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Jul 01, 2005

Wild Desert captures Queen's Plate


Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Wild Desert, co-owned by New York Yankees

 manager Joe Torre, defeated eight rivals Sunday to win the $1 million Queen's Plate

at Woodbine Racecourse. The Queen's Plate is the first leg in Canada's Triple Crown.

Wild Desert won the 146th running of the Queen's Plate after a 10-week sabbatical

 from the races. The three-year-old's last start was in the Arkansas Derby on

April 16, when he finished eighth behind winner Afleet Alex.

Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel recorded his first win in Canada's most important

 race, as did jockey Patrick Valenzuela. The win was also the first for Wild Desert

 in a stakes race.

Coming from off the pace, Wild Desert assumed the lead in deep stretch to post

a half-length victory over King of Jazz. Gold Strike, the only filly in the field, finished

third after leading the race around the final turn to the furlong marker.

Completing the order of finish was Molinaro Beau, Ablo, Granique, Dance With Ravens,

 Get Down and Three in the Bag.

Sunday morning, trainer Mark Casse scratched Runnaway Mon with an

inflamed left front leg.

The time for the 1 1/4 miles was 2:07.37.

The Canadian-bred Wild Desert was making his first start in his native Canada. The win

 was worth $600,000 to bring the colt's earnings to almost $800,000. Earlier this year

 Wild Desert was fifth in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and second in the Lane's

End Stakes. Wild Desert has now won three of his 12 career starts.

Wild Desert returned $8.30, $4.70 and $4.50. King of Jazz paid $5.90 and $4.90,

and Gold Strike paid $3.70 for show.

The second race in the Canadian Triple Crown is the Prince of Wales Stakes on

July 17 at Fort Erie. The final race is the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine on August 7.

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