Queen’s Plate day started out sunny but, by the time the Bossinakis tribe (my mother Lily, uncle Costa and aunt Artemis) set off for Woodbine, it looked like we might get yet another round of rain. Luckily for us, we were spared the predominant theme since my arrival in Toronto last Wednesday. Back up in the Woodbine Club dining room, we found ourselves in great company–seated nearby was Martin Schwartz (owner of Plate runner Bowman’s Causeway); the West Point team, headed by the always dapper Terry Finley (represented by Enduring Star); and the connections of Queen’splatekitten (Nicholas Brady’s Mill House), including agent Steve Young and trainer Todd Pletcher. It’s interesting to note that Mr. Pletcher, who was at Belmont Saturday to accept the trophy for Buster’s Ready’s runaway victory in the GI Mother Goose S., arrived at the Toronto oval shortly after noon before jumping back on a plane to New York not long after a fifth with the ‘Kitten’ in the feature. Oh, did I forget to mention that this is the way he spent his birthday? And that’s one of the reasons why I refer to him as ‘T-Train.’ (other than the obvious reason, of course). Sometimes I swear he is superhuman. His dedication, discipline and commitment to his clients and horses are really quite admirable.
As for our dining experience, the staff was very attentive, and accommodating, and the food was superb, with plenty of fresh seafood and a tasty dessert selection (and this coming from the daughter of an accomplished pastry chef!). As for the Bossinakis crew, we kicked off Sunday the same way we concluded Saturday–winning. The big score of the day, however, came from Costa, who hit a healthy payday of $600. That’s the great thing about horse racing, sometimes blind luck proves more lucrative than over analysis.
A couple of races prior to the Plate, we accompanied the Romeo family (of Big Red Mike fame) down to the paddock to watch their horse, Daniel Be Good, in an allowance (optional claimer). (FYI: ‘Daniel’ came home a winner in the race prior to last year’s Queen’s Plate...that’s TWO wins in front of the Queen for Terra Racing). The whole crew seemed to be in the paddock Sunday: Dom, and his sons Steve and Frank, who also had his wife Rose and son Mike in tow. (Note: If you have the chance to see Mike, you will know precisely why he is the namesake for the Queen’s Plate hero). With speed appearing to hold up well earlier in the day, ‘Daniel’ seemed to have a very good chance at 7-1, and though he ran admirably, he weakened late to be a close-up third. I must say that it was such a pleasure to get to know the Romeos. They are people of the highest class who have a tremendous passion and affection for our game. We certainly would be blessed if we had more of them in our industry.
|Christina and Lily Bossinakis in the Woodbine Paddock|
|March to the Winner's Circle|