The Queens Plate Stakes
1 1/4 Mile Dirt Stake Purse $1,000.000 Open 3 Year Olds Foaled In Canada.
I am not sure really where to start in talking about this years running of the Queens Plate. Actually i do, and thats to start with huge congratulations to Mo Mentum Farm, a Canadian who took Canada’s premier race and it couldnt have happened to a nicer more genuine player.
As for the actual result i must say i am beyond stumped. The wet ground was certainly going to play a part in this race but the extent to which it did was nothing short of unbelievable. Laffin Parrot had never had a public work or race on the surface before and with a sprinters conformation it looked as if he wouldnt be too suited by the boggy conditions and extreme trip. Add to that a record of just one win from 6 starts and a victory looked hopeful rather than expected. That however didnt stop Mo Mentum Farm spending $100.000 to buy this gelding after three successive defeats at allowance level and after one start in being beaten in a non graded stakes race he entered him into this race in an attempt to fulfill and long held ambition. I am thrilled for the owner but how this horse won by eight lengths i will never know, and i havent even started on the runner up yet!!!
Here’s how the first four did it in one of the most bizarre races of the year so far.
1st Laffin Parrot, trained by Mo Mentum Farm
Into a loose stalk early on this gelding took up the running after halfway and walked away from a dazzling field of top three year olds with consummate ease. His winning margin of eight lengths was incredible and as he beat the BEL winner who had beaten both the Preakness and KYD winner he now takes over the crown of the games leading three year old. Who would have thought that of a horse with just one cheap track maiden win to his name.
2nd Antonym, trained by Team 7 Illusions
If the winner was a shock then the runner up made this result look like it was straight out of fantasy land. A winner of just one, a maiden claimer, he was well beaten in a cheap claimer last time but somehow managed an amazing if distant second in one of the richest races of the year. His only other start on a soft surface saw him beaten ten lengths in a PM maiden. A short femur, which we are led to believe effects soundness rather than soft ground ability, this one may cause some rethinking amongst the conformation specialists of the game. Many congratulations to Team 7 for managing a truly unexpected finish with this son of Keyed Up.
3rd Key To Success, trained by Smokey Stover
This one had run pretty well on a wet track before so it was a surprise to see him so far behind the first two but his stamina was always a question and that was what gave out in the end. In a close stalk for much of the race he finished a very tired horse in third but still managed to pick up a decent pay check for his trainer.
4th Gemini Shadows, trained by Night Rider Stables
Ran through weakening horses to be fourth but never even sighted the winner. Another that had run OK on a wet track so it was expected that he would run over some of the dry track specialists he just never got into the race.
I think i have said all i can about this race. Once again huge congratulations to the winning connections who now have what is probably a temporary position of holding the best three year old in training.