Husbands takes the Plate
TORONTO – Barbadian jockey Patrick Husbands unveiled a brilliant ride aboard 3-1 chance Lexie Lou to capture the 155th running of the prestigious CAN$1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine here Sunday.
Going a mile and fourth for the three-year-olds, Husbands raced the three-year-old bay filly off the pace set by Asserting Bear before making his move late on the back stretch, powering to the front with a sixteenth to run, and reaching the wire by 1 1/2 lengths in a time of two minutes, 3.94 seconds.
The Queen’s Plate triumph was the second for Husbands following his maiden win with the amazing Wando in 2003 – the same year he completed the cherished Triple Crown.
For celebrated trainer Mark Casse, it was his first ever Queen’s Plate win.
Sunday’s success marked Husbands’ third stakes victory in six days following his wins last Tuesday in the CAN$155 000 Dominion Day Stakes and $115 000 Sweet Briar Too Stakes. He has now won nine added-money races this season and sits on top the money earnings with $3.38 million.
“Everybody left there (the gate) running. My filly was so relaxed. I had so much confidence in her going into this race. I begged Mark at the [post position] draw, I just want the outside,” Husbands said afterward.
“It’s an honour and a pleasure to ride for these connections and, Mark, I win the Queen’s Plate for you.”
Husbands said he had been confident coming into the race.
“I called everybody in Barbados on Saturday to say I was coming home to celebrate the Queen’s Plate,” he said.
Sunday proved an excellent day for Husbands, who narrowly missed out with favourite Deceptive in the Grade II $200 000 Dance Smartly Stakes going a mile and eighth, beaten by a nose by 3-1 chance Overheard.
He was third in the Grade III Singspiel Stakes over a mile and a half with Dynamic Sky, as Aldous Snow won by a nose.
However, Husbands found the winners’ circle in race six over 6-1/2 furlongs when he steered 3-1 chance Jack Pine to victory by 3-1/2 lengths over the three-year-old and upwards.
Husbands has ridden four Barbados Gold Cup winners at the Garrison, his first on Vardar aged 16, the most recent this year aboard the American-owned Major Marvel.
He has won the Sovereign Award for outstanding jockey in Canada seven times and been top jockey at Woodbine five times.
He earned the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award that is named for the late Cuban-born Canadian and American Hall of Fame jockey Avelino Gomez who died in 1980 of complications from injuries sustained in a racing accident. (CMC/TC)