One Bad Boy, the California invader, is the winner of the 2019 $1 million Queen’s Plate. The race is historically important because it’s the oldest continuously run race in North America, first contested in1860. And for jockey Flavian Prat, it was another big win — this time without the controversy faced in Kentucky.
This weekend’s 1 1/4 mile event at Woodbine Racetrack, near Toronto, marked the first foray for the son of Twirling Candy outside of the Golden State. His conditioner is Richard Baltas, a regular on the Southern California circuit.
His win over the synthetic Tapeta surface at Woodbine is a bravura performance with One Bad Boy securing the lead at once, then making every call a winning one. The race restricts entry to three-year-old Canadian-foaled horses.
Local favorite Avie’s Flatter, Canada’s two-year-old champion in 2018, gave One Bad Boy futile chase in second throughout. But, he never headed the winner. Just a length behind the victor at the three quarters, the Josie Carroll trainee was easily repelled by One Bad Boy.
In the end, One Bad Boy — $9.20-$4.80-$4.00 — covered 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.98 to dispatch 13 other hopefuls. Tone Broke for Steve Asmussen was a non-threatening third from the half onwards
He’s A Macho Man, Carroll’s other horse was fourth, while the filly Desert Ride, winner of the Plate Trial, the major prep for this race, finished fifth for Neil Howard
Unusual Kentucky Derby-Queen’s Plate Double
The victory, with Flavien Prat in the irons, marks the first time since 1998 that the same jockey was victorious in both the Queen’s Plate and Kentucky Derby in the same year. Prat, as Baltas, is a regular on the Southern California circuit. The official Kentucky Derby record now shows that Prat as the winning rider, thanks to a controversial disqualification. His mount, Country House, officially finished first despite crossing the finish line after Maximum Security. That horse is now 17th after the interference ruling by Kentucky stewards. The ruling remains the subject of legal action in Kentucky.
Last to secure the unusual Derby/Queen’s Plate double is Kent Desormeaux, aboard Real Quiet in the Kentucky Derby and Archers Bay in the Queen’s Plate. Bill Hartack also achieved the Derby/Plate double with the immortal Northern Dancer back in 1964. Northern Dancer, the first Canadian-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby, also won the Queen’s Plate in his final race.
Prat spoke with reporters afterwards:
“He (Avie’s Flatter) was next to me, so I knew he was the horse to beat. By the eighth-pole, I asked him (One Bad Boy) to reengage and he drove away.” Pratt added, “So from that point, I thought I was going to win.”
Canadian Triple Crown
Fort Erie hosts $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, a 1 3/16-mile natural-dirt race as the second jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown. The prestigious series concludes with the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes. It’s at Woodbine on 1 ½ miles E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has a new $500,000 bonus for a series sweep. Wando, in 2003, is the last horse to sweep the series and the seventh since its inception in 1959.
The Queen’s Plate victory improves One Bad Boy’s overall record to 2-2-1 from five starts. He now shows earnings of over $650,000. It’s believed the bonus money is likely to prompt his appearance at Fort Erie, in Eastern Ontario.
The Queen’s Plate day races produced $18,005,929 in handle. That’s up 23.11 per cent from 2018. For the complete race chart, click here.