With the Queen’s Plate on the line, Sir Dudley Digges dug in and rode past favourite Amis Gizmo down the stretch to win the 157th running of the $1 million first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown Sunday at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack.
Julien Leparoux, the soon-to-be 33-year-old from Senlis, Oise, France, rode the three-year-old colt, trained by Michael J. Maker, to the half-length win over Woodbine-based jockey Luis Contreras in a field of 13 horses.
Trainer Michael Maker hinted that Sir Dudley Digges would make the trip to Fort Erie for the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, the second race in the Triple Crown, on July 26.
The third race will be back at Woodbine August 21 for the 1 ½-mile Breeders’ Stakes.
Sir Dudley Digges, who started the race with 15-1 odds and brought in $33.90 for the win, also brought Leparoux, Maker and horse owner Kenneth Ramsey their first win in the prestigious race.
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell was present to act as the Queen’s representative at the racetrack and to handover the trophy in the winner’s circle.
This year, the annual Queen’s Plate event has evolved into a full day of entertainment, fashion and horseracing fun.
The Hats and Horseshoes event prior to the race was a chance to show off one’s flair for the fanciful…
…and borrow a friend’s pretty little umbrella to keep the sun off your head.
Post race, the food and beverages continued but a triple bill concert featuring Matthew Good, The Strumbellas and headliner Hedley provided a perfect wrap-up of a full day at the racetrack.
Below, Simon Ward, lead singer of the Juno-award winning six-piece indie rock band The Strumbellas, performs.