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We Miss Artie early favorite for Queen's Plate

Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The winterbook odds for this year's 155th Queen's Plate at Woodbine have been released with We Miss Artie installed as the 4-1 favorite.

The 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate will go off on Sunday, July 6.

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We Miss Artie, trained by Todd Pletcher, was bred in Ontario by Richard Lister and is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

"We won the Plate with Archers Bay (1998) and we'd love to win it again," said Pletcher. "It's a great race and always a fun event to attend."

We Miss Artie will start this Saturday in the $550,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park over the synthetic main track. The colt won the Breeders' Futurity on Keeneland's synthetic track last Oct. 5 sandwiched between a sixth in the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga and a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"Obviously it was very encouraging to have him win over the synthetic knowing that the Queen's Plate will be run over the synthetic," said Pletcher. "He seems to be a horse that handles all three surfaces pretty well, so we certainly have the Queen's Plate high on the radar screen.

"I thought he ran pretty well in the Breeders' Cup. He made a pretty strong middle move and just hung the last bit. I thought it was an encouraging effort."

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We Miss Artie, 4-1 for the Spiral Stakes as well, has two wins and two seconds in seven starts for $327,000. The colt was second on the turf in Gulfstream Park's Kitten's Joy Stakes and eighth in the Fountain of Youth Stakes.

"We're looking forward to getting him back on the synthetic in the Spiral and I think that will crystallize what our plans are moving forward," said Pletcher. "It's hard to plan 24 hours in advance in this business. Right now our immediate goal is the Spiral, so we'll see how that goes. We'll try to have a plan in place a couple month's out for the Plate."

The 6-1 second pick for the Queen's Plate is Asserting Bear, owned by Bear Stables and trained by Reade Baker. The colt, based at Woodbine, will also start in the Spiral Stakes on Saturday and is 12-1 for the 1 1/8-mile race.

Asserting Bear won Woodbine's Coronation Futurity on Nov. 17 between a third in the track's Cup & Saucer Stakes and a second in the Kingarvie Stakes. He finished fifth in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 1 for his 2014 debut.

The colt has earned $238,157 with two wins in seven starts.

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[SportsNetwork.com]

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