Sir Dudley Digges Becomes Queen’s Plate Royalty

10th at WO , Stk, $1,000,000Queen's Plate S. (1 1/4m)Winner: Sir Dudley Digges, c, 3 by Gio Ponti

Sir Dudley Digges | WEG/Michael Burns

Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Sir Dudley Digges (Gio Ponti) was no match for Amis Gizmo (Giant Gizmo) and Shakhimat (Lonhro {Aus}) when third at 13-1 in the Plate Trial S. June 12, but turned the tables on those two and beat home 10 others to score a 15-1 upset in the Queen’s Plate S. Sunday at Woodbine.

Overlooked on the tote board, the dark bay was held up early on to track in fifth, about three lengths off a quarter-mile in :24.19 set by Shakhimat. Traveling comfortably between horses on the clubhouse turn as the pace slowed to a :49.92 half, Sir Dudley Digges was nudged along by Julien Leparoux at the half-mile pole, but appeared to be spinning his wheels in fourth midway on the far bend as favored Amis Gizmo took over the lead into the stretch. Finding his best stride outside the eighth pole, he moved into third at the top of the lane and closed in tandem with Scholar Athlete (Einstein {Brz}) on the leader, who started to tire approaching the sixteenth marker.

Ami’s Gizmo battled on valiantly as Scholar Athlete flattened out in the final furlong, but could not hold off the charge of Sir Dudley Digges, who crossed the wire a half-length in front.

“This takes a treasured spot in my trophy collection at home,” said Ken Ramsey, who said the horse was named for an English diplomat. “I only have two other things I treasure above this one, trying to win the Kentucky Derby and the other is trying to win a stakes race at Royal Ascot. I’ve had a couple of seconds over [at Ascot], but I got the third one so that’s good.”

Winning jockey Julien Leparoux added, “He broke good. He put me in a good spot. In the first turn they slowed down so much I was a little bit worried. In the backside they started picking it up. He just grinded and grinded the whole way.”

The colt, purchased by the Ramseys for $130,000 as an OBS June 2-year-old in training, endured some tough beats early in his career and finally broke his maiden in his seventh career start with Leparoux aboard going 1 1/16 miles over the lawn at Keeneland Apr. 22. He was given a brief respite following that effort and returned to finish an even third in the Plate Trial–his first try over a synthetic surface. The dark bay signaled his readiness with a bullet five-furlong breeze over the local strip June 26, an effort that seemingly had him a bit sharper for this main event. The winner is the first in the Queen’s Plate for the Ramseys, who finished fourth in 2014 with favored We Miss Artie (Artie Schiller).

“You can quote me,” Ramsey added. “We are going for the [Canadian] Triple Crown. I think this horse can run on grass, Tapeta, dirt, you name it.”

Sir Dudley Digges sold for $72,000 as a Keeneland November weanling and $110,000 as a Keeneland September yearling prior to his ultimate sale as a juvenile. His dam, My Pal Lana, won six times at Woodbine, including a pair of scores in the Flaming Page S. and River Memories S. in 2004.

Sunday, Woodbine
QUEEN’S PLATE S., C$1,002,000, WO, 7-3, (C), 3yo, 1 1/4m (AWT), 2:04.09, ft.
1–#SIR DUDLEY DIGGES, 126, c, 3, by Gio Ponti
1st Dam: My Pal Lana (MSW, $465,538), by Kris S.
2nd Dam: Palana, by Gulch
3rd Dam: Cor Anglais, by Nijinsky II
($72,000 Wlg ’13 KEENOV; $110,000 Ylg ’14 KEESEP; $195,000
RNA 2yo ’15 FTFMAR; $130,000 2yo ’15 OBSOPN). O-Kenneth
L. & Sarah K. Ramsey; B-Bernard & Karen McCormack (ON);
T-Michael J. Maker; J-Julien R. Leparoux. C$600,000. Lifetime
Record: 9-2-3-3, $541,946.2–Amis Gizmo, 126, c, 3, Giant Gizmo–Galloping Ami, by
Victory Gallop. (C$135,000 RNA Ylg ’14 CANSEP). O-Ivan Dalos;
B-Tall Oaks Farm (ON); T-Josie Carroll. C$200,000.3–All On Red, 126, c, 3, Hard Spun–Wicked Diva, by Jump Start.
($95,000 RNA Ylg ’14 KEESEP). O-JMJ Racing Stables LLC;
B-Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. & Jessica Buckley (ON); T-Sid C.
Attard. C$100,000.Margins: HF, 1 3/4, NK. Odds: 15.95, 2.55, 9.40.
Also Ran: Scholar Athlete, Shakhimat, Leavem in Malibu, Gamble’s Ghost, Rocket Plan, Cheburashka, Narrow Escape, Esposito, My Name Is Jim, Mike.
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