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Monday, July 8, 2013

Queen's Plate 2013: The Day in Pictures

Photo Courtesy: Mike Burns Photography Ltd.
That's Midnight Aria on the right holding off the charging favorite, Up With the Birds to win the 154th Queen's Plate at a rain-soaked Woodbine Racetrack. It was a fun day up with our neighbors to the north as I covered the big race for The Buffalo News. My advance on winning trainer Nick Gonzalez had Midnight Aria ($35.20) on top for a nice 16-1 hit.  I also wrote a piece for the  #QP2013 website on trainer Mark Casse. The Woodbine Media office did a great job promoting the race on social media and the handle showed some of those affects with a record-setting $9.7M for a Plate day.

My post race recap for The Buffalo News highlighted the upcoming second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown which will be run at beautiful Fort Erie Racetrack on Tuesday July 30 during a twilight racing card at the border oval. The home-based Gonzalez has never won the Prince of Wales and would be a feather in the cap of the two-time Plate winning trainer.

I was happy for the Tuccis, nephew Lou and his uncle Carlo who have been chasing the Plate dream for over 40 years. I caught them about a half hour before the Plate draw breakfast and they were the first owners that had shown up for the draw and seemed like kids in a candy store, so excited to be a part of the race. They certainly cashed in on Midnight Aria who they claimed at Gulfstream Park for $35,000 and have now won a $1 million race.

It'll be interesting to see who Mark Casse sends down to the Fort. In my conversations with him last week he mentioned if either of the two Oxley horses (Dynamic Sky and Spring in the Air) performed well in the Plate he would likely send them to Fort Erie. His other top colt, Uncaptured, second in the G3 Matt Winn at Churchill several weeks ago would then likely be sent to the Haskell. It should be interesting to see what he does with Dynamic Sky finishing third in the Plate.

Here are some pictures from Queen's Plate day at Woodbine:

Beautiful Woodbine Racetrack
Press Box view

Jockey Gerry Olquin

Caton Bredar interview Olquin
at the HorsePlayerNow tent
Jeremy Plonk looks on

Food Trucks Galore

Night School Tent was doing
brisk business teaching newbies the game

Woodbine facade

Hard Not to Like - Johnny V up

Irish Mission - Alex Solis up

Moment of Majesty - Joel Rosario was in the house

Solid Appeal - Jesse Campbell up

Trainer Mark Casse with
the Oxleys trailing

Boom Shakalaka

Solid Appeal captures the $200K G2 Dance Smartly

Campbell had a pretty big day

Solid Appeal - Win Photo

Bath Time - Solid Appeal 

And then this happened....

Call to the Post for QP 154

Midnight Aria - Campbell up

Third place finisher Dynamic Sky
Rosario in the irons

Spring in the Air - Gary Boulanger
had the mount

Eurico Rosa da Silva on Up With the Birds

Rainy Woodbine grandstand

First time by in the Plate with
lone speed Midnight Aria on the engine

Tucci Stables
Gonzalez fists up in background

Lou Tucci parading the winner
 past the grandstand

Campbell tossing flowers
from the Queen's Plate blanket in the air

That's a wrap from Woodbine and the Queen's Plate, hope you enjoyed the coverage.


Anonymous said...

In case you missed it Shebandowana was claimed 17 years ago by guess who?


Gene Kershner said...


Yes very was included in my advance (see link in blog):

Tucci Stables claimed Midnight Aria for just $35,000 at Gulfstream this winter after spotting him while they were looking at another filly. Coincidentally, they had owned Midnight Aria’s dam years before.

“Being superstitious like we are, we owned the mare at one time,” Carlo Tucci said. “He was just a gorgeous looking horse. We called Nick back and said we’re going to pass on the filly but we really like this horse and as soon as he saw Midnight the slip was in for him. He just came out and he was big and beautiful and very majestic looking.”

Thanks for reading!


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