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Jul 09, 2010

Big Red Mike captures 151st Queen's Plate



Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Big Red Mike, ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva, went wire-to-wire to claim victory in Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine Race Course. The 1 1/4-mile race is the beginning of the Canadian Triple Crown.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain was in attendance for the 151st Queen's Plate.

A field of 13 Canadian-bred three-year-olds left the starting gate for the top thoroughbred race in the Great White North. Plate Trial runner-up Mobilizer and Woodbine Oaks champ Roan Inish were the 7-2 co-favorites.

Big Red Mike and Hotep were both 5-1 when the gate opened and that's how they ran as the race developed. Big Red Mike set the pace along the inside with Hotep racing second to the outside.

The pair remained in their positions up the backstretch and into the far turn. Making a slight move around the final turn was Mobthewarrior and Roan Irish.

Trained by Nicholas Gonzalez, Big Red Mike still had the lead coming off the turn for home and into the stretch. The chestnut gelding could not be overtaken down the stretch and went on to post a 1 1/4-length win over Hotep with Roan Irish third and Giant's Tomb rallying to finish fourth.

Rounding out the order of finish was Mobthewarrior, Dark Cloud Dancer, Smart Sky, Moment of Majesty, Who We Gunna Call, Mobilizer, Ghost Fleet, Vicar Street and D's Wando.

The time for the Queen's Plate was 2:04.89 on Woodbine's synthetic surface.

The victory was worth $600,000 for owner Terra Racing Stable and gave da Silva his second straight win in the Queen's Plate. Last year he won aboard Eye of the Leopard.

Big Red Mike was coming off a win in the Plate Trial on June 13. In that contest he also set the pace and was able to re-rally for the victory. The gelding has now won three of six career starts for $761,101, all at Woodbine.

"The thing that impressed me the most was when he got engaged, carrying 126 pounds and first time going that far. I was very proud of him that he dug in the way he did. He beat some good horses," said Gonzalez about the Plate Trial win. "The horse is a fighter. He's won on the inside before. He's fought some tough hard races on the outside. He's just that kind of horse where the competition is good for him."

This was the first Queen's Plate win for both the owner and trainer.

Big Red Mike returned $12.00, $6.30 and $4.40. Hotep, the 3-1 morning-line favorite, paid $6.90 and $4.70, and Roan Inish paid $4.30 to show.

The Triple Crown will continue with the Prince of Wales Stakes on Sunday, July 25 at Fort Erie Racetrack and the Breeders' Stakes on Sunday, August 15 back at Woodbine.

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