By Emily Shields
With the Jim Dandy, Haskell Invitational, and Travers Stakes looming this summer, there are plenty of options for nice sophomores to make some money. Country House, Maximum Security, Tacitus, War of Will, and Sir Winston could all clash in some of those events.
Before that comes a $1 million race for three-year-old Canadian-breds, the June 29th Queen’s Plate at Woodbine. It is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and will feature names like Avie’s Flatter, Skywire, and possibly Woodbine Oaks winner Desert Ride. The race was won by a filly last year, Wonder Gadot.
The Queen’s Plate (named the King’s Plate when England’s monarch is male) was first run in 1860 and is the oldest continually run race in North America. Unlike the Kentucky Derby, which has only had three fillies win it in history, the Queen’s Plate has had 37 female winners, including Holy Helena and Wonder Gadot in consecutive years 2017-2018. There have been 12 Triple Crown winners, most recently with Wando in 2003. Wonder Gadot took the Prince of Wales last year to be in contention for the Triple Crown, but skipped running in the final leg.
Northern Dancer is the one horse that transcends both Canada and America, as he won the 1964 Kentucky Derby and Queen’s Plate in the same year. He went on to become the most influential sire of the century.
The Queen’s Plate is one of six stakes races on the card, which includes three graded stakes for older horses. The $300,000 Highlander Stakes is a grade 1 on the grass, and the $175,000 Dance Smarty and $175,000 King Edward are grade 2 events. The festival weekend includes two major stakes races on Sunday as well.
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