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Jun 24, 2011

Outside posts go to Queen's Plate favorites


Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The top two choices in Sunday's 152nd renewal of the $1 million Queen's Plate will start next to each other on the outside of the 17 horse field. The 1 1/4-mile classic at Woodbine will utilize an auxiliary gate from which the three inside runners will break.

Plate Trial winner Check Your Soul, the 3-1 morning-line favorite, will start from post 13 with 7-2 second choice Queen'splatekitten to the favorite's immediate outside in the 14 hole. Connections got to choose their post positions after a draw to determine selection order.

Trainer Roger Attfield goes for his ninth win of the Queen's Plate and has Patrick Husbands back to ride Check Your Soul. The jockey and colt teamed to win the Wando Stakes and the Plate Trail.

"It was a good performance for sure," said Attfield, about the Plate Trial performance. "I wasn't concerned a bit (about the poor start). I thought it was a blessing in disguise as I wanted to see him come from off it. I think it's how he likes to run. It's what I really wanted to see. I was actually grateful, experience-wise."

Owned by Charles Fipke, the colt has earned $188,824 in his four starts and has not lost since his debut this past March.

If ever a horse was meant to win the Queen's Plate it is a horse named Queen'splatekitten. The colt, trained by Todd Pletcher, is owned by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady and has John Velazquez back to ride.

Velazquez was unable to ride the three-year-old due to his obligations with Kentucky Derby champ Animal Kingdom. The rider was aboard for the Palm Beach Stakes when Queen'splatekitten was second as the 2-1 favorite. The pair teamed up again in the Blue Grass Stakes, but came home a disappointing seventh.

Queen'splatekitten was ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva in the Marine Stakes last month.

"It was exactly what we were hoping for," said Pletcher, about the Marine effort. "The horse settled really well, made a good run. I think we got the prep we were hoping for, five weeks before the big race."

In six career starts, the colt has won half the time for $219,163.

Pletcher will also send out Imhotep, who was eighth in the Plate Trial. Owned by Ahmed Zayat, the chestnut colt will break from the inside post and is 30-1 in the program.

The only filly in the field is Woodbine Oaks winner Inglorious. Slated as the 9-2 third choice, the filly will be ridden by Luis Contreras, as she has her last two starts.

Trainer Josie Carroll, who won the Plate with Edenwold in 2006, expects Inglorious to make a similar showing as she did in the Oaks.

"It was definitely not the kind of pace that benefits a closer, but again, this filly just gets the job done," said Carroll, about the Oaks win. "If you look at her stride, she's got a tremendous reach when she finishes a race. I think we?re asking a lot. It's a very contentious Queen's Plate this year."

Owned by Donver Stable, the filly will carry 121 pounds, getting a five pound break from her 16 male rivals. She has earned $650,000 in six starts with four wins.

Carroll has 20-1 longshot Seawatch in the field with Slade Callaghan in the saddle. The pair will start from post 12, just inside the favorite.

Trainer Mark Casse, who has never won the Plate, will send out three on Sunday. Enduring Star, Hippolytus and Strike Oil are all longshots in the morning-line. Strike Oil was third and Hippolytus fourth in the Plate Trial. Enduring Star has not raced since April when he broke his maiden as the 9-10 favorite.

Last Saturday, Casse saddled 36-1 longshot Pool Play to victory in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.

From the rail out here is the field for the Queen's Plate: Imhotep, Emile Ramsammy, 30-1; Curgone, Garrett Gomez, 50-1; Oh Canada, Emma-Jayne Wilson, 10-1; One Big Gator, Jim McAleney, 30-1; Pender Harbour, Chantal Sutherland, 12-1; Head Honcho, Jono Jones, 30-1; Strike Oil, Willie Martinez, 15-1; Okiyama, Jesse Campbell, 30-1; Inglorious, Luis Contreras, 9-2; Enduring Star, Robby Albarado, 30-1; Ojibway Signal, Justin Stein, 50-1; Seawatch, Slade Callaghan, 20-1; Check Your Soul, Patrick Husbands, 3-1; Queen'splatekitten, John Velazquez, 7-2; Hippolytus, Tyler Pizarro, 30-1; Bowman's Causeway, Eurico Rosa da Silva, 6-1 and Maple Leaf Kitten, Omar Moreno, 50-1

The Queen's Plate is the first leg in Canada's Triple Crown. The Triple Crown, which includes the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie on July 17, will conclude with the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes on Sunday, August 7 at Woodbine.

Post-time Sunday is 5:40 p.m. (et) and will be shown in Canada on CBC-TV.

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