Queen's Plate Update: Wild Years Out, Sik Works

Trainer James Bond informed Woodbine officials that 3-year-old Wild Years will pass on Sunday's Queen's Plate, apparently due to the colt's problems with the gate.

"He's been cancelled to run in the Plate," Bond said from his Saratoga Springs, N.Y. base. We had him up to the gate yesterday and I'm not happy with how he's doing. He's a real slow loader and he was sweating up real badly. He's not progressing and I think it would be suicidal to take him up there, with the crowds and everything, and try to run him in the Plate."

In another Plate development, trainer James Cheadle is attempting to secure New York based jockey Aaron Gryder to ride Asia in the CAN$1-million race. The border between the U.S. and Canada could hamper the plan, even though Gryder will be at Woodbine ride in another race.

"We're looking at Aaron Gryder, but I'm told I might need to get special paperwork filled out to make it happen," said Cheadle. "He's coming up to ride in the Nearctic and is available to ride us in the Plate. So, I'm hoping for Gryder."

According to Canadian Jockey' Guild president Irwin Driedger, there is a procedure for securing U.S. jockeys for Canadian stakes races and that there may not be sufficient time between now and the race for Cheadle to name Gryder as a rider in the Canadian classic.

"Usually it would be no problem, but it normally takes about a week to process something like this and the race is in four days," Driedger said. It's just a time problem, but we'll see what we can do," he said.

On Wednesday, Frank Passero Jr.-owned and -trained Sik worked four furlongs from the gate in :48 4/5, galloping out five-eighths of a mile in 1:01 2/5, with jockey Daniel David aboard.

"We just wanted to sharpen him up," Passero said. "It's going to be a tough race, but it was a very good move."

Recently claimed by Passero's Sunny Acres Farms for $40,000, Sik is winless in four starts. Scatter The Gold broke his maiden in his fifth start in last year's Queen's Plate.