Lucas N’ Lori Will Need ‘A Little Racing Luck’ On Queen’s Plate Day

Seventeen years ago, T J’s Lucky Moon pulled off an 82-1 Queen’s Plate shocker. Can Lucas n’ Lori deliver another longshot score in next Saturday’s $1 million Canadian classic?

It was 2002 when Molinaro Stables’ T J Lucky Moon, under Steve Bahen, lit up the toteboard in the 143rd running of the Plate. In just over a week, a one-time winner will endeavour to duplicate those very same underdog exploits.

Owned by Lori Cirillo and Kelly Waxman, Lucas n’ Lori will make his stakes debut in the 1 1/4-mile ‘Gallop for the Guineas.’

The enormity of the task isn’t lost on Kevin Attard. But the finalist for the 2018 Sovereign Award as Canada’s outstanding trainer isn’t about to concede defeat before the gates open on the 160th edition of the Plate.

“On Plate day, there are so many elements that go into the race, other than the race itself,” said Attard. “You have to be able to handle the crowd, you have to be able to handle the weather, the long post parade – those are some of the factors that can weigh in on that day for the horse. Hopefully, he’s a horse that can take that all in. You always need a little racing luck on your side, so hopefully he has it on that day.”

What’s in a name? Co-owner, 15-year-old Lori Cirillo, has the answer.

 “Kelly (co-owner, Waxman) has a son named Lucas,” Cirillo said of the wife of prominent Standardbred breeder/owner Aaron Waxman. “And I’m obviously Lori. We wanted to name it after the two kids. If we ever get the chance to own a filly, we’re going to name it Lori n’ Lucas.”

Bred by Silver Springs Stud LLC and Garry Parr, Lucas n’ Lori launched his career on September 1, 2018. He finished second in his debut, one length back of the winner. After a fourth and another runner-up effort, the chestnut broke his maiden via a 2 1/4-length triumph at 1 1/16 miles over the Woodbine main track on November 30.

Lucas n’ Lori comes into the Plate with one win and a pair of seconds from six lifetime starts.

“He’s going to be a longshot,” noted Attard. “But I don’t think the distance will be a problem, so that’s a big positive. He’s been a handy horse to have. This is going to be asking a lot of him, but on any given day, any horse can step up under the right circumstances.”

Attard is hoping that moment comes on a stakes-filled Saturday card on June 29.

“Mentally, he’s starting to come around. It’s a big jump up, but it’s a mile-and-a-quarter, and there are a lot of horses that don’t want to go that far. Hopefully, he’s one that does. I suppose you can view it as, ‘Go big or go home.’ When you have a three-year-old Canadian-bred, a lot of people are dreaming and hoping. That’s why they get into this great sport. My job is to prepare this horse the best I can and hopefully he’s good enough.”

For Cirillo, it’s a dream come true.

“I’ve gone to the Queen’s Plate for years and I just love watching it,” said the daughter of long-time horse owner Frank Cirillo. “To know that I’m going to have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at this young age is just incredible. I’m so happy about it.”

“I am very excited to have a horse in the Queen’s Plate, and from what I know, we should be a longshot, so we will be able to enjoy the day with very little pressure and take in the great event,” said Waxman. “Hopefully we can surprise some people, including ourselves!

The horse is named after my first-born son (and Frank Cirillo’s daughter Lori) who is two now and he’s very fast and surprises me a lot, so hopefully Lucas n’ Lori shares those traits on Plate day! We seem to have lots of luck when we are the underdog and some disappointments when we are favourite so I’m content with our role coming into the race.”

Kazushi Kimura, the 2018 Sovereign Award recipient as Canada’s top apprentice, gets the call for the Plate.

The native of Japan finished last season – his first Woodbine campaign – sixth in the jockey standings with 89 wins and more than $2.3 million in purse earnings.

The post Lucas N’ Lori Will Need ‘A Little Racing Luck’ On Queen’s Plate Day appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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