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Breeders' Cup 2017

Artie Hopes for a Queen's Plate Party

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 fifth.
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 19-horse field.
"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 Castellano.
"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,

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 the Guineas.
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 Bear.
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 run.
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."

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 Canadian classic.

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 Guineas.”

“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.


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 $262,596.12.

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 continent-equalling low.

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 $43,796 each.

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



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