December 5, 2022

Danish Dynaformer aims to give Attfield record ninth Queen’s Plate

Last updated: 7/2/15 5:41 PM

Danish Dynaformer aims to give Attfield record ninth
Queen’s Plate

Plate Trial winner Danish Dynaformer rates as the 3-1 favorite on the morning line
(WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Charles Fipke’s Danish Dynaformer (Dynaformer), Stronach Stables’ Shaman
Ghost (Ghostzapper) and Bear Stables’ filly Academic (Henny Hughes) head an
ultra-competitive field of 14 for the C$1 million
Queen’s Plate, Canada’s most
famous horse race, Sunday at Woodbine.

Now in its 156th edition, the Plate is the
oldest continuously run stakes race in North America. The classic for
Canadian-foaled three-year-olds is held over 1 1/4 miles on the Polytrack.

At the Queen’s Plate breakfast on Thursday morning, the selection order for
post positions was drawn first via the traditional “pill-pull,” followed by the
choosing of post positions by the connections for each horse, a system which has
been in place for the Plate since 1998.

Danish Dynaformer, one of two (Billy’s Star [Perfect Soul] is the other) trained
by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, will try to give his conditioner a record ninth
Plate win and has been established as the lukewarm 3-1 morning line favorite. Attfield
chose post 7 with the second selection.

The Fipke homebred scored an impressive three-quarter length victory over
Conquest Curlinate (Curlin) in the June 14 Plate Trial, his third win in six career
starts. It followed a close third place finish to Plate rival Shaman
Ghost in the Marine S. (Can-G3) on May 16. Twenty-five Plate Trial winners have gone
on to win the King/Queen’s Plate since 1944, the last being Big Red Mike in

“He’s a really nice horse, no question about it,” Attfield said. “He’s got a
big turn of foot and a huge cruising speed. He’s a very versatile horse.”

Attfield is currently tied with Harry Giddings Jr. for most Plate wins.
His previous winners were Not Bourbon (for Fipke) in 2008, Regal Discovery
(1995), Peteski (1993), Alydeed (1992), Izvestia (1990), With Approval (1989),
Market Control (1987) and Norcliffe (1976). Peteski, Izvestia and
With Approval all went on to win the Canadian Triple Crown.

Danish Dynaformer will be ridden by Patrick Husbands for the first time,
since Luis Contreras, aboard for the Trial, was previously committed to Ami’s
Flatter (Flatter). Husbands has won the Plate twice, in 2003 with eventual
Triple Crown winner Wando, then last year with filly Lexie Lou (Sligo Bay). The
last jockey to win back-to-back Plates was Eurico Rosa da Silva in 2009-10, with
Eye of the Leopard and Big Red Mike, respectively.

Billy’s Star (15-1), with the aforementioned Rosa da Silva,
currently Woodbine’s leading rider aboard, finished a troubled sixth in the
Trial, yet only five lengths behind his stablemate, after breaking his maiden in
May at Woodbine over 1 1/16 miles. Also bred by Fipke but now owned by Perfect
Timber Partnership, he was a
$161,177 Canadian Select yearling purchase.

Shaman Ghost was last seen landing the Marine
(WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Stronach Stables’ homebred Shaman Ghost (7-2) hasn’t raced since his winning effort
in the 1 1/16-mile Marine, when overcoming traffic with a
powerful late stretch charge. Trained by Brian Lynch, Shaman Ghost
will be ridden by Rafael Hernandez, who has piloted the colt to three
consecutive wins, including the Marine.

“Winning form is the best form and he’s won three in a row,” said Lynch, who
didn’t have to pick a post when he drew number 14 in the selection order, and
only the rail was left. “He’s been doing everything well in those last three,
really fighting to the wire in all of them. I like the way he doesn’t give up.
He just keeps on battling. Hopefully, he brings that same great fight with him
to the Plate.”

Stronach is a two-time Plate winner (Basqueian, 1994 and Awesome Again,
1997), while Lynch just missed winning the 2008 Plate with Stronach’s filly
Ginger Brew, finishing a head behind Not Bourbon.

Bear Stables’ Academic (5-1), with Justin Stein aboard, scored a 66-1
shocker three weeks ago when wiring her rivals in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks. It
was just the second start of the year for the filly. Her 1 1/8-mile
time of 1.48.86 was a track record and almost one second faster than it took
Danish Dynaformer to win the Trial a race before. Her connections drew the first
post selection and picked post 4.

Academic, the field’s leading money winner with $293,141 after being bought
for $54,000 at the Ocala Two-Year-Olds In training Sale, will try to become the
36th filly to win the Plate since 1860, the eighth since 1956 and the seventh to
sweep both the Oaks and the Plate, joining Flaming Page (1962), La Lorgnette
(1985), Dance Smartly (1991), Dancethruthedawn (2001), Inglorious (2011) and
Lexie Lou (2014).

Stein rode Strait of Dover to victory in the 2012 Plate, while Bear Stables
and trainer Reade Baker, who will also saddle Bear At Last (Marchfield) and Breaking Lucky
(Lookin at Lucky),
finished third last year with Asserting Bear.

Breaking Lucky (20-1), owned by Gunpowder Farms, broke his maiden at
Woodbine in April, then was second and seventh in two subsequent route allowance
races. The son of 2010 Preakness (G1) winner Lookin At Lucky will be
ridden by Jim McAleney, who has twice finished second in the Plate, aboard I And
I in 2000 and Anglian Prince in 2002. Bear Stables’ Bear At Last
(30-1), a one-time winner in 11 outings to be ridden by Rico Walcott, was most recently seventh in the Plate Trial.

Academic takes on the boys after her track record-setting victory in the Woodbine Oaks
(WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Queen’s Plate winterbook favourite Ami’s Flatter (6-1), trained by
Josie Carroll for owner-breeder Ivan Dalos, disappointed as the 3-5 favorite in
the Marine, finishing seventh, five lengths behind Shaman Ghost. That
result came after a competitive run on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail, which saw
him finish second to Carpe Diem (Giant’s Causeway) in the Tampa
Bay Derby (G1) at Tampa Bay Downs and third to Materiality (Afleet Alex) in the Florida
Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park. The field’s second leading money winner
with $232,231 will be ridden by Contreras from the outside post 14.

Dalos, Carroll and Contreras teamed to finish second with Ami’s Holiday
(Harlan’s Holiday) in last year’s Plate. Carroll, though, has won two Plates — Edenwold
(2006) and Inglorious (2011) — and is the only female trainer to even win the
Plate while Contreras was aboard Inglorious for his first Plate score.

Seven-time Sovereign Award-winning trainer Mark Casse, who saddled last
year’s winner Lexie Lou, will try to win a second consecutive Plate with
Conquest Stables’ Conquest Boogaloo (Scat Daddy) and Bill and Vicki Poston’s Oakton
(Macho Uno). The
last trainer to win back-to-back Plates was Mark Frostad in 2000-2001.

Conquest Boogaloo (8-1), a $190,000 Keeneland yearling buy, finished a
closing troubled third in the Plate Trial, just two lengths behind Danish
Dynaformer. He also encountered a difficult trip
in the Marine, when eighth to Shaman Ghost. He’s won two of seven,
including last year’s Swynford S., and will be handled by Alan Garcia.
Oakton (20-1), a one-time winner in six starts, will be ridden for the
first time by Tyler Pizarro, who finished second for Casse in the 2011 Plate
aboard Hippolytus.

Chiefswood Stable’s homebred Portree (Niigon) (12-1), trained by Stuart Simon
and ridden by Gerry Olguin, finished an excellent fourth in the Plate Trial,
just 2 1/2 lengths behind winner Danish Dynaformer, after leading in
midstretch. It was just his third career start after winning his first two outings earlier this year.
He’ll try to become the eighth Plate winner since 1956 to be sired/foaled by a
Plate winner. Chiefswood won the 2004 Plate with their homebred Niigon.

Trainer Mike Keogh will send out Gus Schickedanz’s homebred Sweet Grass Creek
(20-1), a one-time winner in five
starts. Keogh and Schickedanz teamed to win the 1999 Plate with
Woodcarver, then captured the Triple Crown with Hall of Famer Wando in 2003.
Jesse Campbell, who took the 2013 Plate aboard front-running Midnight Aria, has
the mount.

Ami’s Flatter, the winter book favorite, looks to restore his reputation
(WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Tucci Stables’ Easy Indygo (Marchfield) (30-1), also purchased at the Ocala Two-Year-olds in training sale for
$60,000, has won once in seven starts. Tucci Stables’ won the 2013 Plate with
Midnight Aria, while trainer Nick Gonzalez conditioned both Midnight Aria and
2010 Plate winner Big Red Mike. Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson is the only female
rider to win the Plate in 2007 with Mike Fox.

Canyon Farms’ British Columbia homebred Ault (English Channel) (30-1) will try to become the fourth
horse since 1952 to break his maiden in the Plate, the latest to do so being
Scatter the Gold in 2000. To be ridden by David Moran for trainer Dan Vella, he has been a close second in his three
Woodbine Polytrack appearances, but out of the money in two grass attempts at
Gulfstream Park this winter.

Canyon Farms won the 2012 Plate with another homebred, Strait of Dover, also
a son of English Channel, while Vella, in addition to training Strait of Dover,
won the 1994 Plate with Basqueian. Moran finished third in the 2010
Plate aboard Oaks winner Roan Inish.

Preston Stables’ Milwaukee Mist (Milwaukee Brew) (30-1) has
campaigned at Turfway Park, Keeneland and Churchill Downs, winning one of six
starts. Trained by Pavel Matejka, Milwaukee Mist will be ridden by Gary
Boulanger, who won the 2001 Plate with Oaks winner Dancethruthedawn.

Of the 14 starters in this year’s Plate, 12 have connections (owner, trainer
and/or jockey) who have previously won the Plate. Four horses in the field –
Breaking Lucky, Milwaukee Mist, Oakton and Portree — did not start at two. Eye
of the Leopard (2009), Scatter The Gold (2000) and Awesome Again (1997) are the
latest Plate winners who did not race as two-year-olds.

The Queen’s Plate is the first leg in the Canadian Triple Crown. The second
leg is the C$500,000 Prince of Wales S., at 1 3/16 miles on
Tuesday, July 28, at Fort Erie, while the C$500,000 Breeders’ S., at 1 1/2 miles on the grass, August 16 at Woodbine, comprises the third and final
leg. There have been seven Triple Crown winners since the concept
was inaugurated in 1959, the first being New Providence in 1959, the latest
being Wando in 2003.

Since 1956, the stakes record for the Plate is 2:01 4/5, set by Izvestia in
1990, when he also won by the largest margin, 13 lengths. Strait of Dover, the
2012 winner, owns the fastest Polytrack time since 2007 of 2:01.99. The
longest-priced winner in the modern era (since 1956) is T J’s Lucky Moon ($166)
in 2002 while Maternal Pride is the highest-priced winner of all time, paying
$193.35 in 1924. Since 1956, favorites have won 22 of 59 runnings (37.2 percent).
However, Wando in 2003, and Eye of the Leopard in 2009, are the only Plate favorites to win in the last 20 editions.

Three other stakes, all of them on the grass, will be part of the Queen’s
Plate Day undercard — the C$200,000 Dance Smartly (Can-G2), at 1 1/8 miles at
3:02 p.m., the C$150,000 Singspiel (Can-G3) at 1 1/2 miles at 4:18 p.m. and the
C$200,000 Highlander (Can-G2) at six furlongs at 4:53 p.m. First race post time is

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