BIG GUY – GUY CABALLERO is a very curious and alert, tall bay gelding. He won the Plate Trial for owners and breeder Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry. Sherri Wickett, the gelding’s groom, hails from Belleville, ON.


**(You can find out more about Sherri and all things Plate on Episode 2 of TALKIN HORSE RACING – available Friday afternoon! –

Episode 1, with tons of Plate stuff is here:




It’s fillies vs boys, Canadians vs. Americans, big stables versus smaller ones in the 158th Queen’s Plate on Sunday.

The powerful Stronach Stables owns the early favourite, the filly HOLY HELENA, who was smooth as silk in her final workout for the race earlier this week.

Luis Contreras rides the Jimmy Jerkens-trained gal who has been under the watchful eye of Mike Doyle since her Oaks win.

Helena will have to run right back to her big Oaks win, in which she ran 1 1/5 seconds faster than the Plate Trial winner Guy Caballero, the fast improving, leggy bay owned and bred by Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry.

Many of the jockeys of the 2017 Queen’s Plate. Which one will be holding the trophy Sunday afternoon? Terence Dulay photo –


Post Horse Jockey Trainer M/L Odds


1 Channel Maker Rafael Hernandez Bill Mott 4-1
2 Guy Caballero Jose Ortiz Catherine Day Phillips 10-1
3 Holy Helena Luis Contreras James Jerkens 3-1
4 Spirit of Caledon Jerome Lermyte Pat Parente 50-1
5 Inflexibility Javier Castellano Chad Brown 10-1
6 King and His Court Gary Boulanger Mark Casse 5-1
7 State of Honor Patrick Husbands Mark Casse 8-1
8 Malibu Secret Alan Garcia Malcolm Pierce 20-1
9 Megagray Jesse Campbell Mike Keogh 9-1
10 Vaughan Slade Callaghan John Mattine 50-1
11 Aurora Way Julien Leparoux Stu Simon 6-1
12 Tiz A Slam Eurico Da Silva Roger Attfield 10-1
13 Watch Me Strut David Moran Catherine Day Phillips 30-1

** (from – Post time for the Plate will be 5:36pm ET on Sunday July 2 and the race will be televised on CTV and TSN (in 4K) in Canada from 4:30 – 6:00, hosted by Brian Williams and Jim Bannon. The full card will be simulcast to many locations throughout North America, as well Australia and Europe and be broadcast on TVG in America and HPI in Canada. The Plate will be carded as race 10 and there are 5 stakes races on the undercard, all of which are run on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.

The $250,000 Highlander Stakes (G2) for older horses at 6 furlongs on turf, kicks off the stakes action as race 4 (1:39pm) and is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Turf Sprint for the first time. New to the Plate program is the $175,000 King Edward Stakes (G2) for older horses going 1 mile on the turf (race 6, 2:53pm), an early prep for the Woodbine Mile (G1). The $175,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (G2) features older fillies and mares going 1 1/4 miles on turf (race 9, 4:51pm), the $125,000 Singspiel (G3) is for older horses contesting the 1 1/2 mile lap of the course (race 8, 4:18pm), and the $100,000 Charlie Barley is an overnight stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile on turf, closing out the stakes action as race 12 at 6:54pm.


The Plate weekend begins Saturday with Hats and Horseshoes and plenty of events followed by a concert by successful Canadian band Our Lady Peace Saturday night.

Sunday, following racing, the Goo Goo Dolls play on the west side of the track in a much anticipated concert.


SHERRI WICKET grooms two horses who are in the Queen’s Plate. Paddock buddies at Catherine Day Phillips farm GUY CABALLERO (left) and WATCH ME STRUT are best friends


















HOLY HELENA’s final Plate workout






AURORA WAY – TIZ A SLAM powerful duo for Chiefswood

AURORA WAY has only raced once but what a race it was. It was a 4 length romp in a maiden race and he ran an 81 Beyer Speed Figure according to Daily racing Form. He is sleek and well bred but how will he handle 10 furlongs and some hardened 3yos on Plate day?

TIZ A SLAM is seemingly the slightly better contender for Mark and Robert Krembil’s big stable on Sunday since the big colt has had plenty of experience and is the mount of money-rider Eueirco Da Silva. Roger Attfield, of course, goes for his record- setting 9th Plate win.

here is Aurora Way’s final Plate workout:



Malibu Secret, Megagray and the maiden Vaughan will all be wearing blinkers for the first time in the Plate.

Sam-Son Farms’ Malibu Secret is well regarded although trainer Malcolm Pierce thinks the colt may be at his best on the grass.

Megagray should do well with a bit more focus to his game and Vaughan entered the Plate picture at the last minute for trainer John Mattine.



King and his Court and State of Honor are battled tested this year and both have good chances to get a Plate win. The former is the reigning champion 2yo of last year with Gary Boulanger on board while State of Honor will try to lead all the way under Patrick Husbands.



HOT BUTTON ISSUE – Queen’s Plate horses featured in new LongRun promo

Who is your favourite Queen’s Plate horse? There are 13 set to go postward on Sunday for the famous Canadian race, a race that is 8 years older than the country itself.

LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement introduces horse buttons, an idea from Julie Wright,  with a hockey theme for all the starters, available on Plate day on the 2nd floor for a minimum $2 donation each. Get your favourite horse or collect them all!














THE GRASS IS GREENER – Woodbine already growing grass for infield grass course


The track on which the great Secretariat won his final career race will revert back to a grass course by the 2019 season as Woodbine Entertainment president Jim Lawson announced the plans at the Plate breakfast on Wednesday.

The track was the standardbred track for more than a decade but with that sport staying at Mohawk Raceway (Woodbine at Mohawk Park), the decision to change that 7 furlong inner track back to grass seems to make sense: