth
Sunday, June 15, Woodbine Polytrack
Race 9 Post time: 5:10 p.m.
1/Rhythm Blues/Patrick Husbands
2/We Miss Artie/Javier Castellano
3/Man Cave/Jesse Campbell
4/Ascot Martin/Luis Contreras
5/Tower of Texas/Gary Boulanger
6/Majestic Sunset/Alan Garcia
7/Man o'Bear/Emma-Jayne Wilson