October 2, 2023

Moira tops 11 in Queen’s Plate

Moira winning the Woodbine Oaks at Woodbine (Photo by Michael Burns)

A romping winner of the July 24 Woodbine Oaks, Moira will attempt to become the 38th filly winner in the 163-year history of Sunday’s $1 million Queen’s Plate. Eleven Canadian-bred sophomores are set for the first leg of Canada’s Triple Crown over 1 1/4 miles on Woodbine’s Tapeta track.

Late-running Moira has been established as the 5-2 morning line favorite. Trained by Kevin Attard, the Ghostzapper filly recorded a stakes win and a close second in the Mazarine (G3) from a pair of juvenile starts. Moira opened her three-year-old season with a victory in the Fury S. in mid-June, and she scored by 10 3/4 lengths over nine opponents as the even-money favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks. Rafael Hernandez retains the assignment.

Marine (G3) winner Rondure, an Ontario-bred son of Oxbow, is pegged as the 3-1 second choice. A 10-length maiden winner when returning from a six-month layoff in mid-May, the Katerini Vassilieva-trained colt followed with a head second in the Queenston S. a month later. Rondure stretched out to two turns stylishly in the 1 1/16-Marine, rolling to a 5 1/2-length decision, and Flavien Prat will replace Hernandez aboard the stalker.

Two-time Queen’s Plate winner Mark Casse will send out Sir for Sure and Hall of Dreams, the respective top two finishers in the July 24 Plate Trial S. Sir for Sure is listed at 8-1 with Declan Carroll, and 12-1 Hall of Dreams will be piloted by two-time Queen’s Plate winner Patrick Husbands.

Ironstone, third in the Marine and Queenston, appears likely to show speed from post 2 with Kazushi Kimura. Plate Trial third Causin’ Mayhem, a Belmont off-the-turf maiden winner two back, is also a candidate to show speed from his far outside post. Antonio Gallardo will be up for Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, winner of the 1998 Queen’s Plate with Archers Bay.

Duke of Love, second in the Marine and a troubled fourth in the Plate Trial, is the early 5-1 third choice for three-time Queen’s Plate winner Josie Carroll. Justin Stein will be up. Queenston victor The Minkster, sixth as the favorite in the Plate Trial, is also part of the mix for two-time Queen’s Plate winner Danny Vella. David Moran rides.