Making his first start outside of California, Sayjay Racing, Greg Hall, and Brooke Hubbard's One Bad Boy took to the synthetic Tapeta with ease and led the $1 million Queen's Plate field from gate to wire at Woodbine. The 3-year-old son of Twirling Candy, ridden by Flavien Prat for trainer RIchard Baltas, was challenged by Avie's Flatter at the head of the lane but repelled that rival and drew away to win by three lengths. Sent to post at odds of 7-2, One Bad Boy covered 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.98.
“It was awesome, very awesome,” said Greg Hall. “We were a little worried about his ability to run the mile-and-a-quarter, but you saw that… he started pulling away, so we're very excited about that.”
Breaking from post five in the 14-horse field, One Bad Boy was away cleanly and strode out to take a one-length lead under Prat. Moon Swings was up close early with Avie's Flatter moving up into a joint second through a first quarter in :24.42. Tone Broke, who broke awkwardly, kept pace with the frontrunners while three wide.
Maintaining his one-length advantage, One Bad Boy set a half-mile fraction of :49.52. Avie's Flatter moved up to put pressure on the leader approaching the far turn, a half-length behind the leader through six furlongs in 1:14.18.
Those two pulled away from the field through the turn and were head-and-head at the top of the stretch. Down on the inside, One Bad Boy refused to give way and kept on fighting back against juvenile champion Avie's Flatter. At the eighth pole, One Bad Boy pulled away and continued to extend his lead through the wire, winning by about three lengths. Avie's Flatter had to settle for second, while Tone Broke carried on to finish third. He's A Macho Man picked up the pieces late in fourth, while the filly Desert Ride finished fifth.
“He (Avie's Flatter) was next to me, so I knew he was the horse to beat,” said Prat, who was riding his second stakes winner of the day after capturing the $100,000 Charlie Barley with The Black Album.
“By the eighth-pole, I asked him to reengage and he drove away,” Pratt continued. “So from that point, I thought I was going to win.”
Prat, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby when Country House was elevated to first place, becomes the first jockey to win both the Kentucky Derby and Queen's Plate since Kent Desormeaux completed the feat in 1998 with Derby winner Real Quiet and Plate champion Archers Bay. Bill Hartack also achieved the Derby-Plate double with the immortal Northern Dancer back in 1964.
Bred in Ontario by Ron Clarkson, One Bad Boy is out of the stakes winning Stormy Atlantic mare Cumulonimble. He commanded a final bid of $65,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale, and required three starts to break his maiden at Santa Anita Park. Trying synthetic for the first time on May 19, the ridgling finished second in the listed Alcatraz stakes over a mile at Golden Gate Fields. The Queen's Plate victory improves his overall record to 2-2-1 from five starts, with earnings of over $650,000.
The $400,00 Prince of Wales Stakes, a 1 3/16-mile race over Fort Erie's dirt oval, is the next race in the tri-surface OLG Canadian Triple Crown series, which winds up with the $400,000 Breeders' Stakes at 1 ½ miles on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is sponsoring a new $500,000 bonus for a series sweep. Wando, in 2003, was the last horse to sweep the series and the seventh since its exception in 1959.
Saturday's 13-race program produced a record handle for Queen's Plate day totalling $18,005,929, up 23.11 per cent from last year's $14.6 million total. Horseplayers wagered a record $4,620,092 on the race itself, with on track handle growth by 14 per cent.
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