Woodbine hosts the Queen's Plate on Sunday as part of a deep card of races
A big day of racing at Woodbine is headlined by the wide open Grade I Queen's Plate. We take a look at that race and think the best way to bet it is to find some value away from the favorites. Neil Monnery also posts his full slate of selections for the day of racing up in Canada...
A switch in stable and surface can totally reinvent a horse. I’m not saying that Harlan Estate (#2) is in the class of a Knicks Go but we saw how that horse completely changed once under the tutelage of Brad Cox.
This son of Kantharos made the move from California to Kevin Attard’s yard in the spring and from disappointing runs on turf, he’s suddenly become a more than interesting three-year-old on the Woodbine Tapeta. He won last time out beating Dance Some Mo (#10) with both being genuine live long shots if the Morning Line Odds fairly reflect the action in the pools. Switching trainer and surface can totally reinvent a horse as I said and if you want to roll with a big price who has real hopes of winning this race - at 12-1 - Harlan Estate is a play.
As for the aforemetioned Dance Some Mo, you have to like his breeding being the son of Uncle Mo who has sired eight Grade I winners to this point. He's been switched back to the Tapeta following a spell on the turf and has showed promise on all three surfaces having debuted on the dirt. Graham Motion is a top trainer and these Morning Line odds are long. I live for a bit of value when I don't see a clear separation in the field so this gelding is very much on my radar.
Woodbine Oaks winner Munnyfor Ro (#6) is one of three stablemates of Harlan Estate who are set to win this race but this filly is the most well-known. Victory in that race is often an indicator of Queen’s Plate potential. Four times in the past 13 years the winner of the Oaks has come back to claim victory in the Queen’s Plate. I’m tepid on her chances and as this is a wide open race I’m looking to go deep into the pool looking for some value rather than take a short price at the top of the card.
This is also why I’m ignoring Keep Grinding (#8) despite the fact he’s the favorite on the Morning Line. No real knock on this three-year-old son of Tizway but when the betting choice has one win in five races at Woodbine, something is up. Since breaking his Maiden last year, he’s been beaten twice in two starts against similar competition to who he’ll face on Sunday. No doubt he can win but at 4-1 I’m by-passing him.
Last three-year-old I’m going to mention is Tidal Forces (#12) who laid an egg last time out, finishing fifth in the Grade III Marine Stakes at Woodbine. Before that though he looked the part and Malibu Moon was a wonderful sire. Could he have another of his offspring win a Grade I race? I wouldn’t rule it out.
I’m looking at three live long shots as I look for value and I’m playing singles and exotics on Harlan Estate, Dance Some Mo and Tidal Forces. When there are no obvious stars in the field then I like to shy away from the shorter prices looking to get a nice price on a winner.