Trainer Frostad works pair for Sunday’s Queen’s Plate

Trainer Mark Frostad, who has won the Queen’s Plate on four occasions, worked his two hopefuls for this year’s ‘Gallop for the Guineas’ Saturday morning at Woodbine.

Pyrite Mountain, winner of the Wando and Kingarvie Stakes, and stablemate County Lineman breezed six furlongs in tandem over the Polytrack in 1:12.20.

“We wanted to go three-quarters today,” said Frostad. “They galloped out very well in (1):26 (for seven furlongs) and a mile in 1:40. It was a very good work.”

Luis Contreras, who won the 2011 Queen’s Plate aboard Inglorious, will pilot Pyrite Mountain in the $1 million classic for Canadian-foaled three-year-olds, on July 7, while Alex Solis, who was aboard Frostad trainee Irish Mission for wins in last year’s Woodbine Oaks and Breeders’ Stakes, along with a runner-up finish to Strait of Dover in the Plate, has been named on County Lineman.

Pyrite Mountain, owned by Awesome Again Racing, enters the Plate off a closing fourth place finish to Dynamic Sky in the Plate Trial on June 9 as the mild favourite.

“I thought he ran a great race,” said Frostad. “The first quarter was a good solid quarter, then they slowed it down in the next two quarters. They went in 50 and change. That didn’t help him. It gave him a lot to do, but he was getting there late and he galloped out very strongly. It’s tough to close into a pace like that.”

On the other hand, County Lineman, a two-time winner in six outings for Ginger Punch Racing, will be making his stakes debut in the Plate and enters off a third place finish in an allowance race.

“He might surprise a few people,” continued Frostad. “He’s a different type than the other one (Pyrite Mountain). He’s very active. He gets revved up pretty easily, but he’s been getting better and I think he’ll give a good account of himself.”

Frostad’s four Plate wins came with Victor Cooley (1996), Scatter The Gold (2000), Dancethruthedawn (2001) and Eye of the Leopard (2009).

The Queen’s Plate, set for its 154th consecutive edition on Sunday, July 7, 2013 at Woodbine, will be aired live in HD on CBC from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

For more on the historic race, visit

To wager on this race, U.S. residents should visit  Enter promo code “AGOS” for a $100 sign-up bonus, special cash back rates on every wager, and take advantage of the July promo – 10% cash back, win or lose, on Woodbine Trifectas, Superfectas & Pick-3 wagers.

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Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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