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TORONTO, ON – The $150,000 Marine Stakes (G3) and the $125,000 Queenston Stakes share the spotlight this Sunday at Woodbine as the trail for the $1 million Queen’s Plate heats up.
A key prep on the road to this year’s Queen’s Plate (August 22), the 1 1/16-mile main track Marine (for 3-year-olds) attracted some notable Canadian-breds hoping for a shot at Plate glory.
The Marine is complemented by the Queenston, a 7-furlong race over the Tapeta for Canadian-bred 3-year-old colts & geldings, also an important race ahead of the Plate.
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Kevin Attard, in search of his first Marine crown, will send out Haddassah, a bay son of Air Force Blue, who will be making his first stakes appearance.
Bred and owned by Al and Bill Ulwelling, Haddassah is listed as the 8/1 fourth choice in the Queen’s Plate Winterbook.
The bay gelding’s first career start came last November at Woodbine, in a 1-mile and 70-yard main track race that had originally been scheduled for the turf.
Second at the stretch call, Haddassah rallied to secure a 1/2-length win as the 9/5 mutuel choice.
After a series of steady spring works, the Ontario-bred finished a solid third in his 3-year-old debut on June 13, a 1 1/16-mile test over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
“With Haddassah, we had to run him against older horses,” noted Attard. “The scheduling with everything doesn’t leave much time or room for error. We had to get him going and it was against older horses, and on the turf. It wasn’t ideal, but all things considered, I thought he ran a good race. He’s come back and worked really well in the interim. We’re excited to see him run against his own age group, going a mile and a sixteenth. We’re looking forward to it.”
Attard won’t make any Queen’s Plate plans quite yet.
“He’s a horse that has a lot of raw talent, but I don’t know if a mile and quarter is going to be in his realm. He has a lot of ability and talent. He enjoys what he does, so hopefully, everything comes together for him.”
Candy Overload, Easy Time, Frosted Over, Keep Grinding (trained by Attard’s father, Tino, and owned by Attard’s son, Joshua), and Tidal Forces comprise the rest of the Marine field.
Sam-Son Farm has the most Marine wins (6) for owners, while Sandy Hawley holds the riding record with 5 Marine crowns. The most recent horse to notch the Marine-Plate double was Shaman Ghost, who achieved the feat in 2015.
Attard will be represented in the Queenston – a race that features several Plate hopefuls – in the form of Red River Rebel.
Tabbed at 25/1 in the Queen’s Plate Winterbook, the son of Reload has already experienced stakes success having taken last year’s running of the Frost King.
Red River Rebel finished fourth in his first start of 2021, a 6 1/2-furlong test on the Tapeta.
“I’ve only had him for about 3 weeks,” said Attard. “He’s settled in well and obviously, he’s an exciting horse to have. We’re going to give him a shot here. He’s had a race under his belt and we have him good and tight. We gave him a little blowout this morning (Wednesday) and he went a nice and easy 1/2-mile with Rafael Hernandez, who will be riding him on Sunday. I’m excited to see him run. He’s a very impressive-looking individual. Hopefully, he runs a big race.”
Artie’s Storm, Candy Overload (cross-entered), first-time winner Del Griffith, Download, Gretzky the Great (Canada’s champion 2-year-old male), Master Spy (winner of the 2020 Cup & Saucer Stakes), and stakes-placed Tio Magico complete the Queenston field.
Last year, Halo Again, under Rafael Hernandez, won the Queenston in a time of 1:23.63.
The Marine is race 7 on Sunday’s 11-race card. The Queenston is race 8. First post time is 1:20 PM.
Red River Rebel Breaks Maiden in Frost King
POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER
1 – Tidal Forces – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Gail Cox
2 – Frosted Over – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
3 – Easy Time – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
*4 – Candy Overload – Daisuke Fukumoto – Krista Cole-Simpson
5 – Haddassah – Keveh Nicholls – Kevin Attard
6 – Keep Grinding – Justin Stein – Tino Attard
* cross-entered in Queenston
1 – Candy Overload – Daisuke Fukumoto – Krista Cole-Simpson
2 – Red River Rebel – Rafael Hernandez – Kevin Attard
3 – Artie’s Storm – David Moran – Paul Buttigieg
4 – Master Spy – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
5 – Del Griffith (S) – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Timothy Hamm
6 – Gretzky the Great – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
7 – Download (S) – Justin Stein – Michael De Paulo
8 – Tio Magico – Luis Contreras – Gail Cox
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