Thursday morning, June 23, the post positions were selected for the 152nd running of the $1,000,000 Queen's Plate during a breakfast ceremony in the trackside tent at Woodbine. A maximum field of 17 Canadian-bred three-year-olds will go to post on Sunday in the 1 1/4 mile classic, with males carrying 126 pounds and filly Inglorious carrying 121 pounds. The Queen's Plate is the first race of Canada's Triple Crown, which continues with the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie on July 24 and the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine on August 15. The race will be shown on CBC in Canada from 4:30-6:00pm ET, with the Plate going off as the 10th race at 5:36pm. The Queen's Plate card, including the Singspiel Stakes (G3) and the Highlander Stakes (G2), will also be shown on TVG in the U.S. and HPI in Canada, and simulcast to many locations across North America.
The selection order for post positions was drawn first, via the traditional pill-pull, followed by the choosing of post positions by the connections for each horse, a system which has been in place since 1998. Alex Anthopoulos, the senior vice-president of baseball operations and general manager for the Toronto Blue Jays, was on hand as the honorary drawmaster, randomly pulling the entries out of the box while racing secretary Steve Lym drew the numbered pills. Anthopoulos, a native of Montreal and a graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario was hired originally by the Montreal Expos in 2000, and when that team changed owners and moved to Washington he moved on to the Toronto Blue Jays, starting with the team as a scouting coordinator. Interviewed on stage he talked about his rise through the ranks starting as an unpaid intern answering Expos fan mail, and said the goal is to make the playoffs and ultimately the World Series, but at the same time, to match the Philadelphia Phillies' reputation as a team that players and staff want to work for.
The likely favorite, listed at 3-1 on the morning line, is Charles Fipke homebred Check Your Soul, off his wins in Wando and then the Plate Trial. Trainer Roger Attfield, going for a record 9th Queen's Plate win, selected post 13, saying "Not Bourbon won out of the 13 so I thought it's a good idea. I know I have a very good horse, he's nice and healthy, and I think he'll run a good race. It's a horse race and we always need racing luck. Not at all concerned about the big crowd, he's not a nervous horse, whether in the morning or afternoon. He just gets himself a bit worked up but he's OK. He finished very sharp (in his last workout) and he's ready." Patrick Husbands will be aboard the son of Perfect Soul.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, not in attendance at the draw, selected post 14 for 7-2 second choice Queen'splatekitten. The son of Kitten's Joy out of Wild Again mare Iteration won the Marine Stakes last out against open company and was 2nd in the Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream in March. Regular rider John Velazquez will be in the irons on Sunday for owner Mill House.
The 9-2 third choice is Woodbine Oaks winner Inglorious, the only filly in the field. Trainer Josie Carroll, the only female trainer to have won the Plate, selected post 9. She said,"I think it was a tough decision really (to enter), it's a pretty tough race to be running a filly in but the way she's performed all year she loves this surface. The way she came out of the Oaks she made it an easier decision. Hopefully (she'll run midpack like in the Oaks), it's a big field, anything can happen, it'll be a rider's race, they're going to have to be heads-up, we'll see where we go. She went a little quicker than expected (in her last work) but when she gets on her game, she sparkles, she came back well." Luis Contreras will be aboard for the Plate.
Below are the entries for the 2011 Queen's Plate with post positions, morning line odds, trainer, and jockey. Free past performances are available here from BRISnet.com. Profiles for each horse are also available here
|1||Imhotep||Todd Pletcher||Emile Ramsammy||30-1|
|2||Curgone||Greg De Gannes||Garrett Gomez||50-1|
|3||Oh Canada||Robert Tiller||Emma-Jayne Wilson||10-1|
|4||One Big Gator||John Ross||Jim McAleney||30-1|
|5||Pender Harbour||Mike DePaulo||Chantal Sutherland||12-1|
|6||Head Honcho||Catherine Day Phillips||Jono Jones||30-1|
|7||Strike Oil||Mark Casse||Willie Martinez||15-1|
|8||Okiyama||John Mattine||Jesse Campbell||30-1|
|9||Inglorious||Josie Carroll||Luis Contreras||9-2|
|10||Enduring Star||Mark Casse||Robby Albarado||30-1|
|11||Ojibway Signal||David Bell||Justin Stein||50-1|
|12||Seawatch||Josie Carroll||Slade Callaghan||20-1|
|13||Check Your Soul||Roger Attfield||Patrick Husbands||3-1|
|14||Queen'splatekitten||Todd Pletcher||John Velazquez||7-2|
|15||Hippolytus||Mark Casse||Tyler Pizzaro||30-1|
|16||Bowman's Causeway||Chad Brown||Eurico Rosa Da Silva||6-1|
|17||Maple Leaf Kitten||Joe Woodard||Omar Moreno||50-1|