How to Bet the Queen's Plate Stakes
Big fields mean big payoffs, or at least that’s the way it usually works. And you won’t find a bigger field in North American this weekend than the group of sixteen horses that will face the starter for Saturday’s $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine.Held at 10 furlongs over the Tapeta track, the Queen’s Plate Stakes is essentially the Kentucky Derby for Canadian-bred racehorses, though the Queen’s Plate—first held in 1859—is actually the older race.
With sixteen entrants, the 2018 Queen’s Plate is shaping up to be a very competitive event, and even though the favorites look tough to beat on paper, the large field should ensure that they start at reasonably good prices that could trigger solid payoffs.
The two horses I like best are #7 Dixie Moon and #10 Telekinesis, and I intend to feature both prominently on my tickets. Dixie Moon, a daughter of Curlin out of Rahy mare, is bred to handle ten furlongs and is 3-for-4 over the Woodbine Tapeta track, with her lone defeat coming by a neck against the talented Miss Mo Mentum in the Selene Stakes (gr. III). Most recently, Dixie Moon parlayed a pace-tracking trip into a determined victory in the nine-furlong Woodbine Oaks, prevailing by a head over fellow Queen’s Plater starter Wonder Gadot.
As for Telekinesis, he’s bred even better than Dixie Moon for handling the conditions of the Queen’s Plate, being by Ghostzapper (sire of two previous Queen’s Plate victors) out of a mare by Street Cry. Following a productive winter/spring campaign on dirt, which included a narrow defeat behind graded stakes winner My Boy Jack in the Lexington Stakes (gr. II), Telekinesis made his Tapeta debut in the nine-furlong Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine and led from start to finish to win by 1 ¾ lengths. Trainer Mark Casse and jockey Patrick Husbands will be seeking their second Queen’s Plate win together after teaming up to prevail with the filly Lexie Lou in 2014.
#11 Wonder Gadot is the other main contender following her narrow loss in the Woodbine Oaks, and she also ran a huge race when second in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), beaten just a half-length. My only concern with Wonder Gadot is that she has a tendency to flatten out late in her races and miss out in close finishes; in fact, she’s lost her last four starts by the combined margin of less than 1 ½ lengths. That tendency to hang in the homestretch could potentially become more pronounced with the added distance of the Queen’s Plate Stakes, so for win purposes, I’ll be leaning against Wonder Gadot in the Queen’s Plate.
So let’s see if we can hit the exacta and trifecta by playing Dixie Moon and Telekinesis on top while adding a few longer shots like #2 Cooler Mike, #5 Silent Poet, #8 Alternative Route, and #14 Neepawa underneath:
$5 exacta: 7,10 with 7,10,11 ($20) $1 trifecta: 7,10 with 7,10,11 with 2,5,7,8,10,11,14 ($20) $1 trifecta: 7,10 with 2,5,7,8,10,11,14 with 7,10,11 ($20)