February 28, 2024

One Bad Boy good on lead in gate-to-wire Queen’s Plate score

One Bad Boy and jockey Flavien Prat win the Queen's Plate at Woodbine on June 29, 2019 (c) Heather Prien

Considering her success with horses on synthetic surfaces, bloodstock agent Brooke Hubbard has found the right partners in Stephen Young’s Sayjay Racing and Greg Hall as their silks are emblazoned with the recycle symbol.

The silks represent Sayjay’s recycle business while emblematic of Hubbard’s success with synthetic performers. She selected at auction last year’s Jeff Ruby Steaks winner Blended Citzen and did the same with (and co-owns) Saturday’s Queen’s Plate winner One Bad Boy.

“I do like turf horses,” Hubbard said. “Not necessarily the high-action types, but the ones who look versatile and can bring their run no matter what.”

One Bad Boy made his run throughout the 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate on Woodbine’s Tapeta surface, leading gate-to-wire under Flavian Prat in 2:02.98 to make the French jockey just the third in history to complete the Kentucky Derby—Queen’s Plate double from the 305-year combined history of the North American classic races.

“It’s been a good year with good horses,” Prat said. “My horse showed some fight today.”

One Bad Boy led every step of the way, mostly hounded by Avie’s Flatter throughout the last half of the race. He repelled that challenge easily, and it was 3 1/4 lengths back to Tone Broke, who survived an inquiry to remain the third-place finisher.

Prat credited trainer Richard Baltas removing the blinkers with One Bad Boy’s fight late. In the ridgling’s previous start, the off-the-turf-on-the-Tapeta Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate Fields, One Bad Boy made the lead but gave it up late to Visitant.

“When Avie’s Flatter came up to us I was nervous, but when our horse responded, I told everybody, ‘We got this,’” Hall said. “In the Alcatraz with the blinkers he didn’t see the eventual winner. Now we know he has fight and can go 1 1/4 miles.”

“Avie’s Flatter was the horse to beat, and we got position in front of him and just outran him,” Prat said. “We were head to head for a bit, but he never got in front.”

One Bad Boy’s connections now have to decide whether to go for the Canadian Triple Crown with a start in the Prince of Wales Stakes on dirt or remain in California for stakes at Del Mar. There is a $500,000 bonus for any three-year-old who sweeps the Queen’s Plate, Prince of Wales and Breeders’ Stakes. That final race is on turf.

Both trainer Josie Carroll and jockey Javier Castellano took nothing away from the winner while expressing pride in Avie’s Flatter clearly being second best in the 14-horse Queen’s Plate.

“I thought Avie’s Flatter ran a great race,” Carroll said. “He stalked the winner all the way, and he couldn’t get by him. I think he ran great and was just second-best today.”

Ron Clarkson bred One Bad Boy in Ontario. He’s by Twirling Candy and out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Cumulonimble. It’s a family Hubbard is familiar with as One Bad Boy’s half-sister, the Blame filly Ms Bad Behavior, is a stakes winner for the same connections.

“She has the greatest eyes for horses and finds them at a value,” Hall said of Hubbard, who went to $65,000 for One Bad Boy at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. “Ron Clarkson is a tremendous breeder. He’s given us two good ones, and we have a lot of respect for his operation.”

One Bad Boy has now won two races and has never been worse than third in five races lifetime.