Can Gamble’s Ghost Defeat Males in Queen’s Plate?
Can Gamble’s Ghost Defeat Males in Queen’s Plate? by Reinier Macatangay: Woodbine Racetrack will run the $1 million Queen’s Plate for the 157th time on Sunday. Besides the fashion and fun that goes along with such a day, handicapping the main attraction remains important, and with a quick glance bettors will notice the skewed pace scenario on tap for the 1 1/4-mile race on Tapeta.
Ivan Dalos’ filly Gamble’s Ghost, trained by Josie Carroll and set to be ridden by Patrick Husbands, appears likely to capitalize and defeat 3-year-old Canadian-bred males.
Carroll trains fellow entrant Amis Gizmo, and she makes clear where the horses will be positioned.
“I have two horses with two different styles of running,” said Carroll. “I think Amis Gizmo will be fairly forwardly placed, and Gamble’s Ghost is a closer. Hopefully their posts will play to one or both of their strengths.”
Although Gamble’s Ghost, who starts from post 13, runs from behind, the style gave her trouble in the ungraded Woodbine Oaks when she ran into traffic problems and bumping throughout the race. She only lost by a nose.
One race before, Gamble’s Ghost competed in the Selene Stakes (GIII) at Woodbine as well, where she made a wide rally to win by more than one length. The race did not feature a fast pace, although only six horses ran.
Her only start outside of Canada came at Tampa Bay Downs in March, when she lost by two lengths while finishing sixth in the Florida Oaks (GIII) on turf.
Carroll certainly knows how to win this race. The press release notes she “is the only female trainer to win the Queen’s Plate, having accomplished that feat with the filly Inglorious in 2011 and the colt Edenwold in 2006.” While Gamble’s Ghost will require help up front, she stands a good chance of providing another win for Carroll.
As mentioned, the other horses like to show speed. One of them, the Roger Attfield-trained Shakhimat, is receiving a decent amount of attention.
Shakhimat began the year well when he won the Transylvania Stakes (GIII) at Keeneland under regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson. He then faded to ninth in the American Turf (GII) at Churchill Downs, before running second in the Plate Trial. He showed speed in all of those races, but Attfield believes there is versatility in there.
“We know he loves to be on the lead, but we’ve been training him to come from off the pace,” said Attfield. “It’s going to be up to Emma, really. If there’s two or three that want to go out there and really ding along I think he can sit off them. And if it doesn’t happen that way he can go to the lead.”
The middle sixth post position will allow some options for the son of Australian-bred Lonhro.
In post four, pedigree nerds will be interested in Leavem in Malibu, a full brother to the ill-fated Danzig Moon. With Mark Casse as the conditioner for owner Gary Barber, bettors will be getting a familiar name or two, and he can rate a little bit. But, as with most of these horses, Leavem in Malibu will not be too far back.
“I think he’s got enough speed that he can be forwardly placed; I’d rather not be real far back,” Casse said.
On a final note, give Esposito a look from post position 11. He won his local debut in an optional claimer by just over three lengths, which is an impressive margin for a synthetic race. One race before, he lost by less than a length in the ungraded, but strong Springboard Mile against Discreetness and Suddenbreakingnews.
Synthetic races tend to require practice for those unfamiliar, although just a few years ago, support for this type of surface spread all over North America. Watch how the earlier races unfold, but know in most cases, closers like Gamble’s Ghost hold the upper hand. If she wins, it will only add to the rising female power in racing.
Queen’s Plate 2016 Post Positions & Odds
Race 10 5:36p.m. ET
1 Mike 30-1 Moran/LeBlanc, Jr.
2 Narrow Escape 30-1 Ryan/Nixon
3 All On Red 12-1 Da Silva/Attard
4 Leavem in Malibu 7-2 Boulanger/Casse
5 Sir Dudley Digges 15-1 Leparoux/Maker
6 Shakhimat 5-1 Wilson/Attfield
7 My Name Is Jim 30-1 Campbell/Baker
8 Rocket Plan 30-1 Husbands/LeBlanc, Jr.
9 Cheburashka 30-1 Hernandez/Tiller
10 Amis Gizmo 3-1 Contreras/Carroll
11 Esposito 8-1 Garcia/Proctor
12 Scholar Athlete 12-1 Ortiz/Motion
13 Gamble’s Ghost 6-1 Husbands/Carroll