This week in horse racing: Canada soaks in spotlight

By Jeremy Plonk  ( 

August 16, 2022 07:46 PM

The Queen’s Plate will be held Sunday for the 163rd time, gathering the best 3-year-old thoroughbreds in Canada. The $1 million kickoff to the Triple Crown series north of the border headlines a fantastic racing card at Woodbine. The Grade 2 Canadian Stakes and Grade 2 King Edward Stakes round out a serious schedule. 

Top contenders for the Queen’s Plate include Woodbine Oaks-winning filly Moira and Grade 3 Marine Stakes winner Rondure. Plate Trial winner Sir for Sure could give Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse a third Queen’s Plate winner, following fillies Lexie Lou (2014) and Wonder Gadot (2018). 

The sophomore class also will be in focus stateside, but with a flair for the fillies. Main events Saturday at Saratoga (Grade 1 $600,000 Alabama) and Del Mar (Grade 1 $300,000 Del Mar Oaks) provide centerpieces on dirt and turf, respectively. Kentucky Oaks 1-2 finishers Secret Oath and Nest renew their rivalry at Saratoga in what, no doubt, will be America’s most watched race of the weekend. 

For those betting Woodbine on Sunday, here are the key local stakes stats over the past five years. 


Percentage of winning favorites: 40.1% 

Average win odds: 4.9-1 

Hot trainers: Robert Tiller (31-111, 28%), Stuart Simon (24-100, 24%), Mark Casse (104-626, 17%), Josie Carroll (41-235, 17%), Kevin Attard (37-219, 17%). 

Hot jockeys: Patrick Husbands (75-373, 20%), Rafael Hernandez (72-431, 17%), Luis Contreras (57-372, 15%), Justin Stein (28-190, 15%). 

What To Watch For This Week 

Remington Park in Oklahoma City opens its thoroughbred season Friday night with the $175,000 Governor’s Cup as the main event. The RP meeting runs through mid-December … Penn National will have four stakes Friday night for Pennsylvania-breds … Saturday’s $250,000 St. Louis Derby at FanDuel Racing in East St. Louis, Illinois, provides another lucrative spot for 3-year-olds in advance of next week’s prestigious Travers at Saratoga ... Laurel Park concludes its summer stand on Sunday before racing shifts to the Maryland State Fair at Timonium for a few weeks. 

Friday Weekend Firestarter 

Remington Park’s $175,000 Governor’s Cup on Friday night features a rematch of last year’s 1-2 finishers, Rated R Superstar and Plainsman. Now ages 9 and 7, respectively, they haven’t held the same kind of form into this year’s renewal. The rising player in the region is 4-year-old Flash of Mischief, runner-up in last year’s Oklahoma Derby over the track. He should be forwardly placed throughout and the win play. 

1/ST BET App Top Handicapping Tracks of the Week 

The free 1/ST BET app allows you to apply millions of data points across dozens of handicapping factors in mere seconds and immediately place your wagers. Here’s where the artificial intelligence was most dialed-in last week by win percentage: 

— Louisiana Downs: 41% 

— Canterbury Park: 41% 

— Presque Isle Downs: 40% 

— Woodbine: 39% 

— Thistledown: 38% 

Tracks with most reliable favorites last week (by win pct.) 

— Louisiana Downs: 57% 

— Monmouth: 53% 

— Belterra Park: 50% 

— Woodbine: 48% 

— Fort Erie: 47% 

— Del Mar: 47% 

Tracks that were long-shot havens last week (most winners 10-1 or higher) 

— Saratoga: 6 

— Woodbine: 6 

— Del Mar: 5 

— Charles Town: 5 

— Thistledown: 5 

America’s hot jockeys last week 

— Jorge Carreno (6-11, 55%), Assiniboia Downs 

— Tyler Conner (6-15, 40%), Penn National, Laurel 

— Joel Dominguez (10-27, 37%), Louisiana Downs, Evangeline Downs 

— Juan Hernandez (8-22, 36%), Del Mar 

— John McKee (7-20, 35%), Belterra 

America’s hot trainers last week 

— Jared Brown (5-7, 71%), Assiniboia Downs 

— Erin McClellan (5-8, 63%), Penn National, Laurel 

— Lee Thomas (6-12, 50%), Louisiana Downs, Evangeline Downs 

— Mark Glatt (5-10, 50%), Del Mar 

— Linda Rice (5-11, 45%), Saratoga, Presque Isle Downs 

Fun in the Sun Contest Every Saturday 

Handicapping Saratoga and Del Mar? Put it to extra use and make money in the process with the weekly Fun in the Sun Contest. The last five races at Saratoga and last five races at Del Mar require $10 win bets to play, and the entry fee is just $25 for weekly and season-ending cash prizes. Visit for more. 

Statistics courtesy of

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