Plate Trial Stakes Provides Queens Plate Tuneup

Plate Trial Stakes- $150.000 Purse
WO- For Three Year Olds Foaled in Canada
One Mile and an Eighth on the Dirt
June 14, 2015

With the TC behind us, we now look forward to some of the bigger races of the summertime.  Since breeding in ON is quite popular within our virtual world, the prestigious Queens Plate at WO becomes a race that more of the games top contenders can put on their calendar then perhaps is possible in real life.   This weekends Plate Trial Stakes at WO presents the final possible prep race for the Queens Plate for those who wish to remain running against Canadian breds.   Only once in history has the Plate Trial Stakes winner not entered in the Queens Plate, but the winner has never actually won that race.  More often then not, the Trial winner has finished between second and fourth as they cross paths with another star.  Case in point, 2009 Trial winner Qowkacola,  who would be the runner up to Rancho Ruler that year in the Queens Plate.   This year a field of six will go to the gate, half of which come out of the Queenston Stakes, a seven furlong event for Canadian breds run on KYD day.   Let us meet the field!

#1- Fear The Tree (Alydar Stables, ridden by G Boulanger)- After a couple less then spectacular efforts in a pair of KYD preps, Alydar Stables moved Fear The Tree off that trail to target the Queens Plate.  He is one of the three to come out of the Queenston Stakes, although he did not only participate in that, he was the race winner.  There is no denying that Fear The Tree is strong at distances under a mile, but his performances in his two tries at over a mile, (tenth by 8 lengths, and eleventh by 7 lengths both showing noticeable tiring at the end) will race question marks at how he will handle nine furlongs here.   Sure, those were the Holy Bull and FL Derby, but this is a graded stake quality field as well, and the FL Derby runner up (Inspector Woof) is also in the starting gate today.  If the trainer has figured something out to get these last two furlongs out of him and has something up his sleeves, then Fear The Tree could win, but I am going to have to look elsewhere.

#2- Mr Relko (BomBay Stables, ridden by S Bahen)- Despite still only having a maiden win at FP to his credit, BomBay Stables keeps throwing Mr Relko out there against some of the best in the game.   We’ve recently seen him in a couple big races at AQU, where he was fourth in the G3  Withers and seven in the G1 Wood Memorial.  Most recently, he ran in the Queenston and was third, beaten a length by Fear The Tree.  BomBay Stables has recently rotated putting the gelding in sprints and routes, likely looking for that perfect set of conditions for him.   Mr Relko has put together some outstanding work times, but he is going to have to show he can get in the winners circle for me to have more faith in him.  This is a good opportunity, and he fits here.  Now it is time for Mr Relko to prove the confidence that his trainer has in him to have been worth it.

#3- Cool Guy Twist (Running Farms, ridden by R Bejarano)- Initially bred and raced by Mb Stables, this Twist of Fate colt recently changed ownership hands for the second time, purchased by the current connections form Bigking for $50.000.  Bigking got a couple nice wins out of him, including the $50.000 Allens Landing Stakes, where he beat Baffle, who recently won the Grade 3 Day Mile Stakes.  After purchasing him, Running Farms put him on the grass for the first time, in the Grade 2 American Turf, and that did not go well.  Now, Cool Guy Twist is back on the main track, and looks as though he should be one of the top contenders here.  That said, I have a hesitation about him having not had a work on the track in over six weeks, and the most recent works that do publicly show need to be a little better to beat some of these.

#4- Owain (Sarah Stables, ridden by Alan Garcia)– There is no rest for Owain!  Although, he did just have plenty of it before he ran last weekend in the Steady Growth Stakes right here at WO.  Prior to that third place finish, when he went off at 41/1, he had five months off, so Owain has had his time to rest in his stall.  Certainly, ones opinion about how this quick turnaround will affect him will dictate whether or not they can have confidence in Owain at the betting window in this one.  We can sometimes overstate the significance of this, and Owain is indeed coming off the best race of his career last week.  Only twice in the long and successful history of Sarah Stables, has the trainer run a horse in seven days or less.  This may be eight days, but the out of character move should be interpreted as them strongly believing that this is the right thing to do, so we are left to believe that Owain is ready to have a big run in this, and if that happens, he can end up in the winners circle.

#5- Inspector Woof (Saratoga Stud, ridden by J Leparoux)- After putting down $450.000 on the gelding two weeks before the KYD to be able to say he had the KYD runner (one of two), Saratoga Stud now begins truly racing this horse with its placement here.  The KYD was a disaster, placing dead last and three lengths behind the next closest rival but now the FL Derby runner up is in a much better spot and this is a hugely pivotal race for him.  After all, it took him a little while to break his maiden, but when he finally did it was off to that FL Derby performance where he ran the race of his life, earning a 98 SRF.  With the KYD now attempted, we get our chance to truly see if the FL Derby was truly the start of bigger and better things for him, or if will be the high point of his career.  You have to like how he is working in the lead up to the race and I do not believe that anyone in this field can duplicate the time he ran in the FL Derby.  The question is, will he duplicate it?

#6- President Ebola (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by O Moreno)- The Charley Farley colt will making the fifth start of his career, coming off a second place finish to Fear The Tree in the Queenston.   While he was beaten in that one, I do like President Ebola’s chances at getting nine furlongs much more.   Over the year, we have seen some steady in improvement in his mile works, and since he was coming on strong in the Queenston, you have to believe in his chances here.  The Queenston is his only stake attempt thus far but that should not be a concern.  So far, he was only raced more then seven furlongs once, coming in his MNR debut where he raced a full mile.  President Ebola therefore seems to fit perfectly for the conditions in this race, and you have to like how he comes into the race.  A couple others in this field may grab more headlines, but I am predicting that we will see President Ebola in the winners circle at the end of this race, and be part of a potential great day for Team 7 Illusions at WO.

Prediction: 6-4-5-2

– NS

Categories: NG Stakes

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