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July 4, 2013
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.Â Good morning.Â I'm Dan Loiselle; and on behalf of Woodbine Entertainment and the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, welcome to Woodbine, and the post-position draw for the 154th running of the Queen's Plate.Â I should mention that the HBPA has graciously donated a very appropriate gift this morning of an umbrella to everyone in attendance this afternoon.Â You can probably use it today, but let's hope you don't need it on Sunday afternoon.Â You can pick up your umbrella on your way out after the breakfast.
To our American friends that are joining us here this morning, happy 4th of July.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Queen's Plate is North America's oldest, continuously run stakes race.Â The United States has the Kentucky Derby, France the Arc de Triomphe, and Australia, the Melbourne Cup; and this is Canada's race.Â A race steeped in tradition with a long and storied past.
The past winners of the Queen's Plate is like a whoÂ’s who of Canadian racing superstars.Â Horses like With Approval, Izvestia, Dance Smartly, Awesome Again, Wando, and who could forget the great Northern Dancer.Â The Queen's Plate is the first jewel of Canadian racing's Triple Crown, the second being the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie on the 30th of July, and then back here at Woodbine over at our fabulous E.P. Taylor turf course for the Breeders' Stakes.Â This year's Queen's Plate is shaping up to be a very competitive race.
Now we were supposed to have this in the walking ring today and we were supposed to bring over Inglorious, that's not going to happen.Â I spoke to Inglorious myself today, and she said, the walking ring is fine.Â I can walk.Â But the tent is too tight.Â It was basically a conversation between a horse and a horse's ass.Â But never the less, Inglorious is retired now, and we look forward to her progeny being on the racetrack in the very near future.Â If you see Inglorious, say hello to her for me.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the President and Chief Executive Officer of Woodbine Entertainment, Nick Eaves.
NICK EAVES:Â Thank you very much, Dan.Â Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.Â My apologies for the late change of plan from the walking ring, which is obviously where we all like to be for this event, to this location.Â You've already heard that the HBPA was responsible for the weather, so there is not much we can do about that.Â But thanks for accommodating it.Â A little warm in here, but probably a bit more comfortable than the alternative outside.
Welcome to the post-position draw for the 154th running of the Queen's Plate Stakes.
As Danny has said, the longest, oldest, continuously run stakes race in North America, and that is something that all of us here at Woodbine are enormously proud of, that rich tradition, that deep history.Â It's something that we look forward to every year celebrating.
Now this time last year, it looked very worrisome in terms of whether or not there would be a future to the Queen's Plate.Â We had just recently had to deal with the cancellation of the Slots At Racetracks partnership, the remarkably successful partnership.Â The Province had just recently appointed a panel of three former cabinet ministers who were tasked with reviewing and ultimately making recommendations around transitioning the horse racing and breeding industry to a self‑sustaining model. Certainly everybody in this room knows that the future of the industry was brutally uncertain.Â And everyone also knows this past year has been an incredibly difficult year for everybody in this industry.Â It's been a year of change, a year‑off hardship for many, if not all.Â There has been significant restructuring and downsizing in all corners of the industry, and it takes a resilient group and resilient industry such as ours to endure that type of transformation.
But frankly where we find ourselves one year later is in a position to be, frankly, much more hopeful about what the future looks like.Â That's not because there is a clear cut plan or model or future that's been locked down.Â There is much work to do in that regard.
But certainly we are now working with a government and a new Premier who is undoubtedly committed to a sustainable horse racing and breeding industry in the future.
Premier Wynne has stated and restated her support for a sustainable and, in fact, vibrant horse racing industry.Â One that is reintegrated back with the province's overall gaming strategy, and that is something that we're going to focus on and continuing to work with her and her team to make sure that we bring about because there is nothing more important than that particular outcome.
You'll know that this past Friday, the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel released their draft plan for their vision for a sustainable future.Â There are going to be consultations over the next number of weeks, and I can assure you that Woodbine is going to be actively involved in those consultations such that we can help to shape ultimately a final plan that will genuinely result in a truly sustainable horse racing and breeding industry.
So we're going to work aggressively and consistently in that respect, and I would urge everybody in this room to participate in that consultation process, which starts this coming week.Â There is a meeting here on Tuesday afternoon at Woodbine from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
You need to express your views around the plan that's been tabled; you need to express your vision around a sustainable industry, and very, very importantly, all of us who are so connected with Woodbine need to make clear that as it relates to Woodbine and our focus on our core racing product, we have not lost sight of that.Â We have not let that get away.
In fact, if you look around, there is no better example of the investment and commitment that our industry has made to our core product than the significant world class facilities that have been built here on the front side for customers, on the track, on the back side for horse people.Â That investment and that commitment is representative of the overall folk us and commitment to a live racing business.
All of us have worked on developing the international renown that the Woodbine racing program and its quality has developed.
That, too, speaks volumes in terms of Woodbine, its racing product, and it's that message that needs to get out there, not just through these consultations, but through the various means that all of us have to focus on success, and focus on what's working, and point to the elements of success, and the ones that we're all so enormously proud of.Â That's what we need to be focusing on.Â Frankly, the rest of the Province should be as proud of it as we are because it's a local success story.
We are about 72 hours away from Woodbine's biggest day of racing, from Canada's biggest day of racing.Â You'll soon meet the field of 12 three‑year‑old colts and fillies fold from Canada.Â What I'm struck by is the buzz that's building to the lead‑up of this year's Queen's Plate, notwithstanding all of the other factors going on.Â There is an unmistakable buzz about this year's event.
You can't turn the television on to CBC without seeing a promotion for the upcoming Queen's Plate.Â We're 75% sold on the reserve seating, which is about 15% ahead of last year,Â the second annual Hats and Horseshoes party, the Red Carpet Photo Walk, and the GREY GOOSEÂ® Lounge, all of that is the talk of social media in every respect.
We have the great, great honor this year of hosting the governor general of Canada, the Right Honorable David Johnston and Sharon Johnston.Â So all of that will point to a terrific day of racing here at Woodbine on Sunday.
But that's only part of it.Â The real magic on Sunday will be the scene that is playing out here, and the picture that gets painted on that day tells the full story of our industry.Â It tells the story of the people, of their passion, tells the story of the horse, and it is all about a pursuit of excellence.Â And that, quite frankly, is what this industry is all about; and that is going to be the main story line on Sunday.
To all the connections that will be here on Sunday and over the weekend, the very best of racing luck, and most importantly, have a safe trip.Â Thank you.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Thank you, Nick.Â Ladies and gentlemen, the draw for the Queen's Plate will be the same as it was last year.Â First, we'll draw a selection sequence, which will determine the order in which owners and trainers select their post positions.Â That selection order will be posted on a selection board just to my right.Â There will be a short, very short consultation period to discuss strategy, then the selection of post positions will begin.
To the members of the media, connections to the Queen's Plate starters will be available following the draw to answer any questions that you may have.
Now if I can direct your attention to the television monitors throughout the tent, here are the starters of the 154th running of the Queen's Plate.
VIDEO ANNOUNCER:Â A son of the excellent Silent Name, County Lineman arrives at the Queen's Plate with a pair of wins over the Woodbine Poly.Â County Lineman broke his maiden in his first juvenile start with an impressive last dash and demonstrated his versatility with a more prominent allowance score when taking on older rivals on May 3rd.
Although he may be less heralded than stablemate Pyrite Mountain, the punter should never discount a horse trained by Mark Frostad, a four‑time Plate winner.Â One of four Plate horses to be saddled by five‑time sovereign award winning trainer, Mark Casse, Dynamic Sky enters the Plate of a hard‑fought nose victory over His Race to Win in the Plate trial.
Casse, looking for his first Plate score has enlisted the services of Joel Rosario to pilot the John Oxley owned colt.Â In a remarkable year, Rosario has already captured the $10 million dollar Dubai World Cup with Animal Kingdom, the $2 million Kentucky Derby with Orb.Â The Grade 1 $750,000 Mag Mile by a nose in the final jump with (indiscernible) Sky, and the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot with No Nay Never.Â Could an historic Plate score be the next for Rosario?
Perhaps, the Queen's Plate will be His Race to Win.Â The stormy Atlantic colt demonstrated his talent as a juvenile with the third place run in the Coronation Futurity with stablemate Up With the Birds enjoying all the accolades.Â His Race to Win an emphatic winner in the Maiden Allowance.Â He proved his quality by nearly pulling off a major upset in the Plate trial by a nose to Dynamic Sky.Â On Sunday, His Race to Win, with Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will try to live up to his prophetic name.
No doubt owner Gabe Grossberg, trainer Mark Casse, and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan are hoping Jagger M can rock 'n' roll his way to victory on Sunday in the $1 million dollar Queen's Plate, Canada's most famous horse race; and that will be satisfaction.
The Harlem's Holiday Babe broke his maiden at Keeneland in April, and nearly caught multiple stakes winner, Black Hornet, with a driving finish in the Queensdown.Â When finishing ahead of pretrial winner Dynamic Sky, a troubled sixth in the Plate trial, beware of Jagger M on Plate day.Â This colt can move.
With only three lifetime starts, Kaigun named for a warship will be hoping to fire big time on Sunday when Canada's most famous race goes post‑ward.Â Kaigun debuted for trainer Mark Casse on April 7 at Keeneland and had a rude and rough introduction to the sport.Â The Daily Racing Form said hopped at start, six wide.Â But the sturdy chestnut battled on to finish fifth.
Kaigun impressed next time outbreaking his maiden with his out‑of‑the‑clouds rally in his Woodbine debut.Â This warship will look to make waves in Sunday's Plate.
Midnight Aria, a projected major pace presence in the Plate has thrived going aground with a pair of stubborn third‑place runs in the Wando won by Pyrite Mountain, and the Plate trial won by Dynamic Sky, trained by Nick Gonzalez who conditioned Big Red Mike to a front running score in the 2010 Plate and a subsequent meet‑and‑greet with her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will certainly be music to his trainer's ears when track announcer Dan Loiselle announces Midnight Aria is a local on the lead come Plate day.
Nipissing, named after a lake located between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay, will be looking to make a big splash in Sunday's Plate.Â A daughter of the late 2004 Queen's Plate champ, Niigon, Nipissing was piloted perfectly by Steve Bahen in the Woodbine Oaks presented by, Budweiser, settling into a stock position with the long‑strutting bay before bouncing to victory in the 1.1/8th mile Fillie Classic.
Trained by Rachel Halden, Nipissing undefeated in four juvenile starts will try to become the 35th filly to beat the boys to win the Plate.
Pyrite Mountain hopes to scale to new heights in Sunday's $1 million extravaganza, trained by four‑time plate winner Mark Frostad, Pyrite Mountain was ready to roll at first asking, closing from the back of the pack to be second, and came to the head at odds of 36‑1.
Undaunted Pyrite Mountain took home the gold in the very next start nosing out a narrow score over Power Phil in the Kingarvie Stakes.
Pyrite Mountain continued his climb to excellence, defeating Horse of the Year, Uncaptured, and will now look to reach the summit in the Plate.
Rackman, an imposing dark‑faced son of 2004 Queen's Plate champ, Niigon, is hoping to follow in his famous father's footsteps in the $1 million Gallop to the Guineas.Â A home bred gelding of the father‑son combo of Mike and Nick Nosowenko, Rackman recently cleared his maiden status in a roller coaster trip in a maiden allowance, dead heating with Dragon Puff.Â If Rackman can post the upset, it would make a first stakes score for the red hot Nosowenkos who conditioned a pair of winners last weekend at Woodbine.
Based out of Johannesburg, River Seven finished on the board in his first three lifetime starts before finally breaking through in style in the grade three Grey Stakes.
One of two Tucci Stable entrants in the field along with stablemate Midnight Aria, River Seven has yet to support as a sophomore, but don't discount the ultra‑consistent gelding who flows into the Plate off a rare disappointing effort after stumbling badly out of the gate in the trial.
Spring in the Air is Canada's champion 2‑year‑old filly last year, rightfully so as the daughter of Spring At Last turned over $430,000 topped by a score by the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland in October.
Joel Rosario guides the talented bay to a second place finish in Woodbine Oaks but with Rosario electing to ride Dynamic Sky, Gary Boulanger, in the midst of a remarkable comeback from a severe injury suffered several years ago will ride Spring in the Air for the first time.Â Boulanger rode another filly to victory at Queen's Plate, Dance to the Dawn in 2001.
Up With the Birds, his connections certainly knows how to win Queen's Plates.Â Owner/breeder Sam‑Son Farms have five Plate triumphs.Â The latest by favorite Eye of the Leopard in 2009.Â Jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva is a two‑time winner of Canada's most famous race.Â Piloting Eye of the Leopard his first Plate mount, then coming back the following year to take the Gallop For the Guineas again with front running Big Red Mike in 2010.
Up With the Birds will try to become the first Coronation Futurity champ to go on and win the Plate since Norcliffe in 1976 and if the big colt soars down the lane as he did in a romping Marine Stakes win, the rest of the field could be fighting for place money.
Ladies and gentlemen, the field for the 154th running of the Queen's Plate.
DAN LOISELLE:Â A field of 12, if you were counting.Â I'd like to thank Woodbine's broadcast department for the production of that video.
Our director of racing and racing secretary here at Woodbine Entertainment, Steve Lynn will assist with the draw, along with Hall of Fame trainer, Roger Attfield, who has saddled an incredible eight Queen's Plate winners.
Roger, if you would join me on stage.Â Just last year Roger, of course, was inducted into the National Museum and Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga last summer, an incredible honor for a fantastic horseman.Â Roger, thank you for joining us today.
Roger of your eight Queen's Plate winners, who were you the most confident in as they were loading into the gate for the Queen's Plate?
ROGER ATTFIELD:Â Izvestia.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Why?
ROGER ATTFIELD:Â Because he was such an outstanding horse, and I felt if he stayed healthy and well, he'd breeze through the Triple Crown, and he did.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Humility aside, who provided you with your greatest challenge of those Queen's Plate winners?
ROGER ATTFIELD:Â Not Bourbon.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Why?
ROGER ATTFIELD:Â He was an aggressive sprinter type horse, and to get him to go a mile‑and‑a‑quarter was not exactly easy, you know?
DAN LOISELLE:Â I know you have a lot of trainer friends in here, but I have to ask you this; who do you like in the Queen's Plate on Sunday?
ROGER ATTFIELD:Â I'm not a handicapper.Â You need to speak to Jim Bannon.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Roger, I want a winner.
ROGER ATTFIELD:Â The horse that I'll be cheering for will be Nipissing.Â I think she's a lovely filly, and the connections have been very diligent about this business.Â Rachel has done a great job with the horse, and it's always nice to see an Oaks winner come on and win the Plate, but it's not easy to do, that's for sure.Â But she's certainly going to run all day, for sure.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Thanks for joining us, Roger.Â Great to have you here.
Steve Wynn, if you could join us as well.Â We'll start with the selection order.
The field for the Queen's Plate has 12 starters, as I mentioned, the gross purse is $1 million.Â The winner will receive $600,000.Â So we'll begin this selection process, and Chelsea is putting the names on the board.
That hat she is wearing is a couture piece made by David Dunkley, the official milliner for the Queen's Plate.
Roger will pull the names.Â Steve is putting 12 peas in the pea puller.
So, Roger, just give me them one at a time.Â This is the selection order that will be posted on the board to my right.Â First one is Pyrite Mountain.Â Steve will select number 8, Pyrite Mountain owned by Awesome Again racing, trained by Mark Frostad.Â Mark has two in the Plate, the other being County Lineman, and will be ridden by Luis Contreras who won the Queen's Plate in 2011 aboard who was supposed to be our special guest, Inglorious.Â Selecting 8.
County Lineman, number 3.Â First two out of the box, Mark.Â County Lineman, owned by Ginger Punch Racing, trained by Mark Frostad who has won the Queen's Plate four times, Victor Cooley in '96, Scatter the Gold in 2000, the filly Dancer of the Dawn in 2001, and most recently with EYE OF THE LEOPARD in 2009, will be ridden by Alex Solis who rode Irish Mission to a second place finish in last year's Queens Plate.Â Selecting third, County Lineman.
I'm thinking if your name is Mark, you train over half the entrants in the Plate.Â Four for Casse and four for Frostad, so just bet on Mark.
Next one.Â Midnight Aria will pick 12th.Â Midnight Aria owned by the Tucci stable of Carlo and Lou Tucci, one of two they have in the Plate, the other being River Seven trained by Nick Gonzalez who trained Big Red Mike to a Queen's Plate victory in 2010, will be ridden by Jesse Campbell.Â Midnight Aria will select 12th.
River Seven will select 10th.Â River Seven, also owned by the Tucci stable of Carlo and Lou, trained by Nick Gonzalez who saddles Midnight Aria as well, will be ridden by Todd Kabel who won with Regal Discovery in '95 for trainer Roger Attfield and with Scatter the Gold in 2000.
Next in the selection order is Kaigun, will select second, owned by Gary Barber, Quintessential Racing Florida, and Horse'n Around Racing Stable, trained by Mark Casse who is still looking for that elusive first Queen's Plate victory.Â He was second in 2011, and will be ridden by Justin Stein, who won the Queen's Plate last year aboard Strait of Dover, Kaigun's interests will select second.
Jagger M will select 6th, owned by Gabe Grossberg, trained by Mark Casse, 1 of 4 that Mark saddles in the Plate.Â Will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan; Shaun's first Queen's Plate mount.Â Selecting sixth, Jagger M.
Up With the Birds will select first.Â Owned by the Sam‑Son Farm, five‑time winners of the Queen's Plate, Regal Intention, Dance Smartly, Scatter the Gold, Dance Through the Dawn, and Eye of the Leopard, trained by Malcolm Pierce, who also saddles His Race to Win, will be ridden by Eurico Rosa de Silva who is with us today who won back‑to‑back Queen's Plates and in '09 with Eye of the Leopard and in 2010 with Big Red Mike.Â Up With the Birds select's first.
Dynamic Sky will select 11th.Â Owned by John Oxley, also runs the filly Spring in the Air.Â Trained by Mark Casse, will be ridden by Joel Rosario and what a year he is having.Â He won the Dubai World Cup.Â He won the Kentucky Derby, and this is his first Queen's Plate ride.Â Selecting 11th, Dynamic Sky.
Spring in the Air will select 5th.Â One of two Fillies in here, the other being the Oaks winner Nipissing owned by John Oxley.Â Trained by Mark Casse, and currently Joel Rosario is named on both Dynamic Sky and Spring in the Air.
Rackman will select 4th.Â Owned by Mike and Nick Nosowenko, trained by Nick, will be ridden by Jim McAleney who was second in the 2002 Queen's Plate, aboard Anglian Price.Â Selecting fourth will be Rackman.
Nipissing will select 7th.Â Winner of the Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser.Â One of two fillies in this Plate, Niigon won the Queen's Plate in 2004, trained by Rachel Halden, ridden by Steve Bahen who won the 2002 Queen's Plate with an 82‑1 shot, TJ's Lucky Moon.Â Selecting 7th, Nipissing.
His Race to Win will select 9th.Â Owned by the Sam‑Son Farms who also run Up With the Birds in the Plate trained by Malcolm Pierce, will be ridden by Johnny Velazquez who rode Sterwins to a second place finish in the 2006 Queen's Plate.
There you have it.Â The selection order for the 154th running of the Queen's Plate.Â Thank you, Roger Attfield.
I should mention to the connections of the Queen's Plate starters that we spoke to, starter Ian Ross and the horses will load in post position order.Â So first it will be one, then two, then three.Â If you don't want to have your horse in the gate too long, that might be a consideration.
So we'll start the selection of the post positions in a moment or so.Â But before we do that.Â I'd like to mention on Sunday we have many events taking place surrounding the Queen's Plate.Â For the second year we'll be having Hats and Horseshoes, and we'll be creating a festival atmosphere outside Woodbine's walking ring with food trucks, Barbecue stations, a DJ, an emcee.Â You can try our Queen's Plate signature drink, the Blue Diamond.Â You can buy yourself a Queen's Plate hat.Â And this year we'll put a big screen back there so you can watch and wager on the full Queen's Plate card.Â That and so much more, believe me, it will be a party atmosphere around the walking ring on Queen's Plate day.
I should mention that Queen's Plate reserved seating is available through Ticketmaster, and for information and updates on the Queen's Plate, please visit Queensplate.com a great site with terrific information.
Okay.Â Hopefully the Queen's Plate connections are ready to pick their positions.Â The first one in the selection order is Up With the Birds.Â Malcolm Pierce if you would join us up here, please.Â Malcolm, come and see me.
Malcolm, obviously, you've decided to pick post 7.Â Malcolm, he is going to be the favorite in the race.Â You've been involved with Queen's Plate before with Regal Intention; do you feel any added pressure saddling the favorite?
MALCOLM PIERCE:Â No, I'd rather be 2‑1, than 20‑1.
DAN LOISELLE:Â He's been off six weeks and he looked so great in the Marine.Â Tell us what you've done with him and how he's coming to the race?
MALCOLM PIERCE:Â He's breezed every week, and he's in great order.Â So if he's good enough on Sunday, we'll see.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Where would you like to see him sitting in the body of the race?
MALCOLM PIERCE:Â He'll be a way's back, whether he is 8th or 9th wherever, but he makes a front row of one run from the end.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck.
MALCOLM PIERCE:Â Thank you very much.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Malcolm Pierce, trainer of Up With the Birds.
Bring your chair up, Mark.Â You have four horses.Â You might as well sit up here with me.Â Hi, Harvey, how are you?Â Why don't you go put that name on the board, right over there.Â Post 6 it appears.Â Drum roll, please.Â Kaigun, post 6.
Mark, you said leading up to the Plate you were 50‑50 whether you were going to run Kaigun or not.Â You decided to run him, why?
MARK CASSE:Â For a couple of reasons.Â He's trained really well, and I'm going to go with the Wayne Lukas theory, and that is if you're not in, you can't win.Â I've seen Wayne do some silly things over the years and come out smelling like a rose.Â This is a really talented horse.Â He's lacking a lot of seasoning, but he can run.
DAN LOISELLE:Â I was going to say that, Mark.Â He's only had three lifetime starts.Â Is that a big concern of yours?
MARK CASSE:Â A big, big one, yeah, of course.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Can you see him coming from off the pace?
MARK CASSE:Â Yeah, that is the problem.Â We have four horses in the race, and they all want to come from pretty far back.Â We tried to change Kaigun's running style the last time, and it didn't work.Â So I think we'll go back to plan A, and he'll probably be coming out of it again.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck, Mark Casse, trainer of Kaigun, who selected post six.
Mr.Frostad, County Lineman.Â County Lineman is taking post 5, it appears.Â Mark Frostad the trainer of County Lineman.Â Mark, you said this horse might just fly under the Radar on Queen's Plate day.Â Explain what you meant.
MARK FROSTAD:Â I think he's a pretty talented horse, I think his last race, he's prone to trouble.Â He's been in a lot of trouble in a number of his races.Â Hopefully he'll get a clean trip and we'll see what happens.
DAN LOISELLE:Â In a perfect scenario, going down the backstretch, half mile to run, where would you like to see this colt sitting?
MARK FROSTAD:Â I'd love to see him up close, but I don't think that's going to be the case.Â Like a lot of these horses, he tends to come from behind.Â So we'll have to see how it works out.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Think there will be some pace in the race?
MARK FROSTAD:Â I sure hope so.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck, Mark.Â Mark Frostad, post five for County Lineman.
Rackman, Nick Nosowenko, trainer of Rackman.Â And father, Nick and Mike Nosowenko.Â Mike?Â Rackman will select post 8.
Nick, you had planned to race this horse in the Plate, and then he worked the other day, and you told everybody you're not going to run him and now you are.Â What happened?Â Tell us the thought process there?
NICK NOSOWENKO:Â Too much paparazzi at the barn, so we drew everybody off.Â No, we kind of after his maiden win thought the horse had a shot going a mile‑and‑a‑quarter, so we planned to go that way.Â The workout really didn't go to plan.Â I wanted to go head to head and really let him gallop out, and the lead horse broke off ten in front of him.
He did go in 34 and change in 2/5th, which is pretty quick for that day.Â His gallop out time wasn't great, but he used himself up for such a big horse.
So we sat back and reevaluated, and we've never been in a race in this magnitude, and dad's been in the game for quite a few years, and he said, what do we have to lose?Â Let's take a shot and go against the big boys.Â And there are a lot of big outfits in there, Sam‑Son and Oxley and lot of big outfits.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck, Nick, and Mr.Nosowenko, good luck on Sunday.Â Rackman, post 8.
Spring in the Air, Mark?Â Spring in the Air, the filly trained by Mark Casse, 1 of 4 that will take post number 4.
Mark, I know you have Joel Rosario named on both Dynamic Sky and Spring in the Air.Â I know why, but tell the people why?
MARK CASSE:Â We still have 72 hours, anything's possible.Â We committed and Joel committed to come ride for us on Plate day and anything's possible.Â Right now, hold on.Â My wife gave me this a couple years ago, it's wood.
DAN LOISELLE:Â You carry it around constantly?
MARK CASSE:Â Always.Â I sleep with it.Â Everything's good, and if everything goes as planned and both horses are happy and healthy, then Gary Boulanger will be on Spring in the Air.
DAN LOISELLE:Â I want to talk about Gary Boulanger and what a story this is.Â He won the 2001 Queen's Plate with the filly, Dancer of the Dawn, riding a filly in all probability on Sunday.Â Then in 2005 he had a horrific accident that was not only life‑threatening, it was career‑ending, but he fought his way back, and you have been there for him.
I mean, you've had a tremendous meet together.Â What would it mean to you to see Gary Boulanger win the Queen's Plate for Mark Casse?Â What a story.
MARK CASSE:Â Somebody asked me the other day if I could pick one, which one would I pick?Â And I can't do that, but, I mean, for Gary to come and win would be great.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Mark, thanks, good luck, and good luck to Gary.Â Let's hope they're both healthy on Plate morning, and Gary gets to ride the filly.
Jagger M, I told you, you should have brought a chair.Â Colby, come on up.Â This is Colby Casse, Mark's son.Â Can you reach right up there, Colby?Â 3 for Jagger M.Â Way to go.
Mark, what about his race in the Plate trial, what made you decide to run him in the Plate after that race in the trial?
MARK CASSE:Â We were going to go for 2, but Colby couldn't reach that far, so we went for 3.
You know, it was his first time around two turns and he ran well.Â The late pace was very good, and he came home as good as anybody.Â Unfortunately, couldn't run anybody down because everybody came home so strong.Â I think he'll probably improve with the second time around two turns, and he's the kind of horse that he'll just sit back, and he's not the most ambitious of sorts.Â So he'll just sit back and wait until you ask him to go, and hopefully he'll go.Â Again, like the others, we'll need some pace.
DAN LOISELLE:Â That was going to be my final question.Â He probably wants some pace to run at.
MARK CASSE:Â Absolutely.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Jagger M post 3.Â Colby wanted 2, but he couldn't stand that high.
Nipissing, Rachel, come and see me.Â Rachel Halden, the trainer of the Oaks winner Nipissing along with Bob Reboil, the squire of Chiefswood.Â Nipissing, the Oak's winner to post 9.
Rachel, I want to talk about this filly's demeanor.Â Somebody told me when you and Steven took her out to the racetrack to work the other day, there was chaos on the racetrack, the sirens were going and everybody running around, and she stood there with so much composure and so much class.Â You took her back to the barn and then worked her.
Tell us about this filly's demeanor a little bit?
RACHEL HALDEN:Â She's just level headed.Â She's got a lot of class and sense to her.Â I keep her with my pony which keeps her calm, but she'd have stood out there for half an hour if need be.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Then you took her back to the barn and she came back on to the racetrack.Â Then I heard the work was tremendous.Â What are your thoughts on that work?
RACHEL HALDEN:Â I was very happy with it.Â I chose just to bork her a half mile because she always gallops out so strong.Â I didn't think I'd need to be doing much more with her, and she did a usual thing and galloped out in a minute and change, so she did what I needed her to do.
DAN LOISELLE:Â You've been heavily involved with the Queen's Plate winner before when Roger was hurt.Â I mean, you had a lot to do with Not Bourbon, and he went on to win the Queen's Plate.Â This must be a different feeling.
RACHEL HALDEN:Â Well, it is.Â To be here in your own right and your own name, it's pretty exciting.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck, Rachel.
RACHEL HALDEN:Â Thank you very much.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Bob, just one quick question.Â Won the Plate with Niigon in 2004, does this feel much different?
BOB KREMBIL:Â They were both good.Â We'd like to win this one too.Â This is exciting.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Your filly seems to be coming up the race in fine order.Â What is your biggest concern going into this race?
BOB KREMBIL:Â Pace.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Pace?
BOB KREMBIL:Â Yeah, we need pace.
DAN LOISELLE:Â You'd like to see her have a trip like she did in the Oaks, three or four lengths off?
BOB KREMBIL:Â Good position, yes.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck, Bob.Â Bob Krembil, Chiefswood Stable.
Pyrite Mountain, Mark Frostad.Â What have we got left here?Â 10, 11, 12, 1, and 2, Frosty.Â Post 10 for Pyrite Mountain.
Mark, I think Pyrite Mountain might have been compromised by the pace a little bit in the Plate trial, what are your thoughts?
MARK FROSTAD:Â Absolutely.Â The first quarter of the trial went 23 and change, and then they slowed it down to 25 and change in the next two quarters, which it's tough to run into a pace like that.Â Everybody on the front end still fresh, it's hard to run them down.
DAN LOISELLE:Â He galloped out great, I thought.
MARK FROSTAD:Â He did.Â He'll certainly get the trip, and we'll just have to see what happens.
DAN LOISELLE:Â You talked about the other horse flying under the radar.Â I think this horse might fly under the radar.Â He was the favorite in the Plate, and he's sort of getting a little bit lost right now, and I think he could be an overweight on the Plate.
MARK FROSTAD:Â Well, he had super work coming into this.Â His final work was very good, and he's certainly ready to go.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck, Frosty.
MARK FROSTAD:Â Thank you very much.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Mark Frostad, the trainer of Pyrite Mountain.
His Race to Win, Malcolm?Â Malcolm Pierce, the trainer of His Race to Win, and they're going to take Michael Balaz along with Malcolm Pierce.Â Malcolm, all the talk has been about your race favorite, Up With the Birds.Â I think this horse is being overlooked a little.Â What do you think?
MALCOLM PIERCE:Â I thought he shouldn't be 12‑1 in the Plate trial, and he proved that.Â He keeps improving every day and let's hope he improves a little bit more on Sunday.
DAN LOISELLE:Â What about the extra 1/8th mile, is that a concern of yours?
MALCOLM PIERCE:Â No, I think he's within his range, and he went a mile‑and‑3/16ths on the turf in Keeneland and handled himself okay that day.Â I think with all these people talking about coming from behind, he might be closer to the pace than we want.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Johnny Velazquez is flying in to ride him; one of the world's great riders.Â What will you say to Johnny about this horse before you give him a leg up?
MALCOLM PIERCE:Â Just get to the wire first.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Okay, good.Â Malcolm Pierce, good to see you, buddy.Â His Race to Win, post 11.
How many have we got left?Â Three.Â River Seven.Â Nick Gonzalez, the trainer of River Seven.Â Nick Gonzalez the trainer of River Seven.Â Nick, River Seven is a graded stakes winner.Â He won the gray at two.Â Do you think he's coming into his own now?
NICK GONZALEZ:Â I think he is.Â We just drew a line through that last race.Â He trained well after it, and we're just going to have to step it up because we had a couple of sub‑par performances this year.Â He's doing quite well, and we're happy with the way he's going into the race.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Now Midnight Aria, your other Queen's Plate starter and River Seven worked together.Â Tell us about that work.Â Gonzalez it was by design.Â We let river get behind midnight this time, and they both got into their gallop and groove and went around there in 59 and change, and that made them gallop out strong too.Â Like I say, we're happy with the way River is going into this race, and he's just going to have to step it up and show that he's going to be a good three‑year‑old because he was a decent two‑year‑old, and he's got to be a better three‑year‑old.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck, Nick.Â Nick Gonzalez, good luck, sir.
For the fourth and final time, Mark Casse, Dynamic Sky.Â Inside or outside, buddy.Â Oh, outside's gone.Â You're going inside.Â Colby can reach up and put it on 2, if you want.
MARK CASSE:Â I'm not sure I can get it there.Â Post 2 for Dynamic Sky.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Mark, you're the leading trainer at Woodbine perennially.Â You've always had your choice of jockeys and you've elected to use Joel Rosario.Â How does Joel Rosario fit this colt specifically?
MARK CASSE:Â Well, it's funny, because honestly had Luis been available for the Plate trial, Luis would have ridden him.Â I thought Luis had ridden him well, and he ran well for Luis.Â But at the time, and of course Patrick went down.
So I was looking for a strong rider.Â Joel's won some races for us, he won the Fleur de Lis recently, and actually rode him five, six years ago when we were out in California.Â I thought he was a very good fit for this horse.Â This horse is a very good horse to ride. Â He gets in trouble all the time.
I'm not crazy about the post position.Â I would have liked to have seen him outside a little bit further, but it is what it is.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Your thoughts on his race in the Plate trial?
MARK CASSE:Â I thought it was good.Â He's going to have to step up.Â It's going to have to be better if he's going to win the Queen's Plate.Â He got hung out a little wide, which he usually does, but he got up, and I think the mile‑and‑a‑quarter will definitely help him.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck, Mark.
MARK CASSE:Â Thank you.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Post 2, Dynamic Sky.
Nick Gonzalez, I'm thinking you want the rail with Midnight Aria.Â You may not want it, but that's what you're getting.Â There you go.
You have trained a wire‑to‑wire winner at the Queen's Plate before, Big Red Mike.Â There doesn't seem to be a lot of pace in this race.Â Do you expect this colt will be on the front end?
NICK GONZALEZ:Â No, we've got the 1 hole, and we're just going to drag him back to last.
DAN LOISELLE:Â You're a liar(laughing).Â Nick, tell us about this colt's personality?Â What's he like around the barn, any quirks?
NICK GONZALEZ:Â First of all, have you ever known a trainer to be a liar?
DAN LOISELLE:Â Yes, nearly every one, and they're better handicappers than jockeys though.Â So the blinkers were‑‑ you opened the blinkers a little bit or cut a hole in them for him to see more in his last work.Â Is that the way it's going to be in the Plate as well?
NICK GONZALEZ:Â Yeah, we chopped the blinkers down a little right to the cheater type.Â Didn't want to take them right off.Â So I guess it is what it is.
We've got the inside post.Â We've got a horse that's been showing speed, and then everything's gone on full after that.
DAN LOISELLE:Â So explain to the people that are non‑racing people, cutting those blinkers back, what do you hope that accomplishes?
NICK GONZALEZ:Â We hope it makes him less aggressive and makes him relax more.Â He's really a laid‑back horse.Â He had a big set of blinkers on him when he trained him.Â Really, does he need them?Â That's debatable.Â But when you're running good like he's been running, you don't want to go totally drastic the other way and rip them right off.Â So that's why we elected to chop them down.
DAN LOISELLE:Â Good luck, Nick, Mr.Tucci, good luck.Â Post 1 to Midnight Aria.
Ladies and gentlemen, I won't give you the entire Morning Line for the starters in the Queen's Plate, but when wagering opens on Sunday afternoon, Up With the Birds will be the 2‑1 Morning Line favorite.Â The filly, Nipissing, will open as second choice at 7‑2.Â Dynamic Sky will be third choice in the wagering at 4‑1, and Pyrite Mountain will be the fourth choice in the Morning Line at 6‑1.
I've been asked to ask the trainers and jockeys of Queen's Plate starters if they'd assemble outside the tent for a photo opportunity with Mike Byrnes.
Ladies and gentlemen, their Excellencies, the Right Honorable David Johnston, the governor of Canada, and Mrs.Sharon Johnston will be the guests of honor on Saturday afternoon.Â They'll be making the presentations to the 154th running of the Queen's Plate winner, and we hope you can join us as well.
If you can't make it to the track on Sunday, the Queen's Plate will be broadcast live on CBC in definition from 4:30 until 6:00 p.m. with host David Amber and Jim Bannon.Â That concludes proceedings this morning.Â Breakfast is now ready to be served.Â Enjoy, thanks again, and we'll see you on the weekend.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports