By Woodbine Communications / Chris Lomon

TORONTO, June 29, 2023 – Ontario Breds Twin City and Kaukokaipuu both broke through for their first stakes wins at the distance of seven furlongs last out and will be looking to use the Marine as a final stepping-stone to the King’s Plate.

The Plate Trial, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, will be run July 23 but trainers Stuart Simon and Ted Holder plan to bring their respective charges into the King’s Plate off a seven-week break.

Twin City had plenty of experience around two turns last year, graduating in his second start going long and then finishing a strong second in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity.

Following a winter in Ocala, Twin City returned to action here in the open King Corrie Stakes and prevailed by a scant nose under regular rider Gary Boulanger.

“He came back in March,” said Simon, who also owns Twin City in partnership with Brent, Russ, and Roy McClellan. “He’s a big horse, and he’s always been mentally mature and that’s the good part about him. In the Coronation, he was going good at the end. Distance isn’t an issue.”

Kaukokaipuu, conditioned by Holder for Culpepper Island Syndicate, failed to find the range in seven starts at 2, but did finish second on five occasions and opened up his sophomore campaign with another runner-up effort.

His two starts since then have been impeccable, however, as Kaukokaipuu won his maiden in lengthy fashion and then was a smart winner of the Queenston while giving Holder his first career stakes score.

The Marine represents a change in plans for Kaukokaipuu, who was supplemented at a cost of $2,250.

“I was going to go to the Plate Trial, but with this horse as good as he is I decided not to wait,” said Holder, who also had Kaukokaipuu in Florida with a long-term eye toward to the King’s Plate.

“Off his last work, I don’t think the distance will be a problem. It was something special.”

With his new regular partner Rico Walcott aboard, Kaukokaipuu breezed six furlongs last Sunday in 1:12.40.

Ontario Bred Velocitor, the Coronation Futurity winner, will be looking to rebound off a seventh-place King Corrie finish. The Al and Bill Ulwelling homebred is conditioned by Kevin Attard and will have Patrick Husbands in the irons.

Rounding out the Ontario Bred King’s Plate nominees in the field are Stayhonor Goodside, One Bay Hemingway and Simcoe.