Expert picks: Queen's Plate 2018 predictions, longshots

June 29, 2018 04:54pm
Wonder Gadot wins 2017 Mazarine
Photo: Michael Burns Photography
The Canadian Triple Crown series opens Saturday with the largest field in a North American race since the United States' equivalent, the Kentucky Derby. The $1 million Queen's Plate will serve as quite a betting race, too.

Ahead of post time -- 5:36 p.m. ET at Woodbine -- we polled Horse Racing Nation contributors and handicappers for their picks. Good luck!

Jeffrey Byrnes, Byrnzzze's Corner (@jeffbyrnes96)

Winner: #4 Strike Me Down

On the board: #7 Dixie Moon, #11 Wonder Gadot

Longshot I like: #8 Alternative Route

Analysis: Strike Me Down comes into the Queen's Plate in very good form. In four starts, he has never finished off the board, and his lone win came over the Tapeta surface at Woodbine. His pedigree -- by Tapit out of a mare who won multiple graded stakes over a synthetic Woodbine track -- shows he'll continue thriving on this track. Coming in off a runner-up effort on turf at Monmouth Park, Strike Me Down posted a 1:13 six-furlong work last week. He picks up America's leading rider, Jose Ortiz, for the first time. From the No. 4 post, he can get a good inside trip but must stay out of trouble. Dixie Moon is 3-for-4 at Woodbine, and has beaten the boys before, including Strike Me Down. She will make a late run and should get a good stalking trip. Wonder Gadot has been consistent but also unlucky. In six starts this year, she has four second-place finishes and no wins. She will be running late, and with enough pace and avoiding traffic, she has a huge shot. Alternative Route won the Rushaway over synthetic and trained very well leading up to the race. He has a big shot at a nice price, as he returns to his preferred surface. I will go with a 4-7-11-8 superfecta box. 

Nick Costa, Trackside with Trackman

Winner: #11 Wonder Gadot

On the board: #10 Telekinesis, #7 Dixie Moon

Longshot I like: #5 Silent Poet

Analysis: In this restricted event, Wonder Gadot, Dixie Moon and Telekinesis have faced the most advanced competition when showcasing their talents in graded stakes, and one of them should win. Wonder Gadot is my call. Although Canada's champion 2-year old filly from 2017 is winless in six tries this year, her pinnacle showing came in the Kentucky Oaks, racing the entire length of the Churchill stretch to narrowly miss. Last out in the Woodbine Oaks, she turned in a solid effort following a poor start. She's worked well since, adds blinkers and is reunited with rider John Velazquez. If Telekinesis can be positioned close to the pace without being on the lead, that would boost his win chances greatly. Dixie Moon has won 4 of 8, and the only two poor races on her resume were in the U.S.

Candice Curtis (@skipaway2000)

Winner: #11 Wonder Gadot

On the board: #10 Telekinesis, #1 Boyhood Dream

Longshot I like: #14 Neepawa

Analysis: Fillies do well in the Queen's Plate, and Wonder Gadot has shown she is one of the best in the U.S. this year. This time, she gets a win. Telekinesis is a rising star among the (non-Justify) 3-year-olds. I can't leave a Ramsey horse off my tickets, as they tend to pop up in the Trifecta when you least expect them. Neepawa is an intriguing entry: well-bred, top trainer/jockey and will catch a price that's worth a play.

Casey Laughter, The Tattooed Tracksider (@WritingCasey)

Winner: #11 Wonder Gadot

On the board: #4 Strike Me Down, #7 Dixie Moon

Longshot I like: #8 Alternative Route

Analysis: After seeing Wonder Gadot's Kentucky Oaks effort, I think she is win material in this race. I also think the stretch in distance will benefit her. I am hopeful that Dixie Moon, the race's other filly, can continue being a consistent sort who will improve here as well.

Reinier Macatangay, Setting the Pace (@tracinglifemore)

Winner: #11 Wonder Gadot

On the board: #7 Dixie Moon, #10 Telekinesis

Longshot I like: #6 Real Dude

Analysis: Wonder Gadot and Dixie Moon are interchangeable, as they both hold the high TimeformUS Speed Figure on synthetic. For those searching for the big pedigree angle, Telekinesis and Real Dude are both sired by the king of synthetic sires at 1 1/4 miles, Ghostzapper. Telekinesis ran big in the Lexington against My Boy Jack. 

Olivia Newman, @barbaroloverrrThe Final Stride

Winner: #10 Telekinesis

On the board: #7 Dixie Moon, #11 Wonder Gadot

Longshot I like: #5 Silent Poet

Analysis: I think the race will set up nicely for Telekinesis to stalk the pace. The two fillies, Dixie Moon and Wonder Gadot, will be dueling with him in the stretch. I like Silent Poet as a long shot. He’s coming off a win, and while this is his first try at a longer route, his pedigree and running style suggests he should handle it. 


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