Picture : Jockey Patrick Husbands celebrates after he had guided Paramount Prince to victory in the 164th running of the $1,000,000 King’s Plate. Paramount Prince is owned by Gary Barber and Mike Langlois and trained by Mark Casse. Photo: Michael Burns
Patrick Husbands, Gary Barber and Mark Casse each won their third Plates.
(Ryan Munger’s mount Silent Miracle was handy but faded to finish second last and might prefer a touch shorter)
By Byron King (Bloodhorse.com)
The first telephone call Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse regularly receives each Christmas morning comes from jockey and longtime friend Patrick Husbands, sometimes at an hour earlier than he would prefer.
That same strike-early spirit also carries over to the racetrack for Husbands, who provided a gift for Casse with an aggressive ride in The King’s Plate Aug. 20 at Woodbine aboard Michael Langlois and Gary Barber’s Paramount Prince . The chestnut 3-year-old Society’s Chairman gelding led from start to finish in the 1 1/4-mile race on Tapeta, outlasting stablemate Elysian Field , Casse’s other starter and a filly Barber owns with Team Valor International.
The oldest continuously run stakes race in North America, Sunday’s CA$1,004,500 contest was renamed from The Queen’s Plate to The King’s Plate this year in honor of the current British monarch. Not since 1951 has it been run as The King’s Plate owing to the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II, who died this past September.
But some things rarely change in the race, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown—specifically these connections proving to be a regular force and periodic winners. Barber and Casse won their third Plates, having previously teamed with the fillies Lexie Lou (2014) and Wonder Gadot (2018).
“It’s beautiful,” Barber said as he walked to the winner’s circle. “This is my third time, now with a gelding—first time in The King’s Plate. … Now we got a hat trick.”
Casse and Husbands also savored capturing yet another race in combination.
“I don’t know how many races we’ve won together, 1,600?” Casse said to Husbands in a post-race interview.
“I think we got 19 (hundred), Mark,” Husbands quipped.
Jockey Patrick Husbands celebrates after he and Paramount Prince win the King’s Plate at Woodbine
Embellishment or not, whatever the official tally many of them have been accomplished in the frontrunning fashion in which Paramount Prince was successful Sunday.
Benefitting from a couple of rivals breaking poorly, including favored Kalik , Paramount Prince spurted to a clear lead, and after relatively moderate fractions of :23.28, :47.41, 1:11.81, and 1:36.47, he hit the finish line a length and a half in front of Woodbine Oaks winner Elysian Field . The margin might have been more if Husbands had not spent the closing yards of the race celebrating.
Casse was equally proud of Elysian Field, who closed from eighth, saying “She’s something—she is,” and adding the 1-2 finish was “a dream come true.”
The Mike DePaulo-trained Stanley House rallied for third, a length and a half behind Elysian Field. United States invader Kalik settled for 13th in the 17-horse field.
Drain The Clock
Paramount Prince won his second consecutive stakes race Sunday after a gate-to-wire score in the Plate Trial last month by five lengths. He crossed the wire Sunday in 2:01.93, not far off Moira ‘s track-record time of 2:01.48 in winning the race last year. Paramount Prince paid $18 to win.
He improved to 3-for-6 with his triumph in The King’s Plate. Barber bought an interest in Paramount Prince after a nine-length maiden win in his debut last fall for Langlois and previous trainer Jamie Attard.
Langlois bought the Ericka Nadine Rusnak-bred Paramount Prince for the equivalent of $16,647 in 2021 from the Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consignment to the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario Division) Canadian-Bred Yearling Sale. Paramount Prince is the first stakes winner produced from eight foals out of the stakes-placed Eddington mare Platinum Queen .
After a third in the Claredon Stakes for Attard Dec. 9, Paramount Prince joined Casse’s stable and began racing for the trainer this year.
Casse was hesitant to immediately commit either of his two Plate starters to the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the CA$400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes Sept. 12 at 1 3/16 miles on dirt at Fort Erie.
Husbands did his part to encourage him. “A good horse will run on anything,” the jockey announced, keen for a follow-up mount.
Casse mentioned D. J. Stables’ Stayhonor Goodside as a horse he kept out of the Plate to await that Prince of Wales.
The historic series for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds concludes with the Oct. 1 Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine at 1 1/2 miles on turf. Wando was the last horse to sweep the series.
Woodbine reported record handle of over CA$18.1 million on Sunday.
Editor’s Note: BloodHorse’s on-track coverage of King’s Plate Weekend is partially funded with travel provided by Woodbine.