Independence Day fit for a Queen

Independence Day is one of the great American holidays and in the racing world it delivers a full slate all over the entire continent.  July 4 carries extra significance to our friends north of the border this year as it is also Queen’s Plate day.  And what way better for a race called the Queen’s Plate to be celebrated than with the Queen herself in attendance?  That’s right, Queen Elizabeth II will be at Woodbine today and she just might plunk a few toonies on Mobilizer, who is by Motivator, a horse she owned.  The field for the Queen’s Plate, as usual, is bulky and competitive with Hotep a moderate 3-1 morning line favorite.  Mobilizer will also receive plenty of support as he exits a 2nd place finish behind Big Red Mike in the Plate Trial.  I’ll take Mobilizer, who’s adding blinkers for Roger Attfield, as a 9th Queen’s Plate would be his if this Adena Springs homebred can get the job done.  No matter where you land, the Queen’s Plate offers a golden opportunity to make serious money as a large and contentious field goes to the post.  Perhaps you’ll back either of the two fillies, Roan Inish and Moment of Majesty, as this race seems fit for a queen.

Back on the homefront, the biggest story of the day is the 2010 debut of Mine That Bird, the upset winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby.  He was originally supposed to go yesterday in an allowance race at Churchill Downs but it failed to fill and he’s instead pointed here, just to get a race in before an appearance in the Whitney at Saratoga.  What does Mine That Bird’s turf start mean to a gambler?  It means this race will be a tremendous opportunity to make money as he’s in it solely for exercise, is not a miler, and hails from a barn that is horrible with turf starters.  There is a ton of speed in this bulky 14 horse field and that really opens things up for a late runner.  I’ll take #13 WISE RIVER, who is a totally different animal on firm turf and exits a very impressive win in the Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star on Memorial Day.  He should get a nice trip behind the lead and move when ready.

At Belmont, the GI Prioress is the headliner as Franny Freud seeks her first Grade I win and her 8th victory from 11 starts.  She will be a relatively heavy favorite but might meet a stern challenge from #1 BONNIE BLUE FLAG, who won the Cinemine last out at Lone Star Park.  That was her first start on dirt and she took to it with aplomb.  Her chances will improve if the pace is exceptionally fast in here and that’s a strong possibility.

Best of luck wherever you plunk your money down today.  Happy 4th of July!

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