Queen’s Plate Day Takeaways

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July 4th, 2017

HOLY HELENA is for real. Stronach Stables’ Holy Helena was a clear favorite for Sunday’s $1 million Queen’s Plate S. and delivered with authority. The Jimmy Jerkens trainee was alert early on, moved to the fore with ease turning for home and proved tons the best in tour-de-force fashion to give her conditioner a first tally in this storied event.

The filly, who was coming off a fine tally in the Woodbine Oaks, is reportedly not planning on going for a Canadian Triple Crown heist and is considered unlikely for the July 25 Prince of Wales S. at Fort Erie at this posting. Here is hoping that Holy Helena’s morning activity helps change the minds of her owner, as this filly is so exciting.

GREEN MASK is as good of a turf sprinter as there is in North America. The Kevin Attard trainee rolled home a commanding two-length winner of the Highlander S. (Can-G2) in yet another impressive performance Sunday. Dark bay gelding has won on Kentucky Derby Day and Queen’s Plate Day this year, and has knocked on the door in the past pair of editions of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), finishing third and fifth the past two years.

Son of Mizzen Mast has never been better in my opinion and let’s hope Green Mask carries his fine form to the fall at Del Mar. He made some nice horses look ordinary in the Highlander.

It’s time to reassess the abilities of the Bill Mott-trained SUFFUSED. Five-year-old by Champs Elysees had a fine 2016 campaign, concluding with a huge nose second in Woodbine’s E. P. Taylor S. (Can-G1) against a fine field, and she picked up where she left off with two sharp graded wins at Gulfstream Park to start this season.

But following a nice runner-up performance at Belmont in the Sheepshead Bay (G2) over a yielding course, Suffused has thrown in a pair of head-scratching clunkers. Juddmonte homebred offered little in the lane in the Dance Smartly (Can-G2) Sunday after getting what appeared to be a dream voyage to the top of the lane and the field did not come up especially deep, either. I will need to see her rebound in a big way.

Trainer Roger Attfield is a genius. The eight-time Plate winner had TIZ A SLAM prepped to perfection and the son of Tiznow simply ran into a really good one who endured a perfect trip on the day. Hall-of-Fame conditioner in both Canada and the United States can never be taken for granted and is an expert at getting a runner up to a race.

John Mucciolo handicaps Woodbine for the Daily Selections