Queen’s Plate

One Horse May Stand Between Mighty Heart and the Canadian Triple Crown and It’s His Stablemate

The tale of a one-eyed horse who has come from nowhere to sweep the first two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown has been the feel-good story of the year at Woodbine, but the next chapter could end with an uncomfortable twist. Mighty Heart (Dramedy) is the even-money favorite in Saturday's Breeders S., a role he earned after decisive victories in the Queen's Plate and the Prince of Wales S. But there's a rapidly improving, dangerous horse in the field named Belichick (Lemon Drop Kid) who should relish the mile-and-a-half...

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Mighty Heart Tries for Encore in Prince of Wales

It's not often that a double-digit longshot romps by 7 1/2 lengths in a million-dollar race, but that's the feat Larry Cordes's Mighty Heart (Dramedy) pulled off in the Queen's Plate. Sept. 12 at Woodbine. Tuesday, the homebred will look to prove that was no fluke in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales S., at Fort Erie. Bearing out badly in two unsuccessful tries to open his career in the winter at Fair Grounds, Mighty Heart was given nearly four months off and came...

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Queen’s Plate Generates Third-Highest Handle in History

Saturday's live program at Woodbine, featuring the coronavirus-delayed Queen's Plate, generated betting turnover of $14,532,678, nearly $3.5 million of that on the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown alone. The handle ranks as the third-highest in the history of the race. "While this year's Queen's Plate might be remembered for not having fans in the stands, I would much rather it be remembered for the collective efforts of so many people that allowed this race to be run and its storied history continued to be written," said Jim Lawson,...

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A ‘Mighty’ Upset in the Queen’s Plate

Odds were that if Hall of Fame trainer Josie Carroll was going to win her third Queen's Plate, it'd come with heavy favorite and Woodbine Oaks winner Curlin's Voyage. Instead, her other two entrants made up a longshot exacta, with lightly raced and one-eyed Mighty Heart dominating the Canadian Classic. Fourth in a rained-off Fair Grounds mile event in February, the bay colt bore out on the turn and crossed the wire 11th when getting on the grass there a month later (he was later officially moved up one spot...

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Ladies Loom Large in Queen’s Plate

A pair of fillies, including Canada's reigning champion 2-year-old filly Curlin's Voyage (Curlin), will take aim at 13 sophomore colts in Saturday's $1-million Queen's Plate S., historically the first jewel in Canada's Triple Crown. The winner of the Aug. 15 Woodbine Oaks, the Hill 'n' Dale Equine and Windsor Boys Racing-owned filly is trained by Josie Carroll, who previously won the 10-furlong Classic with another filly--Inglorious in 2011--and with Edenwold in 2006. In this renewal, Carroll will also saddle Belichick (Lemon Drop Kid)  and Mighty Heart (Dramedy). "We've always thought...

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Saturday’s Racing Insights for Aug. 29

SPOTLIGHT ON RUNHAPPY BABY IN LOADED SARATOGA MAIDEN 6th-SAR, $72K, Msw, 2yo, 6f, 3:57 p.m. ET HAPPYMAC (Runhappy), an $800,000 RNA at the OBS June Sale (:20 3/5), looks like the one to beat in this extremely deep baby race at the Spa. The half-brother to runaway GII Amsterdam S. winner and GI Breeders' Cup Sprint runner-up Shancelot (Shanghai Bobby) fired a five-furlong bullet from the gate in :59 2/5 (1/12) at Saratoga Aug. 17. Happymac, drawn widest of all in post 10 for the Heiligbrodts and Hall of Famer...

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TDN Rising Star Shirl’s Speight Heads Marine

Despite facing more seasoned rivals in Saturday's GIII Marine S. at Woodbine, Shirl's Speight (Speightstown) looms large in the traditional primer for the Queen's Plate, scheduled for Sept. 12. Sent off at 3-1 for a trainer not typically known for his first-time starters, the Roger Attfield trainee took control in the early going of the seven-furlong turf test July 4 and rolled home an emphatic eight-length winner under Rafael Hernandez, becoming a TDN Rising Star in the process. The Charles Fipke hombred is out of Perfect Shirl (Perfect Soul {Ire})--a...

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Woodbine, TSN Partner for Weekly Dual-Breed Horse Racing Broadcasts

Woodbine Entertainment and premier Canadian sports broadcasting network TSN are expanding their broadcast partnership to bring Canadians live horse racing every Thursday night throughout the summer with Racing Night Live, the two companies announced jointly Wednesday. The action begins Thursday, June 11 at 6 p.m. ET on TSN and features a mix of live Thoroughbred races from Woodbine in Toronto and Standardbred races from Mohawk in Milton, Ont. "We're thrilled to partner with Woodbine Entertainment to bring Canadians exclusive access to live, weekly horse racing action," said Shawn Redmond, Vice...

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Woodbine Releases Rest of Revised Stakes Schedule

Having already announced that the Queen's Plate would be held Sept. 12, Woodbine Entertainment released the remainder of the Woodbine Racetrack stakes schedule Wednesday. Featuring 75 stakes worth C$13.8 million, highlights include the C$1-million GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile, slated for Saturday, Sept. 19 and a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Mile. Due to complications with travel due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the GI Pattison Canadian International has been cancelled for 2020. The meet will open on Saturday, June 6 and end Sunday, Dec. 13....

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Queen’s Plate Scheduled for Sept. 12

The Queen's Plate, originally scheduled for June, has been rescheduled for Sept. 12, Woodbine Entertainment announced Monday. "The history of The Queen's Plate is so rich and the fact that it's been held every year since the inaugural race in 1860 is remarkable," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "We are honored to be able to continue this rich history in face of adversity by hosting the race for the 161st consecutive year." The $1-million stakes race was postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally scheduled...

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Woodbine Seeks June 6 or 13 Start; Overnight Purses Won’t Take a Hit in 2020

Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) is planning to seek approval for a June 6 or 13 start for its pandemic-delayed Thoroughbred race meet, and the firm's chief executive officer, Jim Lawson, said in a public video chat Tuesday that he does not expect overnight purses to be adversely affected this year despite mounting losses from the closure of WEG's gaming facilities. Woodbine will also seek to move its signature stakes race, the Queen's Plate, from June 27 to a September date that has yet to be determined. Lawson said one near-term...

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Woodbine Sets Tentative Schedule for Re-Opening

Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson told the Toronto Sun that he anticipates racing will resume at the Ontario track in approximately six weeks. "With the optimism that we all need to share, we anticipate that we are approximately six weeks away from resuming live racing (under the strict conditions being developed with the AGCO) if the Provincial Declaration of Emergency is lifted and parts of the economy are permitted to gradually re-open following government and health officials' guidelines," Lawson told the Sun. "I will continue to provide updates in the coming...

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