Page 14 - June 2008 The Game
P. 14

14 The Game, June 2008 Canada’s Thoroughbred Racing Newspaper A Closer Look at this year’s Queen’s Plate By Gary Poole
The Queen’s Plate is the one race every owner wants to win. The great majority of seasoned racing fans also covet the bragging rights that come
exception of the Canadian foaling of his  rst dam Terrigal, three generations of the colt’s family are pure American. These ancestors include leading names Seattle Slew and Raise A Native and there are crosses to Nashua and Bold Ruler. The bottom side of his pedigree is rich in quality, albeit a bit removed, as his  fth and sixth dams, the blue hen produc-
with predicting the outcome of this time honoured event. Every year Woodbine Entertainment holds
a very popular contest where both the media and members of the public vie to see who can most accurately forecast the outcome. But handicapping the Plate is no easy task. The key problem is that most, if not all, starters are trying the classic distance of ten furlongs for the  rst time. This can be very tricky, because while many runners can negotiate
ers, Miss Dogwood and Myrtlewood are the third and fourth dams respectively of the immortal Mr. Prospector. Niagara Thunder’s sire Hussonet, a champion stallion in Chile ,is by Mr. Prospector, so the colt has quite a few genes of the great sire in his hereditary history.
a mile and one eighth successfully, the added two hundred and twenty yards of a mile and one quarter race can stop many an otherwise good horse dead in his tracks. That makes forecasting in terms of past performances not totally reliable.
Not Bourbon (center) on his way to winning the Queenston Stakes May 3 at Woodbine. Michael Burns Photo - courtesy of WEG
Currently rated as the sixth selection is 2008 Fury stakes winner Shilla, the lone  lly in the top ten. She is a daughter of Marquetry, a son of Belmont winner Conquistador Cielo. Marquetry could get
A method that does work quite well is a study of pedigrees. Horses, whose relatives or ancestors have succeeded in high quality distance races or that have run well in previous editions of the Plate, can hold an advantage. Last year’s winner Mike Fox, not a likely choice on form, had a cross to Northern Dancer
in his pedigree. While Harlem Rocker is certainly a viable Plate candidate, it is likely his overall class, rather than an innate route af nity, would win the race for him.
a distance himself but is mainly known as a sire
of sprinters, including Artax who racked up some of the best Beyer numbers of recent times. The female side of this contender’s pedigree offers the promise that she can stretch out. It includes names like Round Table and Ole Bob Bowers ( sire of the legendary John Henry ). Her third dam, Bobisque, placed in the important Princess Elizabeth Stakes as did the second dam’s daughter, Malbay. Shilla has  ve signi cant points in the stamina wing of her dosage, something not a single runner in this year’s Kentucky Derby possessed.
and such distance stalwarts as Sir Ivor, Mill Reef, Lyphard and Relko in his bloodlines. Lets look at the top ten contenders as of writing time on the Queen’s Plate website to see what secrets their genealogy reveals as to the likelihood of their capturing the storied race.
Listed now as second choice is Not Bourbon, impressive winner of the Queenston Stakes. He
is by the relatively obscure Not Impossible, who unfortunately died in 2005, having fathered just three crops. He was a full brother to Perfect Soul, a grade one U.S. winner and a Sovereign Award recipient, that earned over $1.5 million. Their sire is the recent- ly retired Sadler’s Wells, one of Northern Dancer’s best sons and a source of true stayers of the highest quality. Not Bourbon has the best  rst dam of any Plate contender, Bourbon Belle, a multiple stakes winner of $1.1 million. She was a sprinter but there is suf cient stamina on the paternal side to suggest that ten furlongs is not beyond her son’s reach.
The current favorite is Harlem Rocker, who won Aqueduct’s ancient Withers Stakes on April 26. He bypassed a possible start in the Preakness to take aim at the Plate. He is from the  rst crop of Macho Uno, who won Woodbine’s important Grey Stakes on his way to a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile victory and an Eclipse award as the continent’s best two year old. He won graded stakes at three and four at nine furlongs. However, until proven, a mile and a quarter would seem a question mark for his offspring. One might look to Harlem Rocker’s distaff side for encouragement of classic distance ability, but here the picture is unclear as well. His stakes-placed dam Freedom Come is a daughter of Lit de Justice, a Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner who did win running
The third pick as of now is Giquere, run-
ner up in the open Wando Stakes. He is a son of Mutakddim, a very solid sire but one who lacks a single stamina dosage point. He will be relying on mom’s side to give him the needed run-on power. He can get that from his third dam, English Oaks winner, Mysterious. For the necessary class the colt can look to his four great grandsires, Mr. Prospector, Seattle Slew, Hail To Reason and Nijinsky. They are the three founders and a son of a founder of the four main sire branches currently in North America.
Rated number seven at the moment is Deputiformer who is notable as a Wind elds’ bred runner. That establishment, which once towered over all others in Canadian racing and breeding, is now just a tiny remnant of its former glory days. Who would have thought they might have another chance to add to their impressive list as a source
of Plate winners! Deputiformer’s connection to the past of the farm founded by E.P.Taylor is through his sire Silver Deputy. That stallion traces to Wind-  elds’ three greatest stallions, Vice Regent, Northern Dancer and Nearctic. Silver Deputy has already sired a Plate winner, 1998’s victor Archer’s Bay. The maternal side of the colt’s pedigree includes his grandsire, Dynaformer, father of Barbaro. Also among his mother’s ancestors are the full broth-
ers, His Majesty and Graustark, both signi cant route in uences. They of course give Deputiformer the Rasmussen factor of being descended from an outstanding dam ( Flower Bowl ) through separate individuals. Deputiformer hasn’t shown much in three starts to date in 2008, but was a distant third to the fantastic Big Brown in his seasonal bow.
as far as a mile and a sixteenth. The latter has the stamina in uences of El Gran Senor and Buckpasser
Original winter book favorite Cool
Gator, a starter in the 2008 Florida Derby, is now ranked fourth. He, like Harlem Rocker, is a son of Macho Uno. The female side of the colt’s pedigree is as Canadian as can be and is rich in Queen’s Plate lore. His  fth dam Britannia, sired by 1938 Plate champ Bunty Lawless, is an offspring of the mare Iribelle. The latter produced the 1953 victress Canadiana and also Victoriana, dam of the 1960 winner, the great Victoria Park. Another daughter of Victoriana is Victoria Regina,
the mother of super two year old Viceregal and Vice Regent, long time leading Canadian sire and father of 1988 Plate winner Regal Intention. Cool Gator’s third dam is a daugh- ter of New Province, the centennial winner
in 1959 and this country’s  rst of cial Triple Crown champion. There is such back strength to Cool Gator’s distaff pedigree that it can withstand the weakness of his second dam, Like a Shot, who was unplaced in four starts and earned a paltry $211.
Fifth choice is Niagara Thunder whose pedigree is U.S.A. all the way. With the
Son of KINGMAMBO NowStandinginOntario
Kingmambo - Endowment, by Private Account Introductory Stud Fee: $1,000 l.f.
Standing At:
Maple Ridge Farm
RR2 Arnprior, Ontario K7S 3G8
Contact: Ellard Bandy 613-623-4970 or Gordon C. Colbourne 905-303-9689
Eighth on the list is Palmers. He is the product of
a very classy female family. His second dam Lilly’s Moment, is a dual stakes winner of nearly $300,000. More importantly the colt has crosses to several superstar stallions of the second half of the twenti- eth century, Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Bold Ruler and Native Dancer. His own sire, Grand Slam, had  ve offspring in the prestigious book one of the Keeneland Yearling sale of 2007 and that almost automatically puts him in the upper echelon of North American stallions.
Ninth in the rankings is Kesagami. He has been very disappointing so far this season and his current status for the big race must be regarded as ques- tionable. He also carries the Coronation Futurity winner’s curse ( none have doubled up in the Plate since 1976 ). He will try to break the jinx through the power of his maternal line. In that regard he is a good  t for a mile and a quarter.
Continued next page - See Queen’s Plate
The Game JUNE 2008.indd
5/27/08 11:30:01 PM

   12   13   14   15   16