At the wire of the mile and one-quarter classic for Canadian foaled three-year-olds over the Polytrack, Not Bourbon, expertly ridden by Jono Jones, had prevailed by a diminishing head, getting the distance in 2:03.59, with a final quarter-mile timed in a sizzling 24.29 seconds.
Solitaire, who had dropped back to last halfway through the race, came widest of all into the stretch and gained third place in a four-horse photo, four and one-half lengths further back, with Deputiformer fourth.
Stronach Stables' Ginger Brew, who destroyed her filly rivals two weeks ago in the Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, went postward the 9-5 choice. Not Bourbon as dismissed as the third choice at 9-2, behind 3-1 Solitaire, whom he had decisioned in the Plate Trial on June 1.
A Not Impossible-Bourbelle Belle chestnut colt, Not Bourbon thus became the first horse since Alydeed in 1992, and the 23rd overall, to win the Plate after taking the Plate Trial. Ironically, Alydeed was also trained by Attfield, who last won the Plate in 1995 with Regal Discovery.
"Well, I know he won't lie down on me," said an elated Attfield, about the stretch battle with Ginger Brew. "He'll run his heart out and that's exactly what he did. He had to move a little earlier than he wanted to. But he just gutted it out. He's just a very good horse."
"This horse thrives on work and you don't go into these things (Queen's Plate) half-cocked. He loves to train and he wants to work fast. If I'd gone easier on him, he would have been too rank in this race, probably wouldn't have rated and we wouldn't have won. But this is fantastic for me. It's not an easy race to win and it's been a few years since I won the seventh one. It's just a great thrill."
With Harvest Home a morning scratch, a field of 14 loaded into the gate for the "Gallop for the Guineas." And it was D. Flutie, with Emile Ramsammy, who set the early fractions of :23.40, :47.60 and 1:13.55. But the field closed in around the far turn, as a tracking Not Bourbon and Ginger Brew, to his outside, swung into action.
Deputiformer grabbed a brief lead at the head of the stretch, after the mile was reached in 1:39.30, but was passed by Not Bourbon, who opened a couple of lengths at the eighth pole. However, jockey Javier Castellano had Ginger Brew in high gear, as he desperately tried to run down the leader, but just failed to do so at the wire.
"Roger (Attfield) did a fantastic job with this horse," said Jones, celebrating his first Plate win after finishing second aboard favoured A Bit 'O Gold in 2004. "At the beginning (of the racing season), I had my doubts if he could get seven-eighths, to be honest. When he ran the mile and an eighth (Plate Trial), he won, but he got a little tired in the end. I still had my doubts about a mile and a quarter. But he ran his eyeballs out today. Actually, because I get on him so much (for morning workouts and races), I know him so well. I knew exactly what he needed to win and he got it."
Added owner and breeder Charles Fipke, who lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, but is best known for discovering one of the largest diamond mines in Canada, named Ekati, in the Northwest Territories. "It's just wonderful. I just felt he was going to do it. He had great competition. Ginger Brew is a fine horse. Somebody has to win, though. I'm really happy for the whole team."
Fipke also owns Tale of Ekati, who challenged Big Brown during the U.S. Triple Crown chase, finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby but sixth in the Belmont Stakes.
"She ran a very good race," said Castellano, about favoured Ginger Brew, who was trying to become just the fifth filly, and first since Dancethruthedawn in 2001, to win the Oaks and the Plate. "She's second-best today, that's all. She was perfect. She had a good trip following the winner. She showed up today. I'm happy for that."
In winning his fifth race and fourth stakes tally in 10 career outings, Not Bourbon picked up a pot of $600,000 as he now approaches the $1 million plateau, with a career bankroll of $961,160.
Not Bourbon paid $11.30, $5.10 and $3.40, combining with Ginger Brew ($3.80, $3) for a $32.90 (13-10) exactor. A 13-10-12 (Solitaire, $2.90 to show) triactor returned $83.30, while a $2 Superfecta (13-10-12-5, Deputiformer) fashioned a $1,914.60 payout.