We Miss Artie Tops Queen's Plate Winterbook
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 3/20/2014 2:15:20 PM
Last Updated: 3/21/2014 9:12:07 AM
We Miss Artie, currently on the Triple Crown trail for trainer Todd Pletcher, was installed the 4-1 favorite Winterbook favorite for the 155th edition of the Queen's Plate, it was announced March 20.
The 2014 Queen's Plate is set for July 6 at Woodbine, to be contested at 1 1/4 miles on Polytrack. Last year, Midnight Aria led gate to wire to defeat Up With the Birds to take the winner's share of the $1 million purse for owners Tucci Stables, trainer Nick Gonzalez, and jockey Jesse Campbell.
The hypothetical Winterbook offers early odds on all 125 3-year-olds (111 colts, geldings, and ridglings, as well as 14 fillies) nominated to the 2014 Canadian Triple Crown.
Grade I winner We Miss Artie, a son of Artie Schiller —Athena's Gift, was bred in Ontario by Richard Lister. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the dark bay colt was purchased for $90,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He is entered in the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III) March 22 at Turfway Park.
Pletcher has sent out eight previous Queen's Plate starters, winning in 1998 with Archers Bay.
A win in the Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) on the Keeneland synthetic, at odds of 9-1, put We Miss Artie into the Queen's Plate picture last fall.
"Obviously it was very encouraging to have him win over the synthetic knowing that the Queen's Plate will be run over the synthetic," said Pletcher. "He seems to be a horse that handles all three surfaces pretty well, so we certainly have the Queen's Plate high on the radar screen."
We Miss Artie made the first two starts of his sophomore campaign at Gulfstream Park, finishing a solid second Jan. 19 in the grassy Kitten's Joy Stakes. Last time out, We Miss Artie failed to fire in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), finishing eighth.
In Saturday's Spiral, We Miss Artie will tackle fellow Queen's Plate hopeful Asserting Bear.
Bred in Ontario by John Carey, Asserting Bear, the Coronation Futurity winner is the co-second choice at 6-1 in the Winterbook with a record of two wins, a second and a third from seven career starts.
Trained by Reade Baker for Bear Stables, Asserting Bear broke his maiden on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course but proved his mettle with a driving score in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity under veteran rider Jim McAleney.
Asserting Bear finished fifth in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs in his seasonal debut Feb. 1.
Aragorn Ami, Ivan Dalos' homebred daughter of Aragorn—Galloping Ami, is undefeated in two starts for trainer Josie Carroll and is also 6-1 in the Winterbook.
The talented bay broke her maiden at first asking Dec. 15 sprinting over the Woodbine Poly and confirmed her talent Feb. 1 at Oaklawn Park with a determined stretch run to win the Martha Washington Stakes.
Aragorn Ami is currently taking some time off after coming out of the Martha Washington "a little jarred up," Carroll said.
Carroll became the first female trainer to win the Queen's Plate in 2006 when Edenwold captured the Canadian classic. She added a second Plate trophy to her resume in 2011 when the filly Inglorious beat the boys in a thrilling stretch run.
Coltimus Prime, trained by Justin Nixon for Cabernet Racing, and John Oxley's Matador, trained by Woodbine's perennial leading conditioner Mark Casse, are co-third choice at odds of 8-1.
Ami's Holiday (10-1), filly Paladin Bay (10-1), Spadina Road (12-1), Speightsong (12-1), and Heart to Heart (15-1) round out the top 10.
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