Canada's version of the Kentucky Derby will be run this Sunday at Woodbine in Ontario. The 150th running of the Queen's Plate features a favored filly and I actually think that #4 Milwaukee Appeal is the one to beat in the Plate. Stewart Elliott will have the ride, as he did for her impressive win in the Woodbine Oaks on June 7. If you are worried about the extra furlong distance from the Oaks to the Plate, I wouldn't be. She was pulling away from her female rivals impressively and ended up winning by nearly four lengths. Woodbine could potentially rekindle to the old days of Baze Meadows with #12 Shut It Down. Russell Baze made the trip north by northeast to ride this gelding. He has been off since May 22, when he ran a tough 3rd after getting boxed in. He also posted a bullet workout on June 16 over the Woodbine track. Add in the attractive 20-1 morning-line and you have a horse you can use a price pick. #7 Eye Of The Leopard is a Triple Crown-nominated horse that won the Plate Trial at Woodbine on the last day of May. The A.P. Indy product's Beyer speed figures have improved with each of his three starts and an improvement over the Trial figure could mean victory on Sunday. I wish I could ignore the clunker that #1 El Brujo tossed in the Plate Trial. He ran a dismal 9th as the betting favorite and that performance earned him a 15-1 price on the morning-line for the Plate. He had been the betting choice in his last five starts, winning three of those. If he gets back in form, he could be one to watch.
They Are Off wishes the best to They Are Off favorite, Dan Loiselle, who will be calling the Queen's Plate at Woodbine. Dan might be the best announcer in the business right now and is always a class act. We also would like to wish a Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there on Sunday and that includes my own. They Are Off will return on Tuesday next week with more from the racing scene. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!