Heroine Wonder Gadot Demolishes Queen’s Plate Foes

Gary Barber’s Wonder Gadot has been knocking on the door in all six of her 2018 starts, including a hard-fought second in the Kentucky Oaks, but she finally found the winner’s circle in Saturday’s $1 million Queen’s Plate. The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro defeated a 16-horse field by a convincing five-length margin, becoming the fourth winning female in the last eight runnings of the first jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown. Ridden by John Velazquez for trainer Mark Casse, Wonder Gadot completed 1 1/4 miles over Woodbine’s Tapeta in 2:02.26.

Wonder Gadot broke sharply from the 11th spot in the gate, settling in about sixth position through the clubhouse turn. Her stablemate Telekinesis took command, setting rapid fractions of :23.12 and :46.82 while pressed by Neepawa and Cooler Mike. Dixie Moon, who defeated Wonder Gadot last out in the Woodbine Oaks, seemed to have been knocked sideways shortly after the start and was trailing the field early on.

Rouding the far turn, Velazquez saw his chance with Wonder Gadot and sent her after Telekinesis. The pace had taken its toll on him, and Wonder Gadot surged to the front a clear leader in the stretch. She crossed the wire about five lengths in front of Aheadbyacentury, with Cooler Mike battling on to hold third. Strike Me Down finished fourth.

Bred by long-time Canadian breeders Andersen Farms, Wonder Gadot was an $80,000 yearling at the Keeneland September sale. She returned to the sales ring to command $325,000 at the OBS April 2-year-old in training sale, and broke her maiden at first asking at Woodbine. The filly last entered the winner’s circle after the G3 Mazarine Stakes, but other than in the Breeders’ Cup, Wonder Gadot has never finished worse than third. Overall, her record stands at 4-4-3 from 12 starts, with earnings now over $1.3 million.

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