Queen's Plate Stakes
Canada's Kentucky Derby is actually the race that first got me seriously into racing. The 1996 renewal of this race that featured Victor Cooley, Stephanotis and Chief Bearhart was the catalyst for my active involvement in the sport. Something about the race just captured me and I've been hooked ever since. The Queen's Plate has fallen on hard times recently in terms of field quality. Gone are the days when eventual G-1 winners and champions like Chief Bearhart, Awesome Again, Dance Smarty, Dancetruthedawn and Victor Cooley have been entered. This race attracts more the G-3 and allowance types now. There is always the chance that someone could develop into a great horse in the future but it's been years since that happened. Still I love coming back to this race for old times sake. I've been going over some of the common factors among Plate winners and the horses that best fit the mold are Tasty Temptation, Eye of the Leopard, Reservoir and Mr. Foricos Two U. With the exception of Milwaukee Appeal these are the horses that jumped off the page to me to begin with. Fillies have a very good record in this race and Tasty Temptation could easily keep that run going. I can't figure out why the odds makers have made Milwaukee Appeal the favorite because Tasty Temptation was the better horse in their last race. She totally blew the break in the Woodbine Oaks and then on the far turn she launched one of the most incredible and eye catching moves you'll ever see in a stakes race. She rounded the field quickly and easily but unfortunately she ran out of gas once she hit the front and Milwaukee Appeal was able to rally back to victory. With a better break and ride Tasty Temptation is the Oaks winner. Eye of the Leopard will take lots of money as a Sam-Son farms representative and decent looking Plate Trial winner but I think he offers poor value for the level of talent he's shown. I much prefer Reservoir who is being totally dismissed on the board. His last race was unbelievable. There is no way he should have won that race. He set a pace that was on the quick side and fought back the challengers as he wired a field on Woodbine's turf course. That's a very difficult thing to do, especially for a horse making the king of all class jumps, the move from maidens to winners. He has a very modest record but he obviously hates losing and is not an easy horse to peg back. Give me Tasty Temptation on top with Reservoir as my longshot and Eye of the Leopard somewhere in the frame. I'm not sure what to make of Mr. Foricos Two U. I suspect the class will get to him but he might be worth including as a saver. Milwaukee Appeal is a bet against for me.