Queen’s Plate pace scenario should favor late-running filly

Profile Picture: James Scully

July 3rd, 2016

Speedy types abound in Sunday’s 157th running of the Queen’s Plate. Held at 1 ¼ miles on Woodbine’s Tapeta, the first leg of Canada’s Triple Crown features 13 Ontario-bred 3-year-olds and most want to race on or close to the lead.

That includes the top two choices on the morning line, Amis Gizmo (3-1) and Shakhimat (5-1). Both possess century-topping BRIS E1 and E2 Pace ratings and must find a way to work out a favorable trip or risk getting caught in a hot and contested pace.

The pace scenario appears to benefit Gamble’s Ghost (#13), arguably the lone confirmed closer in the field. The Ghostzapper filly breaks from the far outside post but will be dropping back to save ground into the first turn with jockey Pat Husbands.

Two-time Queen’s Plate winner Josie Carroll has a pair of nice efforts over the track this year, with Gamble’s Ghost capturing the Selene (G3) before a nose second in the Woodbine Oaks, and the trainer’s filly should receive a favorable set-up after being caught behind moderate paces each time. She’s my top choice and is listed as the 6-1 fourth choice on the morning line.

I’ll also use Scholar Athlete (#12) in multi-race wagers. The Graham Motion gelding received a useful confidence builder last time, leading wire to wire in a Belmont turf allowance, and Scholar Athlete is comfortable stalking the early action. Stakes-placed on synthetics, the dark bay is eligible to keep moving forward with a strong showing from off the pace beneath Jose Ortiz.

(Click here for FREE Queen's Plate PPs, courtesy of Brisnet.)

Pick 4 tickets (10th race)

Woodbine offers a guaranteed $300,000 Late Pick 4 in Races 10-13. I will key Gamble’s Ghost and Scholar Athlete in the following .20-cent Pick 4 tickets, with a total cost of $46.20.

Ticket 1:

12,13 with 3,5 with 2,4,6,9 with 1,2,3,4,7,9 ($19.20)

Ticket 2:

12,13 with 2,4,6,9,10 with 2,4,6,9 with 3,4 ($16)

Ticket 3:

12,13 with 3,5 with 2,3,4,5,6,8,9 with 3,4 ($11.20)

Pick 3 (8th race)

The Queen’s Plate is the lone stakes in the Late Pick 4 sequence but a couple of graded turf events of interest will proceed the afternoon’s centerpiece event, the $150,000 Singspiel (G3) and $200,000 Dance Smartly (G2).

In the Singspiel (8th race), I like the top two choices on the morning line, Aldous Snow (#1) and Generous Kitten (#5). However I will employ a contrarian approach to the Dance Smartly, using Ball Dancing (#1, 12-1 morning line) and Uchenna (#8, 20-1).

Woodbine allows horseplayers to choose their comfort level with a .20-cent minimum in the Pick 3.  Here is a pair of Pick 3 wagers I will be playing in the 8th race, with the cost denoted for .20-cents/$1:

Ticket 1:

1,5 with All with 12,13 ($8.80/$44)

Ticket 2:

All with 1,8 with 12,13 ($5.60/$28)

Good luck on Queen’s Plate Day!

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