2018 Queen’s Plate Picks
Queen’s Plate Preview and Odds
Trainer Mark Casse dominated racing at Woodbine for several years, and comes into this year’s Plate with a strong trio of contenders, including the top two morning line favorites in Telekinesis (5-2) and the filly Wonder Gadot (3-1).
The winner of the Plate Trial Stakes run at 1 1/8 miles at Woodbine just three weks ago, Telekinesis also recently made a brief appearance on the Kentucky Derby qualifying trail, when he ran second in the (G3) Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, the final race that offered Kentucky Derby qualifying points. Prior to that he had started his career at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, where he broke his maiden at first asking, and then ran third in an allowance-level race.
He’s a front-running colt who took the field wire-to-wire to win the Plate Trial, and stalked just off the pace in the Lexington and actually grabbed the lead in mid-stretch before being caught late by My Boy Jack. While that kind of early speed is always a positive in horse racing, there has to be some question as to how he’ll handle the distance. He’ll be trying to become the first colt to win the Plate Trial/Queen’s Plate double since Big Red Mike in 2010.
Wonder Gadot Would Make it Two Straight for the Girls
Fillies have done very well in the Queens’ Plate in recent years winning three of the past seven events, including Holy Helena in 2017. Based on recent form, Casse’s Wonder Gadot is in with a serious shot, having finished in the money in seven consecutive races, five of those US-based graded-stakes. Included in that string was a runner-up finish to superstar Monomoy Girl in the (G1) Kentucky Oaks, where she gave that one all she could handle to be beaten by only a half length at odds of 17-1.
She last out ran second in the Woodbine Oaks, her third consecutive runner-up finish, and that has to be a bit of a worrying trend for Team Casse.
The other filly in the field is the one that beat her in the Oaks in the form of Dixie Moon, third choice in the ML at odds of 4-1. Trained by Catherine Day-Phillips, she’s had all her best success racing at Woodbine, where she has all four of her wins in eight lifetime starts. She beat several of the colts in the field once already back in October of 2017 in taking the Cup and Saucer Stakes on the turf. Like the two already mentioned above, she faces the task of retaining her top form coming back after just three weeks between races.
Despite a rather unimpressive record of only a single maiden win in eight lifetime starts, there are several things to like about 15-1 longshot Neepawa, the third Mark Casse-trainee in the field. For one, Casse himself has stated the colt has shown a lot of development as a three-year-old, having spent the winter racing in Florida. Most of his races have been on the turf, and the switch to Tapeta could play a factor here.
He also seems to be one that wants more distance, and should be coming late as they come down the long Woodbine stretch. And if you believe in omens, it’s notable that he is a half-brother to Justify, by the sire Scat Daddy.
Although he caught a bad break by drawing the far outside #16 post, Plate Trial runner up Rose’s Vision (12-1) is a colt on the improve, having finished first or second in three of his last four starts. He’s another that wants to be running up near the lead early, so he’ll have his work cut out for him in that regard, but he gave Telekinesis an honest battle in the stretch drive and was clearly the best of the rest of the field on that day.
The Queen’s Plate goes Saturday, June 30 from Woodbine with an expected post time of 5:36 PM Eastern. It’s race #10 of 13 on the day, and immediately follows the (G1) Highlander Stakes, which is a ‘Win And You’re In’ qualifying race for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint race.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Boyhood Dream (30-1)
- Cooler Mike (30-1)
- Inge (30-1)
- Strike Me Down (10-1)
- Silent Poet (30-1)
- Real Dude (50-1)
- Dixie Moon (4-1)
- Alternative Route (20-1)
- Say The Word (20-1)
- Telekinesis (5-2)
- Wonder Gadot (3-1)
- Pawn Broker (50-1)
- Marriage Counselor (50-1)
- Neepawa (15-1)
- Aheadbyacentury (15-1)
- Rose’s Vision (12-1)
Queen’s Plate Picks
- 1) #10 – Telekinesis
- 2) #16 – Rose’s Vision
- 3) #11 – Wonder Gadot
- 4) #14- Neepawa
Betting the Queen’s Plate
It’s shaping up to be a great day of racing from Woodbine leading up to the historic Queen’s Plate, and you can get in on the action and bet the full day’s card with an account at Bovada’s online racebook.
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