By Kelsey Riley
Hotep, a full brother to 2009 Queen’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard, has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite for the 2010 $1 million (Canadian funds) running of the race at Woodbine July 4.
One of three homebreds contesting the Plate for Sam-Son Farm, Hotep will break from post 11 of the 13-horse field in the 1 1/4-mile event for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.
A son of A.P. Indy out of Canadian champion Eye of the Sphynx, Hotep has banked $187,740 and three wins from eight starts. After breaking his maiden first out going 1 mile and 70 yards over the Woodbine Polytrack last October, Hotep was unplaced in his next two starts before rediscovering the winner’s circle in January at Fair Grounds in an allowance optional claimer.
Following subpar efforts in Fair Grounds’ Risen Star (gr. II) and Louisiana Derby (gr. II), Hotep returned to Woodbine to capture the Wando Stakes on May 8. The Mark Frostad-trained colt was most recently second to Exhi in the Marine Stakes at Woodbine May 29. Patrick Husbands, the pilot of Canada’s last Triple Crown winner Wando, will ride Hotep.
Should Hotep win the Plate, it would mark the second time in ten years that Sam-Son would win consecutive runnings of the Gallop for the Guineas with full siblings. It did so in 2000 and 2001 with Scatter the Gold and the filly Dancethruthedawn, who incidentally is the dam of additional Sam-Son entrant Dark Cloud Dancer. Frostad will also saddle Giant’s Tomb for Sam-Son, which is going for its fifth Queen’s Plate win.
Breaking from post nine under Jono Jones will be Mobilizer, the second choice at 7-2. Unraced as a 2-year-old, the son of Motivator has hit the board in all four lifetime starts.
After finishing third for trainer Roger Attfield in his initial outing at Keeneland in April, Mobilizer broke his maiden May 8 at Woodbine. The Stronach Stables homebred has since finished second twice, including a half-length loss last out to Big Red Mike in the Plate Trial Stakes June 13.
“I would have liked to have seen him win that race (the Plate Trial), but he ran a good race,” said Attfield. “He was really tight there inside and I think he still gets a little antagonized when that happens, and we thought maybe he hung a bit. He actually did get his head in front there, and the other horse really dug in and ran hard.”
Attfield is aiming for a record ninth Plate win. Stronach Stables is trying for its third. It won with Basqueian in 1994 and Awesome Again in 1997.
Should Roan Inish taste victory in the Plate, she would become the 34th filly to win Canadian racing’s crown jewel. Just four fillies, however, have completed the Woodbine Oaks/Queen’s Plate double, which Roan Inish will attempt following a gutsy head score in the $500,000 Oaks June 13.
Considering Roan Inish’s record, there should be little cause for concern. Conditioned by Carolyn Costigan for her father Robert Costigan, Roan Inish has won just twice from seven starts, but has come through on the most important days, namely the Oaks and the Princess Elizabeth Stakes, which she won last October. Roan Inish is the richest runner in the field with $518,329 to her credit.
Costigan is confident her filly has what it takes to run with, and beat, the boys.
“She hasn’t put a foot wrong,” she said. “She’s very happy to be in training. To ride her, she feels more comfortable and is moving much easier since the Oaks than she did going into the Oaks. That rarely happens. She’s getting geared up,” said Costigan.
A daughter of Elusive Quality --Inish Glora, by Regal Classic, Roan Inish is the 9-2 third choice. She will be ridden by Irish jockey David Moran from post 10. Also returning from the Oaks is second-place finisher Moment of Majesty. Last year’s top two Oaks finishers, Milwaukee Appeal and Tasty Temptation, finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Plate.
Plate Trial winner Big Red Mike is the fourth choice at 6-1.
The Queen’s Plate, which is North America’s oldest continually run stakes race, will celebrate its 151st renewal in 2010. This year’s running is expected to generate added attention with Queen Elizabeth II scheduled to attend the race for the first time since 1997.
The Queen’s Plate Stakes, $1,000,000 (Race 10, 5:30 p.m.), 3 year olds, 1 1/4 miles.
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer, Morning Line Odds
1. Vicar Street, T. Pizzaro, C. Day Phillips, 30-1
2. Who We Gunna Call, G. Olguin, T. Attard, 30-1
3. D's Wando, E. Wilson I. Black, 20-1
4. Dark Cloud Dancer, J. Castellano, M.R. Frostad, 15-1
5. Big Red Mike, E.R. Da Silva, N. Gonzalez, 6-1
6. Smart Sky, C. Sutherland, M.J. Doyle, 30-1
7. Ghost Fleet, R.A. Dos Ramos, S.C. Attard, 20-1
8. Giant's Tomb, M.E. Smith, M.R. Frostad, 12-1
9. Mobilizer, J.C. Jones, R.L. Attfield, 7-2
10. Roan Inish, D. Moran, C.M. Costigan, 9-2
11. Hotep, P. Husbands, M.R. Frostad, 3-1
12. Mobthewarrior, E. Ramsammy, G. de Gannes, 10-1
13. Moment of Majesty, R.C. Landry, S. Leslie, 12-1