Up With the Birds, filly Nipissing and Dynamic Sky are the top three choices for Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine. This will be the 154th running of the 1 1/4-mile stakes, Canada's most prestigious horse race.
Sam-Son Farms' Up With the Birds is the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the first leg of Canada's Triple Crown. Trained by Malcolm Pierce, Up With the Birds will start from post 7 with Eurico Rosa da Silva riding.
"My horse is a very relaxed horse," said Rosa da Silva. "I'll just try to position him where he's happy. I don't worry about the pace. It's a mile and a quarter. I just hope he runs a good race. He kicks very strong. He's a very nice horse."
Up With the Birds won the Marine Stakes at Woodbine on May 26. As a 2-year- old, Up With the Birds won Woodbine's Coronation Stakes and comes into Sunday with $370,641 in six career starts and four wins.
Up With the Birds will be joined in the Queen's Plate by stablemate His Race to Win who will be ridden by John Velazquez from post 11 and is 10-1 in the program.
Sam-Son Farms is a five-time winner of the Queen's Plate having won most recently in 2009 with Eye of the Leopard.
Woodbine Oaks winner Nipissing is the 7-2 second choice. The filly, trained by Rachel Halden, will be ridden by Steve Bahen and break from post 9.
"The trip will probably be the same as the Oaks," said Bahen. "Sit within four or five lengths (of the leaders), get a clean trip and hopefully it (a win) will happen again. It (the mile and one-quarter distance) will help her even more."
Nipissing, owned by Chiefswood Stable, has earned $634,430 with five wins in seven career starts. She registered stakes wins last year in the Princess Elizabeth and South Ocean Stakes. This season she finished sixth to Emollient in Keeneland's Ashland Stakes and was second to Coffee Clique in the Selene at Woodbine.
Plate Trial winner Dynamic Sky is the 4-1 third pick and one of four starters from trainer Mark Casse. Dynamic Sky will be ridden by Joel Rosario from post 2.
Owned by John Oxley, Dynamic Sky won the Pasco Stakes and was second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes early this year at Tampa Bay Downs. The colt was fourth in the Tampa Bay Derby and ninth in the Blue Grass Stakes.
He returned to Woodbine with a third in the Queenston Stakes before claiming the Plate Trial. Dynamic Sky has won three of 10 lifetime starts for $411,886.
The other Mark Casse-trained horses in the race are Jagger M, Spring in the Air and Kaigun.
Here is the full field for the Queen's Plate in post position order: Midnight Aria, 15-1, Jesse Campbell; Dynamic Sky, 4-1, Joel Rosario; Jagger M, 20-1, Shaun Bridgmohan; Spring in the Air, 10-1, Gary Boulanger; County Lineman, 30-1, Alex Solis; Kaigun, 20-1, Justin Stein; Up With the Birds, 2-1, Eurico Rosa da Silva; Rackman, 50-1, Jim McAleney; Nipissing, 7-2, Steve Bahen; Pyrite Mountain, 6-1, Luis Contreras; His Race to Win, 10-1, John Velazquez and River Seven, 20-1, Todd Kabel.
Post-time is approximately 5:38 p.m. (ET).