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2014 Queen’s Plate

Queen’s Plate at Woodbine

2014 Queen's PlateThis Sunday, July 6th we have the $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate, Canada’s most famous race and the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown (the second being the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie on July 29th and the third being the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine on August 17th.) This is the 155th running of the Queen’s Plate and is the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America. Since its start in 1860, the Queen’s Plate has produced a ton of outstanding winners including Inferno, Awesome Again, With Approval, Dance Smartly, and the great Northern Dancer.

Queen’s Plate 2014

We Miss ArtieThe $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate will host a field of 15 Canadian foaled three year olds traveling 1 ¼ mile. The 8/5 morning line favorite is Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s We Miss Artie. Trained by Todd Pletcher, We Miss Artie will have Javier Castellano in the irons. You should remember We Miss Artie from this year’s Kentucky Derby where he ran 10th. He followed that up with a victory in the Plate Trial at Woodbine on June 15th. We Miss Artie likes to rate at about mid-pack before making his move in the stretch and this running style should help his chances here in the Queen’s Plate. Next to challenge him on the morning line is the only filly in this race, Lexie Lou at 4 to 1.Lexie Lou She is coming out of a 4 ½ length victory in the Woodbine Oaks and looks great coming into this race. She put up a time in that race that beat We Miss Artie’s in the Plate Trial at the same distance. Granted, We Miss Artie won his race in hand and it appeared Castellano was gearing him down once he knew he had it won, but Lexie Lou looked ready to go for more at the end of her race. She’s also the only entry in the Queen’s Plate to receive a weight break. While the boys will be toting 126lbs, she’ll only have 121. Lexie Lou can be a little versatile in her running style, but usually puts up her best efforts on or near the early lead. Unfortunate for her, she won’t be alone in the hunt for the early lead. She should be challenged by Majestic Sunset, Heart to Heart and possibly Matador or Asserting Bear. That leaves this race wide open for a mid-pack runner or come-from-the-clouds type to swoop in and pick up the pieces in the late stretch battle. Chances are, We Miss Artie will be there on cue, but you know how I feel about touting the favorite. Tower of TexasFor value, and at a really nice price, I’m going with Tower of Texas at 20 to 1 on the ML. Tower of Texas run an impressive 3rd in the Plate Trial behind We Miss Artie and Majestic Sunset, missing the win by 4 lengths. In that race, he starts off in dead last, 6-7 lengths out of it. He saves ground going into the first turn by moving in towards the rail. He stays there for the majority of the race until he swings out widest of all in the final turn, about 4 or 5 wide. In the stretch run he cuts back in to about 3 wide and begins to open up, picking off tiring horses. Unfortunately, We Miss Artie and Majestic Sunset were out of reach at that point, but he was still gaining ground and the added distance should help him in the Queen’s Plate. Check him out in this race replay-

 

Roger AttfieldMy only concern for Tower of Texas is that this will be his 4th start in 8 weeks. On the other hand, his trainer, Roger Attfield is no stranger to the Queen’s Plate. He is tied with Harry Giddings, Jr. with the most Queen’s Plate wins at 8 and of the 7 horses that have won the Canadian Triple Crown, Attfield was responsible for 3 of them (Peteski in ’93, Izvestia in ’90 and With Approval in ’89). Having John Velazquez in the irons is also a plus. For a longshot play to consider, I like One Destiny at 30 to 1 on the morning line. This lightly raced colt normally likes to be on the lead, but in his last race it looks as if they tried to change his running style and have him come from behind which would be of great benefit to him in the Queen’s Plate.  He’s certainly out-classed in this field, but he’s sporting some fantastic works and I believe he must be considered in your exotics. Good luck everybody!

 

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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