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Breeders' Cup 2017

We Miss Artie Tops Full Queen's Plate Field

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s We Miss Artie, winner of the Plate Trial on June 15, has been installed as the 8-5 morning line choice in a field of 15 for the $1 million Queen’s Plate, Canada’s most famous horse race, Sunday at Woodbine.

The 155th edition of the Plate for Canadian-foaled three-year-olds, the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America, will be televised live on TSN in HD (High Definition) in a special presentation from 4:30 – 6:00 pm ET.   Post time is 5:38 pm.  The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Right Honourable David C. Onley, will be the Royal Guest of Honour.

All starters carry 126 pounds, except the lone filly Lexie Lou, who will tote 121 pounds for the mile and one-quarter classic over Woodbine’s Polytrack.  The winner will receive $600,000.  

At the Queen’s Plate breakfast on Thursday morning, the selection order for post positions was drawn first via the traditional ‘pill-pull’, followed by the choosing of post positions by the connections for each horse, a system which has been in place for the Plate since 1998.

We Miss Artie (PP6, 8-5), trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Javier Castellano, proved a comfortable winner of the Trial by three-quarters of a length over Majestic Sunset, his first outing at Woodbine and his first start since a 10th place finish, just eight and one-quarter lengths behind California Chrome in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3.  He’ll try to become the 26th Plate Trial winner since 1944 to win the Plate, the last being Big Red Mike in 2010.

“I think my horse ran really well (in the Trial),” said owner Ken Ramsey, after choosing post six with the second selection.  “(Jockey Javier) Castellano said he was saving himself for the Queen’s Plate.  He’s doing exceptionally well (at Saratoga).”
Earlier this year, the son of Artie Schiller-Athena’s Gift won the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park and last year took the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, both also on Polytrack.  With his Trial win, the $90,000 Keeneland yearling purchase remained unbeaten on synthetic surfaces.  He’s also the field’s leading money winner with $699,000.   Pletcher won the 1998 Plate with Archers Bay, while Castellano just missed in the 2008 renewal aboard filly Ginger Brew, a head behind Not Bourbon.

Six-time Sovereign Award-winning trainer Mark Casse, still seeking his first Plate win, sends out a trio of hopefuls – John Oxley’s Matador and Majestic Sunset and Gary Barber’s Lexie Lou.

Lexie Lou (PP14, 4-1), to be ridden by Patrick Husbands, who was aboard Wando for his successful 2003 Triple Crown (Queen’s Plate, Prince of Wales, Breeders’ Stakes), enters off a smashing performance in the Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser.   The daughter of Sligo Bay-Oneexcessivenite not only proved an easy four and one-half length winner in the Canadian-bred three-year-old filly classic on June 15 but also ran the mile and one-eighth distance in 1:49.77, a full second faster than We Miss Artie’s time in the Plate Trial a race earlier.

“The reason we took outside is we want to let the speed go,” explained Casse, who, selecting 11th, chose post 14.  “I can see her second tier.   Patrick gets paid the big money, we’ll let him figure it out from there.”

Last year, Lexie Lou ran in the interests of owner-trainer John Ross, earning more than $300,000.  But after her first start this year, he sold the filly to Gary Barber.  “It was really Gary’s idea.   He looked at her and liked her. We bought her because we thought she should excel on the grass.   We’ve been lucky.   John did a great job with her.  We were just lucky enough to take over and she ran a big race.”
Lexie Lou, who has earned $649,250, will try to become the 35th filly to win the Plate since 1860, the seventh since 1956 and the sixth to win both the Oaks and the Plate, joining Flaming Page (1962), La Lorgnette (1985), Dance Smartly (1991), Dancethruthedawn (2001) and Inglorious (2011).

Matador (PP10, 8-1), a son of Malibu Moon-I’m Breathtaking, won the turf Cup and Saucer last year at Woodbine and enters off a romp in an allowance contest over the Polytrack on May 28.   The 8-1 third choice will be ridden by Julien Leparoux, who was aboard the colt for his four-race campaign in the United States earlier this year, when his connections had tried to point him to a possible Kentucky Derby berth.

“He’s a little slow to begin,” explained Casse, after choosing post 10 with the third selection.  “If he was down inside, I’m afraid he might eat a little too much Poly.  So this way, we have a great rider in Julien Leparoux.   He can see how he’s running early and pick a position.”

Majestic Sunset (PP7, 15-1), to be ridden by Gary Boulanger, who rode Dancethruthedawn to an Oaks and Plate win in 2001, is still a maiden after nine outings, but was runner-up to We Miss Artie in the Plate Trial and was second to another Plate rival, Asserting Bear, in last year’s Coronation Futurity.  The son of Artie Schiller will try to become the fourth horse to break his maiden in the Plate since 1952, the latest to do so being Scatter the Gold in 2000.

Oxley’s Dynamic Sky and Spring in the Air finished third and fourth, respectively, in last year’s Plate, while Casse’s best finish came in 2011 with longshot runner-up Hippolytus.
Trainer Josie Carroll, who has trained two Plate winners (Edenwold in 2006, Inglorious in 2011) sends out the Ivan Dalos homebred Ami’s Holiday (PP15, 10-1).   Last year, the son of Harlan’s Holiday-Victorious Ami won the Grade 3 Grey Stakes, but finished fifth, and was subsequently disqualified to seventh, as the favourite in the Coronation Futurity.

This year, he’s only had two starts – fourth to Mr. Speaker in the Grade 3 Lexington, then a troubled third (elevated to second via disqualification of the winner) in the Marine Stakes May 25 at Woodbine, just a neck from the winner’s circle.   Aboard will be Luis Contreras, who teamed with Carroll to win the 2011 Plate and the Oaks with the filly Inglorious.

Trainer Reade Baker will send out a pair for Bear Stables – Asserting Bear and Man o’ Bear.   Asserting Bear (PP4, 10-1) was the disqualified winner of the Marine on May 25 but last year pulled an upset by taking the Coronation Futurity.   The son of Bear’s Kid-Star Guest, who will be ridden by Chantal Sutherland-Kruse, had also been on the Kentucky Derby trail earlier this year before returning to Woodbine.

Man o’ Bear (PP5, 30-1) will be ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson, the only female jockey to win the Plate, having done so in 2007 with Mike Fox.   The son of Corinthian-Mahalo has only started once this year, finishing fifth to We Miss Artie in the Plate Trial, after recovering from a cracked cannon bone suffered when finishing a game third to stablemate Asserting Bear in last year’s Coronation Futurity.
Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield will try for a record ninth Queen’s Plate win when saddling Tower of Texas (PP12, 20-1) for owners Thomas Van Meter II and Scott Dilworth.  The son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense was most recently third to We Miss Artie, four lengths in arrears in the Plate Trial and was fourth to Asserting Bear in the Marine, but just a length behind.   He’ll be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who finished second aboard Sterwins in the 2006 Plate.  Attfield, tied with Harry Giddings Jr. for most Plate wins, last won the ‘Gallop for the Guineas’ with Not Bourbon in 2008.   Attfield chose post 12, with the sixth selection, since both Not Bourbon and Izvestia (1990) won the Plate from that post for him.

A history-making story surrounding this year’s Plate is the Attard family – Hall of Fame trainer Sid Attard and his two sons, Paul and Jamie.  It will mark the first time in Plate history that a father and two sons have saddled separate entries in the Plate.

Sid Attard will put the saddle on Tucci Stables’ Cap in Hand (PP1, 50-1), to be ridden by Steven Bahen, who steered T J’s Lucky Moon, at 82-1, to victory in the 2002 Plate, the second longest priced winner in the race’s history.  As well, Tucci Stables will be looking for consecutive Plate wins after taking last year’s renewal with Midnight Aria.  Both are sons of two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Midnight Lute and both were claimed by Tucci Stables – Midnight Aria for $35,000 at Gulfstream Park in January of 2013 and Cap in Hand for $25,000 in December of last year at Woodbine.   Attard’s best Plate finish was a second with longshot Grand Hooley in 1992, his first Plate starter.

Paul Attard sends out Niigon Express (PP13, 30-1), a Chiefswood Stable homebred and son of 2004 Plate winner Niigon, also bred and raced by Chiefswood.   The two-time winner in six career starts will be ridden by Gerry Olguin.   Attard chose post 13 in honour of the late Niigon, who won the Plate from that post.  He’ll try to become the eighth Plate winner since 1956 to be sired/foaled by a Plate winner.
Jamie Attard’s hopes rest with homebred Lions Bay (PP8, 30-1), a two-time winner in only three outings for the Earle family.   David Moran, who finished third in the 2010 Plate with Roan Inish, will once again be aboard the offspring of Sligo Bay.

Cabernet Racing Stables’ Coltimus Prime (PP2, 20-1), trained by Justin Nixon, is a two-time stakes-placed winner.  The son of Milwaukee Brew will be handled by Jesse Campbell, who won last year’s Plate aboard Midnight Aria. 

The last jockey to win back-to-back Plates was Eurico Rosa da Silva (2009 with Eye of the Leopard, 2010 with Big Red Mike), who will be aboard Terry Hamilton’s Heart to Heart (PP9, 30-1) for trainer Brian Lynch.  The stakes-placed, two-time winner was fourth to Asserting Bear in last year’s Coronation Futurity and was most recently sixth to him in the Marine.   Lynch just missed winning the 2008 Plate with Oaks winner Ginger Brew, finishing a head behind Not Bourbon.

Completing the field are One Destiny (PP11, 30-1), a one-time winner in only three starts for co-owners Winston Penny and trainer Alec Fehr, with Justin Stein, who rode Strait of Dover to victory in the 2012 Plate and Athenian Guard (PP3, 50-1), trained by Mike DePaulo for A & L Racing Stables, with Omar Moreno.

Of the 15 starters in this year’s Plate, 13 have connections (owner, trainer and/or jockey) who have previously won the Plate.  Only one horse in the field, One Destiny, did not start at two.   The last Plate winner unraced as a juvenile was Eye of the Leopard (2009).
The Queen’s Plate is the first leg in the Canadian Triple Crown.  The second leg is the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, at one mile and three-sixteenths on Tuesday, July 29 at Fort Erie, while the $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes, at one mile and one-half on the grass, August 17 at Woodbine, comprises the third and final leg.   There have been seven Triple Crown winners since the concept was inaugurated in 1959, the first being New Providence in 1959, the latest being Wando in 2003.

Since 1956, the stakes record for the Plate is 2:01 4/5, set by Izvestia in 1990, when he also won by the largest margin, 13 lengths.  Strait of Dover, the 2012 winner, owns the fastest Polytrack time, 2:01.99, since 2007.  The longest-priced winner in the modern era (since 1956) is T J’s Lucky Moon ($166) in 2002 while Maternal Pride is the highest-priced winner of all time, paying $193.35 in 1924.  Favourites have done well in the Plate since 1956, winning 22 of 58 renewals (37%).  However, Wando in 2003, and Eye of the Leopard in 2009, are the only favourites to win in the last 19 editions.

Three other stakes, all of them on the grass, will be part of the Queen’s Plate Day undercard – the $200,000 Dance Smartly, at one mile and one-eighth, the $200,000 Highlander at six furlongs and the $150,000 Singspiel at one and one-half miles.    First race post time is 12 Noon.



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Older Comments about We Miss Artie Tops Full Queen's Plate Field...

I guess Frankel is a FAKE Brit as his Sire stands in Ireland and his Dam is Irish Bred. But he dropped in England soo....FAKE English bred!
Kind of like Tim Duncan playing for the USA basketball team.
It is where the mare drops the foal. Can be confusing, as both parents can actually have no connection to the country where the foal is dropped.
amino, Rhetorical or actual question? (About swallowed)
Swallowed what?
Musketier stands in Canada. Artie Schiller, for example, does not.
Where are all of the Northern Dancer fans? His blood is still in almost all of the fake or not fakes. ridiculousness. Oh, and to answer your other question, No, I swallowed that!!! Now get back on your chair, amino. Sorry I made you fall off. Feliz Dia De Independencia a ti.
Where are all of the Northern Dancer fans? His blood is still in almost all of the fake or not fakes. ridiculousness. Oh, and to answer your other question, No, I swallowed that!!! Now get back on your chair, amino. Sorry I made you fall off. Feliz Dia De Independencia a ti.
Musketier is German Bred, and what is fake about these Canadian Breds exactly?.
Obviouslly, but still fake.
horse IS bred
horses is BRED where the foal drops. That is the rule and has been for a very lon time now.
Looks like the fake Canadian-breds have the real ones over a barrel again. Maybe someday Musketier will change that :D

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