Ontario-bred MESSIER, a Kentucky Derby contender on the first Saturday in May, is also Canadian Thoroughbred‘s early favourite for the 163rd Queen’s Plate, August 21, 2022.

The fast colt by Empire Maker – Checkered Past by Smart Strike, bred by Sam-Son Farms, is getting ready for the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 9 and he worked 5 furlongs in 59.40 on March 13 at Santa Anita. A $470,000 yearling purchase, Messier is owned by a large group including Starlight Racing, Madaket Racing, SF racing, and others. He is trained by Bob Baffert and with that trainer’s current ban from Churchill Downs, Messier is unable to garner any Derby points. He recently won the Robert Lewis Stakes (3) on February 6 by 15 lengths with a 201 Beyer Figure.

Messier has yet to try a synthetic dirt track such as the Tapeta surface at Woodbine.

The 3-year-old filly INTERSTATEDAYDREAM, bred in Ontario by the late Bill Graham, had a big win at Oaklawn Park on March 13. The Classic Empire – Babcock, by Uncle Mo came off a seven-month layoff for trainer Brad Cox and won a 1 1/16 miles allowance are by 8 1/2 lengths with an 89 Beyer Figure. The filly is owned by Flurry Racing Stables (Staton Flurry) which won the Kentucky Oaks in 2020 with Shedaresthedevil as a part owner.

Interstatedaydream, a half-sister to stakes-placed Emmeline, is nominated to the Woodbine Oaks on July 24 but is currently not nominated to the Canadian Triple Crown.

Joey Gee Thoroughbreds has sold its promising gelding HALL OF DREAMS to the partnership of Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel, Pantufo Racing (Leonard Schliefer) and Peter Deutsch. The son of Lemon Drop Kid was a closing second in his second career race last November at Woodbine with a 75 Beyer Figure. He is working at Palm Meadows for trainer Mark Casse and had a prep in company with Great Uncle on March 11 on the turf, 49.75 for four furlongs.

Chad Brown trains the impressive filly SAHLABIYA, who had a number of smart workouts in 2021 but did not race. She recently returned to the work tab at Palm Meadows for trainer Chad Brown. The Medaglia D’Oro filly from Orchard Beach by Tapit was a $1.6 million yearling purchase from breeder Anderson Farms Ontario, Inc.

Gulfstream stakes winner ELDON’S PRINCE, also bred by Graham, worked four furlongs on March 13 at his home track for trainer Saffie Joseph.

On March 12 and 13, a number of Triple Crown nominees were in action. CAUSIN MAYHEM (Into Mischief) had a smart debut for owner/breeder Chiefswood Stables and trainer Todd Pletcher. The bay colt raced greenly but missed catching up by a neck in a 7 1/2 furlong turf race at Gulfstream Park. At Tampa Bay Downs, BC-bred MENTORING (Value Plus) missed winning a maiden allowance by a nose. The Phil Hall owned and trained gelding was racing at 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt.

GOD OF LOVE, the expected Champion Two-Year-Old Colt of 2021 at the April 14 Sovereign Awards, worked at Casse Training Centre on March 12, speeding four furlongs in 47.40. He is expected to compete in the Jack Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park.

Top Contenders below:

Canadian Thoroughbred’s Top 15 Plate Contenders

  1. Messier
  2. God of Love
  3. Eldon’s Prince
  4. Sir For Sure
  5. The Minkster
  6. Ironstone
  7. Dancin in Da ‘nile
  8. Stronger Together
  9. Moira
  10. Allegorical
  11. Causin Mayhem
  12. Lac Macaza
  13. Justin’s Way
  14. Classy Whisper
  15. Hall of Dreams


  1. Moira
  2. Interstatedaydream
  3. Souper Flashy
  4. Icy Stare Down
  5. Broken Proposal
  6. Marie MacKay
  7. Aubrieta
  8. Trizzel Trazzel
  9. Baksheesh
  10. Ya Mar