June 22, 2008
The $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine is North America's oldest continuously-run stakes race, celebrating its 149th renewal on Sunday. The first leg of Canada's Triple Crown attracted a field of 14 Canadian-foaled 3-year-olds to contest the 1 1/4 mile trip over the Polytrack. Racing conditions were ideal with temperatures in the low 70's and partly cloudy skies, after a brief thunderstorm hit the area an hour earlier.
Woodbine Oaks and Calder Oaks winner Ginger Brew, the only filly entered, was sent off as the 2-1 favorite. In to challenge the Brian Lynch trainee were 3-1 second choice Solitaire, still a maiden but a close second in the Plate Trial last time out for trainer H. James Bond, and Not Bourbon, the 9-2 third choice, winner of the Plate Trial and the Queenston Stakes for trainer Roger Attfield and owner-breeder Charles Fipke, who raced Tale of Ekati in the U.S. Triple Crown.
D. Flutie was loose on the lead for 6f, getting fractions of 23.40, 47.60, and 1:13.55 while being stalked by Shadowless, Dylan's Choice, and Not Bourbon. Entering the far turn, D. Flutie tired and faded as Deputiformer, who had raced in seventh early, moved up to take the lead into the stretch, getting the mile in 1:39.30. However, Not Bourbon was full of run, as jockey Jono Jones switched him to the outside for room and he responded, easily taking over the lead at the 3/16 pole and opened up a 1 1/2 length lead over Ginger Brew, who had raced in fourth the whole way. Ginger Brew gained steadily but Not Bourbon held her off by a neck at the line, completing the distance in 2:03.59, just 0.08 second off the track record. It was a long 4 1/2 lengths back to late-running Solitaire, who was last on the far turn and closed well from the 7 path.
Results chart from DRF