Video: Queen's Plate S. (BT)
The 3-year-old Ghostzapper filly trained by Jimmy Jerkens became the 36th filly to win the race and the third since 2011 to complete the Woodbine Oaks-Queen's Plate double following her one-length score in the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser June 11.
In the 1 1/4-mile race Sunday, Holy Helena raced inside with a stalking trip in fourth entering the first turn, then dropped back to fifth in the backstretch, but advanced to third and into striking position in the final bend.
As the field exited the turn, the filly surged to the front on the outside and pulled clear. A closing bid from Tiz a Slam got the Tiznow colt second-place honors but never seriously challenged the winner.
State of Honor was the pacesetter, with Megagray not far off on the outside, through fractions of :24.17, :48.67, and 1:13.23 for six furlongs, but Holy Helena—who went off as the 2-1 favorite—burst by and finished off the 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.87, 3 1/2 lengths clear.
"I got a dream trip, really," said winning jockey Luis Contreras. "She broke nice—really good—and it gave me a lot of time to see the horses outside of me and what they were trying to do. But she was so nice and relaxed behind those horses. At the three-eighths (pole) I took a look back to see, where is everybody?"
"I've always said, a very good horse will win, provided they (don't have) bad luck, and a good horse will win with good luck," Stronach said. "But I think she is a very good horse."
When asked if he was considering a run in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown—the July 25 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Race Track—Stronach said, "I don't think so."
Out of the Holy Bull mare Holy Grace, Holy Helena now has three wins from four starts. Prior to the Woodbine Oaks, she won a 1 1/16-mile maiden race on dirt at Belmont Park May 12 by three-quarters of a length. In her debut April 15, she ran second going 6 1/2 furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Inflexibility closed from eighth to finish third in the Queen's Plate Sunday, and was followed by Channel Maker, Megagray, Spirit of Caledon, King and His Court, State of Honor, Aurora Way, Guy Caballero, Malibu Secret, Watch Me Strut, and Vaughan, to complete the order of finish.