Queen’s Plate Winning Fillies

June 30, 2016 12:04pm
Lexie Lou Woodbine Oaks 615 X 400
Photo: WEG/Michael Burns Photography

The Queen’s Plate will be run for the 157th time on Sunday, making it the longest continuously run race in North America. It’s also the most prestigious race in Canada – Our neighbor to the North’s version of the Kentucky Derby, if you will. Contested at 1 ¼ miles over the Tapeta at Woodbine, for three-year-olds foaled in Canada, this year will mark the sixtieth consecutive running in which it has been run at the classic ten-furlong distance. While it’s only been in recent years in which a female trainer (Josie Carroll – 2006 & 2011) and a female jockey (Emma-Jayne Wilson - 2007) have broken through in the Queen’s Plate, female horses have enjoyed much more success over the years, beginning with Brunette scoring way back in 1864. In fact, they’ve won 35 editions in the history of the Canadian classic. Let’s take a look at the seven three-year-old fillies who were able to etch their name on the trophy since the race switched back to a mile and a quarter in 1957…


Flaming Page (1962) – A daughter of another excellent Queen’s Plate winner, Bull Page, Flaming Page is a wonderful way to begin this list. Though she only won four of her 16 lifetime races, she proved to the best filly of her age group in Canada. Bred by E.P. Taylor, owned by Windfields Farm, and trained by Horatio Luro, among her best performances include wins in the Canadian Oaks and Queen’s Plate, as well as a second-place finish to the champion Cicada in America’s prestigious Kentucky Oaks. Perhaps more importantly than anything she did on the track, Flaming Page teamed up with another Canadian legend, Northern Dancer, to produce an all-time great runner and sire, in the English Triple Crown winner, Nijinsky II.


Jammed Lovely (1967) – An eight-time winner in only two seasons of racing, her owner and breeder, Conn Smythe, was the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Champion 2yo Filly of 1966 counted the Mazarine and Natalma Stakes among her five wins as a juvenile. At three, she parlayed a second-place finish in a sloppy edition of the Canadian Oaks to victory in the Queen’s Plate one week later. She went on to finish in the money in several other important Canadian stakes races, including the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes, before her retirement.


La Lorgnette (1985) – Another from the powerful Windfields Farm of E.P. Taylor, La Lorgnette was a stakes winner at two, but best known for her series of races in the summer of 1985. After getting back to the winner’s circle in an allowance race, the daughter of Val de l’Orne reeled off three straight big performances in a row. First, she won the Canadian Oaks nine days after the allowance win. Then she upset the favored male, Imperial Choice in the Queen’s Plate. Finally, she came back to run second to that one in the Prince of Wales. The season, in which she finished first or second in 9-of-10 starts, culminated with a Sovereign Award as Champion 3yo Filly.


Dance Smartly (1991) – The only Canadian Triple Crown winner on this list, Dance Smartly did not confine her great success to Canadian racing only. A champion on both sides of the border, the daughter of Danzig culminated her championship juvenile season with a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, in her first try in the U.S. At three, the Sam-Som Farm homebred proved unbeatable. In the final five starts of her perfect eight-race season, she swept through the Canadian Triple Crown in commanding style, beat the males for the fourth straight time in the million-dollar Molson Million, before scoring a decisive win in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs. All in all, the Hall of Famer won 12-of-17 in three seasons, never once finishing out of the money. She added to her legacy as a broodmare, producing back-to-back winners of the Queen’s Plate.


Dancethruthedawn (2001) – Like mother, like daughter. Dancethruthedawn may not have been quite the filly that her dam, Dance Smartly was, but she was top notch, and also was able to beat the boys in the Queen’s Plate. A stakes winner at two, the Sam-Som filly was able to shrug off a disappointing result in the Kentucky Oaks, by scoring back-to-back victories in the Woodbine Oaks and the Queen’s Plate. The result of her hard-earned Queen’s Plate win was reversed when the Queen’s Plate favorite, Win City, was able to narrowly get the best of her in the Prince of Wales in the next leg of the Triple Crown. Proving her class, the last seven races of her career were in America, where the Canadian champion most notably accounted for the Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap at Saratoga as a four-year-old.


Inglorious (2011) – A real tigress on the Polytrack of Woodbine, the daughter of Hennessy won her only two starts as a juvenile, and both came in stakes races. At three she ran well enough when second and fourth in a pair of stakes races in New Orleans, before returning to her home court advantage. Back at Woodbine, she rattled off stakes scores in the La Lorgnette, Woodbine Oaks, and Queen’s Plate for trainer Josie Carroll. The Sovereign Award winner was never quite the same after a failed trip to Saratoga for the Grade 1 Alabama, but she continued to be competitive in stakes racing on both sides of the border until her retirement two years later.


Lexie Lou (2014) – The most recent filly to win the Queen’s Plate, Lexie Lou remains in training to this day for top trainer, Mark Casse. Two starts back, she won the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes on the Woodbine turf, but it was at three when she was at her absolute best. In a three-race stretch, she scored in the Woodbine Oaks, Queen’s Plate, and Wonder Where Stakes in impressive fashion. It was enough for her to clinch the award as Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2014, although late in the year she added a stakes win at Santa Anita, as well as a second to the American Horse of the Year, California Chrome, in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby.


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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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