● Named after the blockbuster Wonder Woman and leading lady Gal Gadot, Gary Barber's filly Wonder Gadot has already established herself as a star earning accolades as Canada's Champion Two-Year-Old Filly. She was purchased at the Ocala Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale for $325,000 and put her star power on display right from the start.
● Bred by Anderson Farms, the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro-Loving Vindication lassoed a win at Woodbine over seven furlongs on the turf and followed up that performance with a close third-place finish in the Grade 3 Natalma. She then dominated the Grade 3 Mazarine in her first Tapeta try over 1-1/16 miles before heading to the Breeders' Cup where she finished sixth. Before her juvenile campaign was complete, she added the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes to her résumé at Aqueduct.
● This year, Wonder Gadot has hit the board in all six of her stakes including recent runner-up performances in the Grade 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks and the Woodbine Oaks Presented By Budweiser – both narrow losses – earning her flashy Beyer Speed Figures of 96 and 88, respectively. "I thought she was really unlucky, but she can cause some of her bad luck," said trainer Mark Casse. "Her Kentucky Oaks performance was just tremendous. She hopped at the start in the Canadian Oaks, was a little wide, but still had every shot to win so I was a little disappointed in her. We are going to add blinkers for this next start to see if we can get her to focus a little better, not so much focus, but she tends to want to hang a little when she's coming down to the wire and we're hoping that maybe with blinkers she'll keep on running."
● One of two fillies in the field (along with Woodbine Oaks winner Dixie Moon), Wonder Gadot will be looking to become the second filly (Holy Helena) in a row to win the Queen's Plate and just the ninth since 1956 to accomplish the feat. Mark Casse and Barber have teamed up in the past for success with a filly in the Queen's Plate, winning the 2014 edition with Lexie Lou.
Owner – Gary Barber
Gary Barber is a former chairman and CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and a co-founder of Spyglass Entertainment, which has produced such motion pictures as "Seabiscuit" (nominated for seven Academy Awards). Barber has served as executive producer of more than 50 films. The South Africa native has owned Thoroughbreds alone and in partnership with his brother Cecil and others. Among the horses starring in his highlight reel as a Thoroughbred owner are 2016 Breeders' Cup Mile champion Tourist; 2006 Woodbine Mile winner Becrux; and multiple Sovereign Award winners Catch A Glimpse, the 2015 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf champion, and Lexie Lou, the 2014 Woodbine Oaks and Queen's Plate champion.
Trainer – Mark Casse
(See Neepawa Bio)
Jockey – John Velazquez
Born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, John Velazquez, 45, rode his first winner in his homeland at El Commandante Racetrack early in 1990 before moving to New York in the spring, at the encouragement of Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. Velazquez was inducted into the U.S. Horse Racing Hall of Fame himself in 2012. He is a two-time Eclipse Award winner as North America's leading rider in 2004 and 2005 when his mounts earned more than $20 million. Velazquez is the winningest jockey in the history of the Woodbine Mile having won four of the seven editions he has competed in with two-time champion Wise Dan (2013, 2012), Leroidesanimaux (2005) and Riviera (2000). He also counts two editions of the Kentucky Derby (Always Dreaming, Animal Kingdom) and the Belmont Stakes (Union Rags, Rags to Riches), as well as the Dubai World Cup (Roses in May) and numerous Breeders' Cup titles among his many accomplishments.