where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-08-17 08:31:58  

Seventeen sophomores, including Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser winner Elysian Field, and Plate Trial victor Paramount Prince, both trained by dual hall of famer Mark Casse, will contest the $1 million King’s Plate, first leg of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, highlighting an outstanding stakes-filled Sunday card of racing at Woodbine.

The 164th edition of King’s Plate, North America’s oldest continually run race, contested at 1 ¼ miles on the Woodbine Tapeta, is the first event in the tri-surface series for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Wando, bred and owned by the late Gustav Schickedanz, was the last horse to accomplish the feat, in 2003, while becoming the seventh to record the unique triple. The $400,000 Prince of Wales, run at 1 3/16 miles on the dirt at Fort Erie on September 12, is the second leg. The $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes, at 1 ½ miles over the world-renowned E.P. Taylor Turf Course at Woodbine on October 1, concludes the series.

It is also the first time since 1951 that the race will be run as The King’s Plate, in keeping with the tradition of naming the race after the ruling British monarch.

The King’s Plate breakfast festivities, including the post-position draw, was co-hosted by Woodbine TV personality/commentator/handicapper Jeff Bratt and Woodbine track announcer Robert Geller, and held at Woodbine’s Trackside Clubhouse. The event was attended by many of the race’s connections, and included remarks from Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment.

This year’s edition of The King’s Plate highlights a mix of established stars, and intriguing longshots, talented fillies, colts, and geldings, along with high-profile owners, trainers, and jockeys. The fillies, Elysian Field and Wickenheiser, will each carry 121 pounds, while all other starters carry 126 pounds.

South African Ryan Munger will also take his place in the race onboard Silent Miracle. 

Bred and owned by RCC Racing Stable, Silent Miracle, 3-0-1 from five races, will test out the stakes ranks for the first time in the Plate. Trained by John Mattine, the son of Silent Name (JPN)-Broken Meadow notched consecutive wins starting last December (in his 2-year-old finale) over 6 ½ furlongs on the Tapeta, before a victory at seven panels on the same surface in his 3-year-old debut this May.

“I think he’ll get the distance,” said Mattine. “I asked (jockey) Ryan Munger after his last race if he had anything left in the tank and he said yes.”


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