Path to Queen’s plate heats up in Sunday’s Queenston Stakes – Horse Racing News

The Minkster wins the Coronation Futurity at Woodbine.

The $125,000 Queenston Stakes, a key build-up on the road to this year’s Queen’s Plate (August 21), is featured on Sunday’s 10-race card at Woodbine.

The seven-stage Queenston, for the three-year-old, Canadian-born, has attracted some of the top contenders hoping for a shot at Plate glory, including the unbeaten The Minkster.

Named fourth choice 7-1 in the Queen’s Plate Winterbook, The Minkster, coached by Dan Vella for owner Sea Glass Stables LLC, will make the first start of his three-year campaign at Queenston.

“He’s matured really well over the winter and he’s training better than ever,” Vella said. “He was in Ocala with Mike Cook at the Classic Mile. He was excited about him and we’re excited to do that. to run.

​Raised in Ontario by Dr. Tan Hyka, the English Channel-Cabriole son is undefeated in two career starts, including a 6¼-length stunt on the EP Taylor Course last October.

Sent on their way to 5-1, The Minkster, under David Moran, broke through inside at the start of the 6 ½ furlong grass race contested on good ground.

​Two lengths in the lead on the stretch call, the bay colt sprinted away from his rivals down the hall to take the decisive victory in a time of 1:17.19.

The Minkster then moved up the ranks on October 30, where they faced 13 rivals in the $250,000 Coronation Futurity Stakes, an 1 1/8 mile test at the Toronto Tapeta oval.

Discarded at 13-1, The Minkster, despite trailing during the stretch, clinched a 1¼ length victory in a time of 1:52.51.

“Coronation, people want to get something out of it because of the start of the race,” Vella offered. ½ furlongs on the grass to a mile and an eighth on the main track is a pretty incredible feat.

“For me, as a trainer, for a horse to go from that distance in its first run to a mile and an eighth, to comfortably win against more seasoned horses…first of all, he showed me that distance is not a problem and secondly he showed a lot of class. Very few horses have such high cruising speed. In the Coronation Futurity he was close all the way and continued as s he was hanging around. His high cruising speed and the way he completes his jobs are very impressive. So now we’ll go from here and take on the next challenge.

​Norcliffe, in 1975, was the last horse to achieve the Futurity-Plate double.

Vella, who has two Plate trophies to his name, in 1994 with Basqueian and 2012 with Strait of Dover, will look no further than Sunday’s race with his second star.

“In horse racing, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done before. Now every race is more important than the last.

Vella’s praise for The Minkster goes beyond what he offers on the circuit.

“For an English channel, and I’ve had a few, he’s pretty calm and collected. what he does. He’s a fun horse to be around. He’s got character. He’ll come at you a bit, but he doesn’t mean it. He’s pretty playful, and there are other times – that’s is very typical of English channels – where you walk into the cabin and you know he wants to be left alone.He has a strong personality, but in general he likes people.

Other starters include multi-stakes winner Ironstone, American invader Perfect Day, Sir for Sure, runner-up in last year’s Frost King Stakes, and Rondure, coached by Katerina Vassilieva, who bested her maiden way awesome last time.

The Queenston is planned as race nine. The earliest posting time is 1:10 p.m. Fans can also watch and bet on all the action via and the Dark Horse Bets app.


Position – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Ironstone – Kazushi Kimura – Willie Armata
​2 – Sir for Sure – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
​3 – His time – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
​4 – Hidden honor – Antonio Gallardo – Tino Attard
​5 – The Minkster – David Moran – Daniel Vella
​6 – Duke of Love – Justin Stein – Josie Carroll
​7 – Roundness – Shaun Bridgmohan – Katerina Vassilieva
​8 – Perfect Day – Abner Adorno – J. Tyler Servis ​

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