Sunday, May 31, 2009
Three Weeks to Plate Day!
Having the best horse a week before Plate Day didn’t mean a single thing — it came right down to the day itself...
I'm quoting myself above, a line I wrote for a story about a horse on that long road to the Queen's Plate. Today, we're three weeks – twenty-one days – from the 150th running of the longest continually run sporting event in North America: the 'Gallop for the Guineas' ...or, fifty gold sovereigns, and about a million dollars, these days. The Plate Trial was run today at Woodbine, as well as a maiden race with a few Plate hopefuls. It's not unheard of for a maiden to win the Plate, hence my recall of those words above. The horse that yesterday might have been the favourite most likely will not be, come Plate Day. And everyone knows the favourite doesn't always win!
The Trial was won by a gorgeous horse with an equally beautiful pedigree: Eye of the Leopard, owned by Sam-Son Farms. He caught second choice Southdale for the win, while favourite El Brujo disappointed to be ninth in a ten-horse field.
In that maiden race, we cheered on another Plate prospect, who ran out of room and missed his first victory by a whisker. Will he be among the starters in the big race on June 21? He could have used that extra eighth of a mile today!
Tomorrow, I begin my third Thirty Horses, Thirty Days, and part of my motivation for getting to the track today was to take photos so I can paint the Plate hopefuls leading up to the race. We'll see if I cover all the bases, or if someone else altogether comes through in the end!