New Name, Same Thrills in The Kings Plate

The Kings Plate ($1,000.000 Purse)
WO- For Three Year Olds Foaled In Canada
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
August 20, 2023

In December 2022, track officials announced that the race formerly known as the Queens Plate would be renamed to the King’s Plate due to the rise of King Charles III. Thus, we get the name change here in our virtual world as well, but no matter what the race is referred to as, we can count on it being a thrilling race. The Kings Plate is also the first race of the Canadian Triple Crown, with the others being the Prince Of Wales Stakes at WO in September, and then the Breeder’s Stakes, which is back here at WO, but on the turf. In the early days of HRP, the race was dominated by Australia Wide, as he would win the first four editions of the race. Others who have won the race on multiple occasions include Pan Farms and Mo Mentum Farm, though most of the usual suspects have at least one win. Past winners of the race include Rancho Ruler, Vouvray, Questionable, and Anoush Command. In 2022, it would be Ey Mon taking home the win for Arindel. That one is still active and was last seen in the Whitney at the start of the month. Arindel gives us a very interesting duo here, as Sinamaulu and Forceamalu, both out of Hanamaulu, will go head-to-head! Let’s take a closer look at them, and the nine others, now!

#1- Night Raider (Mb Stables, ridden by Ru Silvera)- Participated in the BC Juvenile, and did not let a bad finish there stop him from having a decent 2023, at least to start. In late January, he would get a win in the Lecomte, and then a month later, the Tactical gelding was second in the Risen Star. After that, he struggled in two more KYD preps, and failed to be competitive in the Grade 2 Day Mile Stakes at CD over KYD weekend. That dropped him out of stakes ranks, and his performances in the optional claimers that followed aren’t terrible, but neither was a win. The recent speed figures don’t seem to be up to par with others in here, but maybe a longer distance will help get back his form from the winter.

#2- Poolside Brave (Nakamura Stables, ridden by F T Alvarado)- We got a chance to see this one here last month for the $150.000 Plate Trial, a race that he would be victorious in. He’s one of three in here that also ran in that race, and that will include the one, Mediterranean Sea, that he won in a photo with at the wire. Overall, he has been in eight races, winning two of them, so Poolside Brave just may be starting to make a splash within this division. An excellent work here on Tuesday should generate excitement in his capability to win here.

#3- Appreciate (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Why race in the $150.000 Plate Trial, when you can run in the $500.000 WO Oaks on the same day? That was the question that Mo Mentum Farm had and Appreciate was instead in the bigger of those two races. It went well. Check that, it went nearly perfectly, as Appreciate not only won, he dismantled the field with a four-length win, a margin that we don’t usually see at the highest of levels on fast tracks. It was his third win in a row, with the prior two coming on the grass. Appreciate did run in a couple KYD preps earlier in the year, but he truly seems to be peaking right now.

#4- Ayn Rand (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by R M Hernandez)- The trainer still had his entry in the Plate Trial, however, as Ayn Rand was entered into the race while riding a three-race winning streak. It was one of those runs that began with a maiden win, and then taking the steps up the ladder to his stake debut. For Ayn Rand, it was a mediocre effort, as he was beaten by four lengths while running fifth. That has not stopped his entry here, but he must be better as the top horses in that one a lot running here as well, on top of the others.

#5- Mediterranean Sea (Fractious, ridden by M Franco)- Our final chance to talk about the Plate Trial, as it was Mediterranean Sea that nearly got the win, but had to settle for second at the wire with Poolside Brave. He ran a lot in stakes as a two-year-old, when he was part of Mo Mentum Farm, and won the $250.000 Coronation Futurity in November. Eight days later, he was sold to Fractious for $150.000. He was slow to get going with his new connections but might finally be getting his act together for Fractious, now.

#6- Cross Examination (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by M Murrill)- Clearly, we can see that breeding in Canada is important to Mo Mentum Farm, as this is the fourth straight horse that we look at here that he bred. Cross Examination ran in all three of the American Triple Crown races and has not been seen since running in the BEL. He was, unfortunately, a non-factor in all of those races, so having a couple months off before taking on Canadians here was probably a very good thing for him. Sure, it’s lesser competition here, but it’s still pretty good, and it’s not as if he was narrowly beaten in those TC races.

#7- Sinamaulu (Arindel, ridden by L Saez)- With his older brother also in the race, but a little sibling rivalry could provide all the motivation that Sinamaulu needs for a bounce back race. We saw him last month in the Haskell, and were left wondering, “what the heck just happened to the horse that finished second in the BEL?” He looked more like the version of himself that was dead last in the KYD. For that race, you could forgive it due to the competition level, and the BEL was not that long ago. But that Haskell was about as ugly of a race that a horse at this level will have. Had a great work at the start of the month, so there is reason to believe we’ll see that BEL version.

#8- Sweet And Innocent (Mb Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- Usually, you will see a little more consistency out of a Mb Stables horse that runs at this level, but Sweet four-horse Innocent has only one win in his thirteen starts and hasn’t hit the board since February. That does not mean that he has been so bad to the point where you write him off entirely. This was a horse that ran in the BC Juvenile Turf last year despite never actually winning a turf race. He’s in for a tough one, but we all know that you can’t disregard a horse from this barn.

#9- Times Ticking (Angelos Stable, ridden by T Connor)- This gelding by Smokin Luka appeared in both the KYD and the PRK this year, and he can thank his win in the SUN Derby for that. He was a respectable sixth in the Derby, but did not run well two weeks later, and it seems as though the trainer lost a lot of confidence in him after that. The next time we would see Times Ticking, it would be at the start of July, here, in an optional claimer against ON-breds. Since he won that, oh wait, he didn’t, I’ll try again. He was only third in that four-horse field, but something has happened in the last six weeks to rekindle the trainer’s confidence.

#10- Forceamalu (Arindel, ridden by A Cedillo)- Unlike his brother, Forceamalu did not run in any TC races. That was not from a lack of trying, as he ran in a few preps on the heels of finishing third in the BC Juvenile, but he would not pick up points in any of them. He would even be dropped into an optional claimer before the trainer made one last try for the KYD in the BG Stakes. Since then, he has actually only made one start, and it was a good one, where he was second in the Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes at SA at the start of June. With time to rest, he is looking to get bragging rights on his brother while trying to take on a deep field at the Kings Plate. Tough ask, but not unreasonable.

#11- Fear Me Not- Scratched

#12- So Call Me Maybe (Asgar, ridden by A Beschizza)- It’s been a while since I have heard this song, and I wasn’t going to complain about that. But now, I have to thank the trainer for getting it back my head. Hopefully, the horse is better than the song, and so far, his number is two, as in the number of wins that he has in ten starts. Ran in a few ungraded stakes over the winter without getting a good result and was ultimately gelded in April. Had a nice wire to wire win here after that and has remained competitive since then. Now, he’s in for the race of his life. Bet on him, maybe?

Prediction: 3-5-7-4

— NS

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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