Jiggs Coz stamped himself as a legitimate Queen's Plate contender in his 3-year-old debut with an authoritative score in Saturday's $151,200 Queenston Stakes for Canadian-breds at Woodbine.
Jiggs Coz, who capped off his 2-year-old campaign with a triumph in the Display Stakes on Nov. 25, rallied four-wide into the final turn and sprinted away from his rivals in the seven-furlong Queenston.
Ridden by David Clark, the son of Cozzene, fifth to Leonnatus Anteas in last year's Sovereign Award voting as Canada's top 2-year-old male, settled near the back of the eight-horse field through modest early fractions of :23.49 and :46.78 set by Catsimile.
Just off the final turn, Jiggs Coz, trained by champion Sid Attard, stormed to the front and easily fended off runner-up Markdale by 3 1/4 lengths. Dancer's Bajan, the 7-5 favorite coming off a strong second-place finish in the Woodstock Stakes, was another three-quarters of a length back in third.
The final time was 1:24.42 over the Polytrack.
"I was a little worried about the slow pace," admitted Attard, who won the 2005 Queenston with Verne's Baby. "He (Clark) had a lot of horse. He got him out and he went to make a run. He gave him a beautiful ride."
A winner in his career bow, a 2 1/4-length triumph at 6 1/2 furlongs over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on Oct. 9, Jiggs Coz could give owner-breeder Mel Lawson and Attard their first Plate wins.
"This horse has been training really well," said Attard. "David said to me that if he runs like he's been working, it should be no problem."
The Queenston is the second of five Queen's Plate preps at Woodbine. The Marine (May 19), the Plate Trial (June 3) and Victoria Park Stakes (June 10) are still left on the schedule.
Attard, who notched his meet-leading third stakes win of the campaign, could use the Plate Trial, at 1 1/8 miles, as a launching pad for the June 24 Queen's Plate.
The gray colt now has three wins from four starts, as well as a third-place finish to Leonnatus Anteas in the 2006 Coronation Futurity, run on Nov. 5.
Jiggs Coz returned $7.90, $4.60 and $3.10, combining with Markdale ($6.90, $3.90) for a $65.80 exacta. Dancer's Bajan ($2.40) rounded out a $186.10 trifecta.