A hefty 95 Beyer Speed Figure and a battling win off a layoff in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct has moved WEYBURN to the top of Canadian Thoroughbred‘s Queen’s Plate Contenders List. The Queen’s Plate, edition 162, is set for Aug. 22.
Owned and bred by Chiefswood Stable, Weyburn came out of his nose victory in the one turn, one mile dirt race in good order according to James Jerkens speaking to NYRA media.
“He looked good and sound and it looked like he ate up pretty well,” said Jerkens, whose lone Derby starter Wicked Strong, finished fourth in 2014. “He might be a little subdued and tired, but he’ll bounce back quickly.”
Weyburn has never raced in Canada or on an all-weather surface, although his graded stakes-winning half-brother Yorkton enjoyed Woodbine’s Tapeta.
With the Plate set for later in the year, perhaps Weyburn will eventually head to his home country, although should he continue to do well in the U.S. he will likely be pointed to 3-year-old stakes south of the border.
The next and final local qualifying Derby prep is the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 3 at Aqueduct, offering 100-40-20-10 qualifying points.
Jerkens said he was still unsure as to whether or not his newly-minted stakes winner would target a two-turn debut in the nine-furlong event.
“We’ll nominate to all of the obvious races, but we don’t know what we’re doing yet,” Jerkens said.
Weyburn is not Triple Crown nominated but Jerkens said he will likely be supplemented for $6,000. Any horse not nominated to the Triple Crown can be made eligible by March 29.
Chiefswood has a nice 3-year-old filly prospect in THIRD DRAFT, a grey Curlin gal from stakes winner Original Script who was a fast-closing third in a maiden turf race at Gulfstream on March 6 for trainer Shug McGaughey.
Weyburn moves to the top of our Plate list, but GRETZKY THE GREAT remains a top contender as he prepares for the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park on March 27. The Nyquist colt ran hard in the John Battaglia Stakes around two turns on that track’s Tapeta and was third, just 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner.
Stronach Stables’ RIPTIDE ROCK faded to fifth as favourite in an allowance race at Oaklawn Park on Mar. 5 but stays in the Plate mix since his first race of the season was a good second with an 80 Beyer figure.
Coming up Mar. 11, Sam-Son Farms’ TIO MAGICO (Uncle Mo – Magic Broomstick by More Than Ready) is entered in race 8 at Gulfstream Park, a one turn, one mile dirt allowance race. Trained by Gail Cox, Tio Magico is 4 to 1 and taking on sensational debut winner Prevalence from Godolphin Stable.
Tio Magico won his maiden around 2 turns on Woodbine’s Tapeta in his second career race and then was second in the Coronation Futurity at 1 1/8 miles to Stephen after setting all the pace.
Queen’s Plate Top 15 (Woodbine Oaks contender)
1. WEYBURN – Won Grade 3 Gotham Stakes March 6, 95 Beyer Speed Figure
2. GRETZKY THE GREAT – Jeff Ruby Steaks next, Turfway Park, third in John Battaglia Stakes, Turfway Feb. 26, 83 Beyer Speed Figure
3. STEPHEN – training in Ontario
4. RIPTIDE ROCK – 5th as favourite Oaklawn allowance Mar. 5 / 2nd allowance Oaklawn Park, 80 Beyer Figure
5. TIO MAGICO – Entered Mar. 11 Gulfstream, race 8
6. SMILEY SOBOTKA – ninth Sam Davis Stakes, back on worktab Feb. 20, 48 3/5
7. HADDASSAH – training in Ontario
8. CURLIN’S CATCH – fifth Grade Davona Dale Stakes, 62 Beyer Figure
9. GIANT WATERS – training in Florida
10. MASTER SPY – 2nd workout, 35 for 3 furlongs Mar. 6 Casse Training Centre, 37 3/5
11. DREAMING OF DREW – Oaks, working at Winding Oaks (Woodbine Oaks)
12. KEEP GRINDING – training in Ontario
13. TRUFFLE KING – training in Ontario
14. CRUDEN BAY – training in Ontario
15. RED RIVER REBEL – training in Ontario