Auburn Hills, a recent sharp Maiden Special winner at Fair Grounds, is among the early favorites for the June 27 $1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racecourse. The early line set by Woodbine’s Ron Gierkink and Alex Campbell of Daily Racing Form has the Palace Malice colt as the 14-1 seventh choice.
Bred in Ontario by Shannondoe Farm principals James Everatt, Janeanne Everatt, Arika Everatt-Meeuse & Tim Meeuse, Auburn Hills has shown consistently good form in his first four starts, all going two turns.
He was sent off the favorite in his debut, a 1 1/16 mile Maiden Special over the Tapeta course at Woodbine on November 3. He finished 3rd that afternoon after a troubled start.
The Josie Carroll-trainee followed that effort with a pair of seconds at Woodbine and Fair Grounds before breaking through with a wire-to-wire Maiden Special score in New Orleans on February 15.
Auburn Hills was sold by South Point Sales at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale for $225,000, making him the second highest-priced yearling colt from the first crop by Belmont Stakes/Met Mile hero Palace Malice.
Auburn Hills races in the colors of LNJ Foxwoods, Grandview Equine and Cheyenne Stables.
Another Shannondoe Farm-bred, stakes winner Keep on Truckin, is also a prominent early Queen’s Plate contender. Winner of the Clarendon Stakes in August, the colt by Shannodoe Farm’s leading sire Society’s Chairman is currently being offered as a 25-1 choice.
The $85,000 CTHS September yearling was purchased by leading trainer Catherine Day Phillips for George Phillip Ledson, Brian Ledson and Anderson Farms Ontario.
The Queen’s Plate is North America’s oldest Classic test for 3-year-olds and will be renewed for the 161st time in 2020.