2019 Queen’s Plate Cheat Sheet

Racing
Skywire, Avie's Flatter, and Desert Ride are among the top contenders for Saturday's Queen's Plate.
Skywire, Avie's Flatter, and Desert Ride are among the top contenders for Saturday's Queen's Plate. (Michael Burns photo/Michael Burns photo/Coady Photography)

The 160th edition of the Queen’s Plate, the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, will be held Saturday at Woodbine. Restricted to 3-year-olds bred in Canada, the 1 ¼-mile race on the all-weather Tapeta Footings surface is scheduled for 5:36 p.m. ET.

The Queen’s Plate is the oldest continuously run race in North America, dating back to 1860, and will be televised on TVG.

Get the scoop on the field of 14 for the 2019 Queen’s Plate:


Desert Ride
Coady Photography

1. Desert Ride (8-1 morning-line odds)

Jockey: Steve Bahen

Trainer: Neil Howard

Owner: Sam-Son Farm

Career record: 4 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $297,360

Earnings per start: $74,340

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 94

Pedigree: Candy Ride - Fun in the Desert, by Distorted Humor

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Desert Ride is trying to become the 38th filly to win the Queen’s Plate and the fourth in the last six years, joining Lexie Lou (2014), Holy Helena (2017), and Wonder Gadot (2018). Like Lexie Lou and Holy Helena, Desert Ride enters the Queen’s Plate off a victory in the Woodbine Oaks (Wonder Gadot finished second in the Oaks last year). Desert Ride won two of her first three races while competing on the grass before trying a synthetic surface for the first time in the Woodbine Oaks and earning a career-best 94 Equibase Speed Figure, a 15-point improvement on her previous top figure. Desert Ride’s dam (mother), Fun in the Desert, is a half-sister (same dam, different sire) to 2009 Queen’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard, the most recent of five winners in this race for Desert Ride’s owner, Sam-Son Farm. Desert Ride’s jockey Steve Bahen pulled off an 82-1 Queen’s Plate upset aboard T J’s Lucky Moon 17 years ago. Desert Ride, on the other hand, figures to be one of the favorites for the 2019 Queen’s Plate.


Moon Swings
Michael Burns photo

2. Moon Swings (30-1)

Jockey: Jesse Campbell

Trainer: Michael De Paulo

Owner: Zilli Racing Stables

Career record: 9 starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 4 thirds

Career earnings: $70,223

Earnings per start: $7,803

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 93

Pedigree: Malibu Moon - England Swings, by Kitten’s Joy

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Moon Swings is one of two maidens along with stablemate Rising Star that trainer Michael De Paulo has lined up for the 2019 Queen’s Plate. Scatter the Gold in 2000 was the most recent maiden to win the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown. On the plus side, Moon Swings has run third four times and fourth four times in nine career starts and he has been competitive in each of his three stakes attempts on the synthetic main track at Woodbine. Moon Swings enters the Queen’s Plate off a career-best 93 Equibase Speed Figure for a fourth-place finish in the June 8 Plate Trial Stakes and figures to be an appealing price. His jockey, Jesse Campbell, engineered a 16.60-1 upset in winning the 2013 Queen’s Plate, and Moon Swings dam (mother), England Swings, is a full-sister (same dam, same sire) to 2015 U.S. champion turf male Big Blue Kitten. Looking at it from the glass half-empty perspective, Moon Swings has never finished less than two lengths behind the winner in any of his races and this is by far his toughest test to date.


Krachenwagen
Michael Burns photo

3. Krachenwagen (50-1)

Jockey: Jeffrey Alderson

Trainer: Angus Buntain

Owner: Greenoaks Farm

Career record: 7 starts – 1 win – 0 seconds – 3 thirds

Career earnings: $45,183

Earnings per start: $6,455

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 92

Pedigree: Head Chopper - Plantana, by Trajectory

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Owner-trainer Angus Buntain’s 14-year-old daughter, Libby, named Krachenwagen, after a bumper car ride at Canada’s Wonderland theme park. “I said he needed a tough name, because his father’s name is Head Chopper,” the trainer said. “She said Krachenwagen sounded like crackin’ heads.” The chestnut gelding won his career debut on Oct. 19, 2018, at Woodbine and has raced exclusively on the synthetic main track at the Toronto-area track in seven lifetime starts, but he has not visited the winner’s circle since his first race. Krachenwagen has run third three times in six subsequent starts and he earned a career-best 92 Equibase Speed Figure when fifth in the Plate Trial Stakes in his most recent race. A minor placing might be the ceiling for him in the 2019 Queen’s Plate.


Pay for Peace
Michael Burns photo

4. Pay for Peace (15-1)

Jockey: Rafael Hernandez

Trainer: Rachel Halden

Owners: Team Penney Racing and Carem Stables

Career record: 8 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $91,006

Earnings per start: $11,376

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 96

Pedigree: Silent Name - Dancing Bay, by Sligo Bay

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Pay for Peace turned in a true breakout performance in the June 8 Plate Trial Stakes when he surged clear in the stretch to win by 1 ¾ lengths at 19.95-1 odds. After winning only one of his previous seven races, Pay for Peace proved much the best in the Plate Trial and earned a new career-top 96 Equibase Speed Figure. With a stakes win at 1 1/8 miles on Woodbine main track, Pay for Peace should be viewed as a top contender. “For me, he just might be a horse that’s coming around at the right time,” trainer Rachel Halden said. “He deserves to be in there because the distance certainly isn’t going to be an issue. I’ve been dying to run this horse longer for a long time.” Pay for Peace’s jockey, Rafael Hernandez, won the Queen’s Plate in 2015 on Shaman Ghost.


One Bad Boy
Michael Burns photo

5. One Bad Boy (7-2)

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Trainer: Richard Baltas

Owners: Sayjay Racing, Greg Hall, and Brooke Hubbard

Career record: 4 starts – 1 win – 2 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $65,600

Earnings per start: $16,400

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 103

Pedigree: Twirling Candy - Cumulonimble, by Stormy Atlantic

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Pacesetter/press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: After running second to future Grade 1 winner Omaha Beach in February, One Bad Boy earned a breakthrough victory in his third start in a one-mile turf race at Santa Anita Park in April. He followed with a runner-up finish in the one-mile Alcatraz Stakes that earned a career-best 103 Equibase Speed Figure in his first start on a synthetic surface on May 19 at Golden Gate Fields. One Bad Boy has never competed in a race longer than a mile and faded late after talking command in the stretch of the Alcatraz, so the 1 ¼-mile distance is a concern. But One Bad Boy is one the few runners in the Queen’s Plate with tactical speed and could find himself uncontested on the lead. As the second-fastest horse on paper in the race, that could be a dangerous combination. A half-brother (same dam, different sire) to multiple Grade 2-placed stakes winner Miss Bad Behavior, One Bad Boy should play a pivotal role in determining the pace scenario in the Queen’s Plate and could be in front at the top of the stretch. Jockey Flavien Prat, who won the 2019 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve with Country House, ships in from Southern California for the 2019 Queen’s Plate.


Lucas n' Lori
Michael Burns photo

6. Lucas n’ Lori (50-1)

Jockey: Kazushi Kimura

Trainer: Kevin Attard

Owners: Lori Cirillo and Kelly Waxman

Career record: 6 starts – 1 win – 2 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $37,010

Earnings per start: $6,168

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 75

Pedigree: Exhi - Hong Kong Dancer, by Tejano Run

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Closer/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Named after co-owner Kelly Waxman’s son Lucas and co-owner Lori Cirillo, Lucas n’ Lori earned his first win in his fourth race on Nov. 30, 2018, going 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Woodbine. He is unplaced in two starts in 2019, most recently finishing sixth in his first try on grass on June 8 at Woodbine. Making his stakes debut in the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown and with a career-best 75 Equibase Speed Figure, Lucas n’ Lori will need to take a huge step forward on Saturday to be a factor. Trainer Kevin Attard understands the significance of the challenge:

“He’s going to be a longshot, but I don’t think the distance will be a problem, so that’s a big positive. … Mentally, he’s starting to come around. It’s a big jump up, but it’s a mile and a quarter, and there are a lot of horses that don’t want to go that far. Hopefully, he’s one that does.” Kazushi Kimura, the 2018 Sovereign Award recipient as Canada’s outstanding apprentice, will ride Lucas n’ Lori for the first time in the Queen’s Plate.


Federal Law
Michael Burns photo

7. Federal Law (15-1)

Jockey: Jamie Spencer

Trainer: Mark Casse

Owner: Qatar Racing Limited

Career record: 11 starts – 3 wins – 4 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $166,688

Earnings per start: $15,153

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 100

Pedigree: Scat Daddy - Gravelly Bay, by Strong Hope

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Federal Law began his career in Europe, where he won once and ran second twice in four races, before coming to North America in September 2018. He subsequently won an allowance race and ran second by a half-length to Avie’s Flatter in the Coronation Futurity in his final three starts in 2018. This year has been a bit of a mixed bag for Federal Law. After he was well-beaten in his first two starts of the year, he posted a career-best 100 Equibase Speed Figure for winning the seven-furlong Queenston Stakes and then finished second after setting the pace as the 9-5 favorite in the Plate Trial Stakes for trainer Mark Casse, a 2016 inductee into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame who won the Queen’s Plate in 2018 with Wonder Gadot and in 2014 with Lexie Lou. Bred by Woodbine Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Jim Lawson, Federal Law is in top form and looks like a serious Queen’s Plate contender if he can handle the 1 ¼-mile distance.


He's a Macho Man
Michael Burns photo

8. He’s a Macho Man (15-1)

Jockey: Patrick Husbands

Trainer: Josie Carroll

Owner: Di Scola Boys Stable

Career record: 3 starts – 2 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $69,328

Earnings per start: $23,109

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 82

Pedigree: Mucho Macho Man - Amelia Go Home, by Lemon Drop Kid

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Closer/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: If you are looking for a Queen’s Plate runner capable of outrunning his odds, He’s a Macho Man might be the one for you. While his Equibase Speed Figures are a cut below the top contenders and he’s making his stakes debut in the Queen’s Plate, He’s a Macho Man is 2-for-2 on the synthetic main track at Woodbine with his lone defeat coming on the dirt. He’s gotten off to poor starts in each of his three career starts, so a better break from the starting gate could really enhance his chances. He’s a Macho Man hails from the family of two-time Canadian Horse of the Year Chief Bearheart and breed-shaping sire Mr. Prospector and boasts top connections with two-time Queen’s Plate-winning rider Patrick Husbands (Lexie Lou, 2014; Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando, 2003) and trainer Josie Carroll, who in 2006 became the first woman to train the winner of the Queen’s Plate. Carroll is seeking her third win in the race (Inglorious, 2011; Edenwold, 2006). He’s a Macho Man would need to take a huge step forward to win the Queen’s Plate, but there are some promising signs and the 1 ¼-mile distance should not be an issue.


9. Suitedconnected (50-1)

Jockey: Gary Boulanger

Trainer: Robert Earl Barnett

Owner: Joe Triumbari

Career record: 4 starts – 1 win – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $22,078

Earnings per start: $5,520

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 77

Pedigree: Rookie Sensation - Kaleidoscope Kerry, by One Way Love

Color: Gray or roan

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Suitedconnected won one of two races as a 2-year-old but is unplaced in two starts in 2019. The gelding from the first crop of Rookie Sensation figures to be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) longshots in the 2019 Queen’s Plate as he’s making his stakes debut in the Canadian classic and has yet to win a race longer than seven-eighths of a mile. Suitedconnected does do his best running late, so he could pass a few tiring runners in the stretch, but even a top-three finish would qualify as shocking. Jockey Gary Boulanger won the Queen’s Plate in 2001 aboard Dancethruthedawn.


Skywire
Michael Burns photo

10. Skywire (4-1)

Jockey: Eurico Rosa Da Silva

Trainer: Mark Casse

Owners: Gary Barber and Lucio Tucci

Career record: 5 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $137,114

Earnings per start: $27,423

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 105

Pedigree: Afleet Alex - Meandering Stream, by Gone West

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Skywire has a lot going for him when considering win candidates for the 2019 Queen’s Plate. Trainer Mark Casse and jockey Eureco Rosa Da Silva both have won this race twice — Casse in 2018 with Wonder Gadot and in 2014 with Lexie Lou and Da Silva in 2010 with Big Red Mike and 2009 with Eye of the Leopard. On paper, Skywire is the fastest horse in the race with a career-best 105 Equibase Speed Figure earned when winning the 1 1/16-mile Wando Stakes on the Woodbine main track on April 28 and he enters off a runner-up finish by a length in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes, also on the Woodbine main track, on May 25. Skywire also has the tactical speed to race just off the leader and the versatility to drop back if the pace is especially fast. Skywire hails from the family of Canadian champions Dance Smartly, Sky Classic, Regal Classic, Grey Classic, Classy ’n Smart, and Dancethruthedawn. Co-owner Gary Barber won the Queen’s Plate with the aforementioned Wonder Gadot and Lexie Lou while co-owner Lou Tucci’s family raced 2013 Queen’s Plate winner Midnight Aria. Skywire is the pick to send Barber and Tucci back to the Queen’s Plate winner’s circle on Saturday.


Tone Broke
Eclipse Sportswire

11. Tone Broke (6-1)

Jockey: Luis Contreras

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owner: L and N Racing

Career record: 8 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $88,428

Earnings per start: $11,054

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 96

Pedigree: Broken Vow - Mendocino Beano, by Smart Strike

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Aside from a couple of terrible starts over the winter in Dubai, Tone Broke has been a pretty consistent racehorse over the last nine months. Unplaced on wet tracks in his first two starts, he won a one-mile race at Remington Park on Sept. 26, 2018, added an allowance win there in November, and then ran fourth by three lengths in the Remington Springboard Mile. After a disastrous trip to Dubai, he returned to the U.S. and ran second to King for a Day in the Sir Barton Stakes on May 18. That runner-up finish looked significantly better when King for a Day came back and defeated Grade 1 winner Maximum Security by a length on June 16. With a career-best 96 Equibase Speed Figure and a pair of solid efforts in stakes races on the 2019 Triple Crown trail, Tone Broke should be respected from a class standpoint. He will race for the first time on a synthetic surface in the Queen’s Plate, which makes him a bit of a wild card, but his pedigree suggests he has a very good chance to handle the surface switch and two-time Queen’s Plate-winning jockey Luis Contreras chose him over three others in this field. There is a chance Tone Broke could be overlooked and offer very nice value.


Jammin Still
Michael Burns photo

12. Jammin Still (30-1)

Jockey: Alan Garcia

Trainer: Kevin Attard

Owner: Derek Chin

Career record: 5 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $51,131

Earnings per start: $10,266

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 85

Pedigree: Take Charge Indy - Cat’s Garden, by Tale of the Cat

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Jammin Still is winless in four starts — all on the synthetic main track at Woodbine — since a debut victory in September 2018 on the grass at Woodbine. He’s also unplaced in three stakes starts. Jammin Still’s 2019 debut, a runner-up finish by less than a length in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on May 20, was promising but he enters the Queen’s Plate off a seventh-place finish, beaten by 10 lengths, in the Plate Trial Stakes. His dam (mother), Cat’s Garden, is a half-sister (same dam, different sire) to Grade 1 winner Forest Secrets and there are some interesting names like 1969 Horse of the Year Arts and Letters and two-time champ Silverbulletday deep in this pedigree, but Jammin Still would need to take a major step forward from a career-top 85 Equibase Speed Figure to be a factor in the 2019 Queen’s Plate. On the bright side, if you like Jammin Still he should be a very appealing price come race time Saturday.


Rising Star
Michael Burns photo

13. Rising Star (30-1)

Jockey: Justin Stein

Trainer: Michael De Paulo

Owner: Zilli Racing Stables

Career record: 8 starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 3 thirds

Career earnings: $27,823

Earnings per start: $3,478

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 93

Pedigree: Ghostzapper - Purple Trillium, by Seeking the Gold

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Rising Star is one of two maidens along with stablemate Moon Swings that trainer Michael De Paulo has entered in the 2019 Queen’s Plate. Scatter the Gold in 2000 was the most recent maiden to win the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown. Rising Star ran third twice in six starts for previous trainer Larry Jones before he was claimed for $40,000 in April at Oaklawn Park and transferred to De Paulo. In his second start for De Paulo, Rising Star closed from far back to finish third by 1 ¾ lengths in the Plate Trial Stakes June 8. The 93 Equibase Speed Figure he posted in the Plate Trial was a new career best for the Ghostzapper colt, whose grandam (maternal grandmother) is 2000 champion turf female Perfect Sting, winner of that year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. Jockey Justin Stein won the Queen’s Plate in 2012 on Strait of Dover.


Avie's Flatter
Michael Burns photo

14. Avie’s Flatter (5-2)

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Trainer: Josie Carroll

Owner: Ivan Dalos

Career record: 6 starts – 4 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $345,834

Earnings per start: $57,639

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 99

Pedigree: Flatter - Avie’s Empire, by Empire Maker

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Avie’s Flatter won three of four starts in 2018, including a pair of stakes, to earn the Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion 2-year-old male. A graded stakes winner on grass in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland in April, Avie’s Flatter is 2-for-2 on the synthetic main track at Woodbine, including a victory in the Coronation Futurity at 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 18. He’s been extremely consistent regardless of surface with Equibase Speed Figures ranging from 92 to a career-best 99 in his last five starts and figures to be one of the favorites for the Queen’s Plate. Avie’s Flatter is a half-brother (same dam, different sire) to Canadian classic winner Avie’s Mineshaft. Trainer Josie Carroll in 2006 became the first woman to train the winner of the Queen’s Plate. She is seeking her third win in the race (Inglorious, 2011; Edenwold, 2006). Norcliffe in 1976 is the most recent horse to complete the Coronation Futurity-Queen’s Plate double.

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