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2008 Plate Trial Results and Photos

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Not Bourbon wins the 2008 Plate Trial
Not Bourbon wins the 2008 Plate Trial

Not Bourbon (outside) wins over Solitaire in the 2008 Plate Trial at Woodbine

© Terence Dulay
June 1, 2008

The $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine is the major local prep for the Queen's Plate and the Canadian Triple Crown. Restricted to horses eligible for the Plate (which is restricted to Canadian-foaled 3-year-olds), the Trial is contested at 1 1/8 miles, one furlong less than the Plate, and the 7 entered this year all carried the Plate assigned impost of 126 pounds. Withers Stakes winner Harlem Rocker, who was originally targeting the Belmont Stakes, came into the Trial undefeated, and was sent off as the 3-10 favorite over 4-1 second choice Not Bourbon, winner of the Queenston Stakes by 5 lengths last time out and stretching out to 2 turns for the first time. The rest of the field was at double digits, including 10-1 third choice Pewter, winner of a maiden race at Gulfstream last time out.

Jockey Patrick Husbands sent Pewter to the front to set a slow pace of 24.18 and 48.67 while East End Tap and Not Bourbon stalked him just a length behind, while Harlem Rocker was unhurried early, settling at the back of the field out wide the whole way. Sebastian's Song, who had rated in fourth early, moved up on the outside to take the lead away from Pewter at the 3/8 pole, who faded badly to eventually finish last. Not Bourbon was asked by Jono Jones at the 1/4 pole and he accelerated past Sebastian's Song at the top of the lane, opening up a 1 1/2 lead after a mile in a slow 1:37.12. Solitaire, sixth early, found room along the rail to close with a rush, but Not Bourbon dug in late to win by a neck in 1:49.73, just 0.18 seconds off Leonnatus Anteas' track record. It was a long 3 1/2 lengths back to Sebastian's Song third, while favorite Harlem Rocker flattened out in the stretch to finish fourth, 5 3/4 lengths behind the winner.
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