Mott Set for Queen's Plate Debut With Channel Maker
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Hall of Fame trainers Roger Attfield and Bill Mott are longtime neighbors at Payson Park in Florida, where both have a substantial string each winter.

But while Attfield will be looking for a record ninth Queen's Plate win when he sends out Tiz a Slam July 2 at Woodbine, Mott will be contesting the Plate for the first time when he saddles Joey Gee Thoroughbreds, Wachtel Stable's, and Gary Barber's Channel Maker for the 158th running of the 1 1/4-mile showpiece for Canada-bred 3-year-olds.

"Obviously, it will be good just to participate in a race like that," said Mott, speaking from Saratoga Race Course, where he watched Channel Maker breeze four furlongs in :49.87 June 26 in his final tune-up for the $1 million Queen's Plate.

"I think I've seen pictures of Roger Attfield," continued Mott. "He's won more of them than anybody, hasn't he? I've seen him walk in there with his top hat and tails. Is that a requirement for saddling one in there?"

While Attfield will be appearing in his usual sartorial Queen's Plate splendour Sunday, Mott is unlikely to don a morning suit for his debut in the Queen's Plate paddock.

But Mott is definitely not there for the scenery or any fashion props. He will be looking to complete a first-out trifecta of Woodbine's three top races after winning the 1985 Canadian International with Lassigny and the inaugural Woodbine Mile with Geri in 1997. Channel Maker, an English Channel   gelding he's been training since March, comes off a runner-up effort May 28 in the 1 1/16-mile Marine Stakes (G3).  

"He ran a pretty good race up there," said Mott. "He got a good run. Even though he was quite a bit wide, he came running."

Beaten three-quarters of a length by American-bred Souper Tapit, Channel Maker was making his first start on a surface other than turf.

Rafael Hernandez, who rode Channel Maker for the first time in the Marine, will be back aboard after also having partnered Plate Trial winner Guy Caballero and the promising Aurora Way in their last starts prior to the big race. Hernadez won the Queen's Plate with Shaman Ghost in 2015, his first mount in the feature.

Attfield, meanwhile, has had his tribulations with Tiz a Slam this year. But he's bringing the colt into the Queen's Plate off a close-fourth place finish under Eurico Rosa da Silva in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial.

"It's been a question of whether I can bring him where I want him to be," said Attfield. "I'm very happy where he is right now."

Rosa da Silva, who won consecutive Plates with Eye of the Leopard in 2009 and Big Red Mike in 2010, has the call on Tiz a Slam.


 Courtesy of the Bloodhorse

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