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Trainer Carroll says plan is for Curlin's Voyage to run in Queen's Plate


TORONTO — It appears trainer Josie Carroll will take another run at recording the Woodbine Oaks-Queen's Plate double.

Carroll said Friday the plan now is for Curlin's Voyage to run in the $1-million Queen's Plate next month. The filly served notice Aug. 15 that she's a threat to win North America's longest continuously run stakes race following an impressive victory in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks at Woodbine Racetrack.

Curlin's Voyage won the 1 1/8-mile Oaks — which was the first event of the Triple Tiara for Canadian-bred three-year-old fillies — on Woodbine’s tapeta course in 1:50.04. Earlier on that card, Clayton won the $150,000 Plate Trial, over the same distance and same surface, in 1:50.61.

Following the Oaks, Carroll wouldn't commit to having Curlin's Voyage run in the opening leg of Canada's Triple Crown on Sept. 12 at Woodbine. But on Friday, Carroll said Curlin's Voyage came out of the Oaks "very well," and the horse is being pointed toward the Queen's Plate.

"At this point, we believe she will (run in Plate)," Carroll said in a telephone interview. "Plans can always change but at this point that's where we're aiming."

Over the last 10 years, three Oaks winners have gone on to win the Plate. They were: Inglorious (2011), Lexie Lou (2014) and Holy Helena (2017).

Carroll, a 2019 inductee into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, became the first female trainer to win the Plate in '06 with Edenwold before becoming a two-time champion with Inglorious. Carroll said while Inglorious and Curlin's Voyage could potentially follow similar paths, they're very different.

"They're very different personalities, different horses," she said. "The one thing I'm really happy with is this filly came out of Oaks as well as (Inglorious) did.

"That really has helped us to solidify that our goal would be the Queen's Plate at this point. That's our current plan."

And how well Curlin's Voyage has come out of the Oaks has allowed Carroll to look ahead to the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate.

"You have to because you have to come up with a gameplan for her breezes going into that race," Carroll said. "If you're going there, you certainly have to look ahead and think of the best way to get her there in the best shape."

Should Curlin's Voyage reach the starting gate for the Plate, Carroll said jockey Patrick Husbands will be aboard. Husbands guided Curlin's Voyage to victory in the Oaks — his fourth in the race — and rode the last Canadian Triple Crown champion, Wando, in 2003.

Curlin's Voyage, a daughter of Curlin, was named Canada's 2019 champion two-year-old filly. Owned by breeder Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings Inc. and co-owner Windsor Boys Racing, Curlin's Voyage has won two of three starts this year, finished in the money in eight of nine career races (five wins, twice second, third once) and amassed $664,120 in earnings.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2020.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press