A huge field … 1 ¼ miles … seemingly endless wagering options for bettors to embrace …
If that sounds like the Kentucky Derby, it’s because Saturday’s $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine is the Canadian equivalent of the Derby and boasts many of the same factors that make the Derby so compelling. With 16 starters traveling 1 ¼ miles over the Woodbine Tapeta track, the Queen’s Plate promises to be among the highlights of a busy racing weekend.
The favorite in this competitive event is #10 Telekinesis, and for good reason. As a son of Ghostzapper, who has already sired two previous winners of the Queen’s Plate Stakes, Telekinesis is bred to handle the track and distance of Saturday’s race. After making a name for himself with three fine efforts on dirt earlier this year, including a narrow runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes behind the well-regarded My Boy Jack, Telekinesis shipped to Woodbine and scored a comfortable gate-to-wire win in the nine-furlong Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine, demonstrating his affinity for the track. For good measure, he’ll have the two-time Queen’s Plate-winning jockey Patrick Husbands in the saddle.
Three of the last seven renewals of the Queen’s Plate have been won by fillies, so it would come as no surprise to see #7 Dixie Moon or #11 Wonder Gadot in the winner’s circle on Saturday. These two talented fillies ran 1-2 in the nine-furlong Woodbine Oaks earlier this month, with Dixie Moon gamely holding off a late run from Wonder Gadot to win by a head. Both are thoroughly proven over the Woodbine Tapeta, and while Wonder Gadot may start at a shorter price based off her close runner-up effort in the prestigious Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks two starts back, it’s worth noting that Wonder Gadot has a tendency to “hang” in the homestretch of her races, meaning that she has trouble sealing the deal and passing horses when it matters most. As a result, she’s finished second or third in her last six starts, losing five of them by the combined margin of about 1 ¾ lengths.
The addition of blinkers could help focus Wonder Gadot in the Queen’s Plate and allow her to finish off her run with more authority, though Dixie Moon might still have a better chance to win on Saturday since she’s bred to relish 1 ¼ miles and is a neck away from being unbeaten in four starts over this track.#2 Cooler Mike and #14 Neepawa, first and third in an 8.5-furlong allowance race at Woodbine last month, are other logical contenders with solid form at Woodbine, while #8 Alternative Route won the Rushaway Stakes over the Turfway Polytrack and might enjoy the return to a synthetic surface following a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Arlington Classic on grass.Since the Queen’s Plate offers ample opportunity to make a very memorable wagering score, let’s aim big and try to hit the exacta and/or trifecta:
Wagering Strategy A: Exactas on a $16 Budget
$4 exacta: 7,10 with 7,10,11 ($16)
Wagering Strategy B: Trifectas on a $32 Budget
$1.40 trifecta: 7,10 with 7,10,11 with 2,7,8,10,11,14 ($22.40)
$0.60 trifecta: 7,10 with 2,7,8,10,11,14 with 7,10,11 ($9.60)
Good luck, and enjoy the race!