Moira wins 163rd running of $1-million Queen’s Plate

Trainer Kevin Attard has his Stanley Cup.

Moira came on strong down the stretch to earn a record-setting triumph in the $1-million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto on Sunday — the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown. That secured Attard his first career Plate title on his sixth attempt.

The victory is the culmination of a childhood dream for Attard. And although he’s been a finalist as Canada’s champion trainer the last four years and earned Grade 1 victories at the E.P. Taylor Stakes, Woodbine Mile and Prince of Wales. Attard likened not winning the Plate to a hockey player going his entire career having never played for a Stanley Cup champion.

“There were many emotions leading up to this race,” said Attard, his shirt drenched in sweat. “It’s something I’ve obviously cherished for a long time.

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“My goal was always to try and be the best and I think this puts me into a special ground of trainers. I just feel very privileged to be associated with this horse.”

Moira served notice last month she was a definite Plate contender, winning the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks by a whopping 10 3/4-lengths. And she did so despite running without hind shoes following a pre-race incident in the paddock.

“Obviously in Horse Racing you’re hoping those horses kind of have another performance like that,” Attard said. “I think she’s an improving filly, I don’t think we’ve reached the bottom of her yet.

“She has her quirks, this wasn’t an easy one for me. She made me sweat. It’s a good thing I sweat more than she did.”

As dominant as Moira was on the track, Attard stated his horse had a form of pre-race jitters.

“I could see she was getting a little edgy just because so many people were around,” Attard said. “She knew today was a different day.

“But the beauty of it is considering everything she does and kind of goes through, she’s able to mentally stay focused and know that she has a job still to do. I think that’s what has defined her as a good horse.”

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