|Queen's Plate Day 2012 at Woodbine|
The threat of a torrential downpour couldn't stop the Party at Woodbine Racetrack today as 40,000-plus Horse Racing Fans united to celebrate North America's most prestigious and continuously-run Race, the 153rd edition of the Queen's Plate. The Day was made complete with Food Trucks, elegant Hats, a Lady Gaga Impersonator, the official Queen's Plate Cocktail - The Blue Diamond, the RCMP's dazzling Musical Ride and an appearance by Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, David Onley. Fans couldn't have asked for a more thrilling run today from eventual Victor, Strait of Dover who led the ten-furlong Match wire-to-wire with plenty left in reserve.
The three-year-old Son of English Channel and Bahrain Star together with Jockey Justin Stein, accomplished a rare feat today becoming the first-ever British Columbia-born Horse/Jockey Duo to win the Queen's Plate. If anything, British Columbia's Star has never shined brighter with Vancouver's Mario Gutierrez also having won this year's Kentucky Derby aboard a recently-retired and Japan-bound I'll Have Another.
After beginning his Career at Vancouver's Hastings Park last year in lackluster fashion, Strait of Dover was shipped over to Woodbine last Fall, quite literally transforming into another Horse altogether. He has now won four races in-a-row and today he took home 60% of the $1-million Queen's Plate Purse for Trainer Daniel J. Vella and British Columbia-based Owners, Canyon Farms. Five floors' worth of Racing Fans witnessed the Colt set a new Course Record of 2:01.99 and his Supporters were rewarded with $9.60 on a $2.00 bet. Talk about setting the record "strait"!
Following Strait of Dover in second and third were the Race's two outstanding lone Fillies Irish Mission (with Alex Solis aboard, pictured above with me) and Dixie Strike. Post-time Favourite River Rush, who won the official Prep Race for the Queen's Plate back on June 3, 2012, finished about ten lengths back in sixth spot.
31-year-old Stein who won the Queen's Plate today for the first time couldn't contain his excitement following the Score and when asked by an on-track Correspondent how he felt, he exclaimed "I can't repeat what I was thinking because it was all swear words!". As the crowd cheered for the Duo from the Grandstand, a rain-soaked Stein could only point modestly to Strait of Dover, giving him a celebratory pat.
Watch the Moment below:
The next leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes, takes place Sunday, July 15, 2012 at Fort Erie Racetrack. The third leg in the Series, the Breeders' Stakes, is set to take place Sunday, August 5, 2012 at Woodbine Racetrack.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will-W.)