Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
   

Countdown to Race Day

    Share |

13
MARRIAGE COUNSELOR

Marriage Counselor

● A son of Overanalyze, Marriage Counselor's next racing engagement is set for Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate. The bay fell in love with Woodbine, breaking his maiden at the Toronto oval this month. Now, the biggest question is, 'Can the relationship stay on track in Canada's most famous horse race?'

● On June 10 at Woodbine, Marriage Counselor took to the world-renowned E.P. Taylor Turf Course to contest a race at 1 ¼-miles, the same distance as the Plate, which will be run on the Woodbine Tapeta.

● Sent off as the favourite, the colt was two lengths in front at Robert Geller's stretch call, maintaining that same margin for the milestone victory.

● "I've been around this horse since he was a two-year-old and I had him at Gulfstream all winter," said assistant trainer Nolan Ramsey. "I had him at Keeneland in the spring. He was kind of a punk – he really didn't care one way or another what he did. After he ran at Keeneland and ran a decent third, he kind of perked up a bit and started to figure things out. He ran another okay third at Keeneland and I was waiting for the opportunity to stretch him out on the grass because I think that's what he really wants to do."

● Ramsey was thrilled to finally get the chance to see if Marriage Counselor could turf the competition. "I was happy to get the opportunity to run him a mile and a quarter on the turf at Woodbine," he offered. "In that race, he showed something he had never shown before and went to the front. The race was slow for what it was, but he looked pretty comfortable doing it. I think he's found his rhythm. After that race, he's been a totally different horse. He acts professional and it seems as though he almost matured overnight."

● With a new attitude and a willingness to embrace change, Marriage Counselor, to be ridden by Bajan-born jockey Jalon Samuel, could be an outsider with the chance to pull the upset.

● Ramsey believes the horse that began his career with a last-place finish in a field of 12 at Gulfstream this January is in fine fettle gearing up for the Gallop for the Guineas.

● "We'll see how the race plays out, but I know the distance won't be a problem," he said. "I think he'll take to the Tapeta really well. I think he's a longshot, but I think if the pace scenario works in his favour, he could be a sneaky horse."

Owner – Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey

(See Boyhood Dream & Pawnbroker bios)

Trainer – Michael Maker

Like top trainers Todd Pletcher and Kiaran McLaughlin, Maker also spent time as an assistant of Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Under Lukas, Maker helped develop such stars as Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic, as well as Breeders' Cup winners Cat Thief, Orientate, Surfside and Spain. Maker, who won the 2009 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile with Furthest Land and the 2011 Juvenile with Hansen, started his own stable in 2003. Oscar Nominated, a son Kitten's Joy, has earned nearly $1.5 million Perennially among North America's leading trainers in recent years, Maker won the Queen's Plate with Sir Dudley Digges and the E.P. Taylor with Al's Gal, both in 2016. He won 200+ races in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Currently, he has 2,110 wins as of June 22.

Jockey – Jalon Samuel

Hailing from Barbados, Samuel has already made a name for himself in his homeland, having won three consecutive Gold Cups at the Garrison Savannah, including a victory this year with 2016 Queen Plate champion Sir Dudley Digges. The up-and-coming rider has competed at several racetracks across the U.S. and Canada, including Gulfstream Park, Mountaineer and Assiniboia Downs. Samuel's first North American win came aboard Isutalkintome on October 20, 2012 at Calder. His first Woodbine ride was in this year's Plate Trial with Boyhood Dream. He has 21 North American wins as of June 22.​