April 23, 2024

Clayton, Curlin’s Voyage top draws in 14-horse Queen’s Plate; Cambier Parc returns

Clayton winning the Aug. 15 Plate Trial S. at Woodbine (c) Michael Burns Photo

Plate Trial S. winner Clayton and Woodbine Oaks vixen Curlin’s Voyage head a field of 14 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds in Saturday’s $1 million Queen’s Plate S. at Woodbine. It’s the 161st running of the 1 1/4-mile race, which will be contested over the Tapeta synthetic track and serves as the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, and the Queen’s Plate is the oldest continually run race in North America.

Clayton has been pegged as the 2-1 morning line favorite following his half-length decision in his stakes debut, the Aug. 15 Plate Trial. Now 3-for-4, the Kevin Attard-trained son of Bodemeister has been favored in every start, and Rafael Hernandez, who won the 2015 Queen’s Plate, retains the mount on the bay colt. Attard will also send out the filly Merveillleux, a two-time stakes runner-up and third most recently in the Woodbine Oaks.

Curlin’s Voyage is the early 5-2 second choice. Trained by two-time Queen’s Plate winner Josie Carroll, the chestnut daughter of Curlin will try to become the fourth filly to win the Canadian classic in the last seven years. Curlin’s Voyage exits a 1 3/4-length tally in the Woodbine Oaks, her third stakes win in the last four outings, and registered the top last-out Brisnet Speed rating (92) in the field. Patrick Husbands rides.

Plate Trial runner-up Halo Again, a two-time Canadian-bred stakes winner for Steve Asmussen, comes next on the morning line at 5-1, and Luis Contreras will be up on the Speightstown colt. Other runners include Plate Trial third-placer Dotted Line; and Tecumseh’s War and Mighty Heart, second and third respectively in a recent Woodbine allowance.

One race prior to the Queen’s Plate, Cambier Parc will make her much-anticipated return from an 11-month layoff in the $250,000 Canadian (G2). An easy winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) and Del Mar Oaks (G1) in her last two outings, the Chad Brown trainee will open her 4-year-old season against nine challengers in the 1 1/8-mile turf affair, and the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is favored at 6-5 on the morning line. Hernandez picks up the mount.

The 13-race program also features the $250,000 Bison City S., which attracted Woodbine Oaks runner-up Afleet Katherine. The $100,000 King Corrie, a 5-furlong turf sprint for 3-year-olds, kicks off the stakes action.