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ELMONT, NY – Robert Cudney’s Hombre maiden-breaking effort at Belmont Park Sunday was impressive enough effort that his connections are now pointing the Ontario-bred Tourist colt to the $1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine on August 22.
The Queen’s Plate is a 1 1/4-mile synthetic route restricted to Canadian-bred 3-year-olds that serves as the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.
Hombre rallied three-wide in the far turn under Dylan Davis and drew off in the stretch to win the 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight event over Belmont Park’s yielding outer turf course by 3 3/4 lengths in his second career start.
“When they got to the pole and he started to move, I thought, ‘Don’t move too soon now,’ but he was just so smooth,” said trainer Barclay Tagg. “He wasn’t chasing after them, he just went right around the other horses. It’s a pleasure to watch that.”
Tagg indicated that Hombre, fifth on debut over this course and distance in late April, would likely race once at Saratoga later this month.
“We thought he’d run well yesterday, but you never know. He’d only had 1 race,” Tagg said. “It was pretty smooth. He was running the whole way, and when the jockey asked him for more, he went on with it.”
Though Hombre only has turf racing experience, Tagg doesn’t believe that stretching out and transitioning his form to Woodbine’s synthetic main track is of much concern.
“We can send him up there a couple days ahead of time and let him gallop on it,” Tagg said. “I don’t think he’d have any distance issues, but you don’t know until you try. He’s a nice-looking horse. He’s well-balanced, strong up front and strong behind.”
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