We are officially within a week of the 151st running of the Queen's Plate, and on June 28, Woodbine Racetrack hosted a barbecue to honour this year's contenders. The event kicked off at 12 pm with nine of the expected runners parading in the Woodbine paddock, with track announcer Dan Loiselle providing commentary to the media and horse connections assembled. The Sid Attard-trained Ghost Fleet was the first horse to the paddock, and was followed by the royally bred Mobilizer, D's Wando, Vicar Street, Mobthewarrior, Smart Sky, Dark Cloud Dancer, Giant's Tomb, and the filly Roan Inish. While all of the horses turned out quite well, standouts to this reporter were Mobilizer, Mobthewarrior, and Roan Inish. Dark Cloud Dancer, the most regally bred horse in the field (Storm Cat - Dancethruthedawn, by Mr. Prospector) was also nothing to frown at.
Here are some photos of the early Queen's Plate contenders. With six days remaining until the big dance, last minute additions are still possible, but the current probable field stands at 12 with the June 28 defection of Artic Fern.
Ghost Fleet with trainer Sid Attard (left)
Mobilizer, son of Motivator
Mobilizer shows some spunk
Longshot maiden Vicar Street
2-year-old stakes winner Mobthewarrior
Gorgeous and regally-bred Dark Cloud Dancer
Another Sam-Son hopeful: Giant's Tomb (by Awesome Again)
And the filly: Roan Inish
A family affair: Roan Inish with trainer Carolyn Costigan (at head) and owners Bob and Nora Costigan. The Costigan's also campaigned Roan Inish's dam, Inish Glora.