A dozen horses head to the gate Sunday for the 154th running of the $1-million Queen’s Plate (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 4:30 p.m. ET) at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto.

Here’s a breakdown of the field in the famous Gallop for 50 Guineas over the 1¼–mile Polytrack.

Odds are from Thursday’s morning line.

1. Midnight Aria, 15-1

  • Jockey: Jesse Campbell
  • Trainer: Nick Gonzalez
  • Owner: Tucci Stables

All morning at Thursday’s draw, trainers were saying someone needed to show early pace for a field filled with late finishers. Here’s your early pace, but it’s coming out of the one stall right on the rail. Perhaps everyone will move over and let him through. This has been one busy big bay, appearing seven times so far this year and always in the money (1 win, a place and five show). His workouts have been excellent. Remember Gonzalez had Big Red Mike run from the front all the way to a 2010 Plate, so he knows what’s up with a pace horse.

2. Dynamic Sky, 4-1

  • Jockey: Joel Rosario
  • Trainer: Mark Casse
  • Owner: John Oxley

It wasn’t many months ago that Dynamic Sky was being touted as a Kentucky Derby possibility before a bad Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland ended that dream. For him to even be considered in that company says something, however. Won the Plate Trial by a nose, despite his habit of laying on horses as though he’s looking for a new friend. Casse does not want to see him hanging out wide as they make the final turn. Poor post position can be overcome by the 1 ¼-mile distance. And regular jockey Rosario is a superstar in this business.

3. Jagger M, 20-1

  • Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan
  • Trainer: Mark Casse
  • Owner: Gabe Grossberg

This might be one waiting in the weeds for an upset. Yes, he ran 6th in the Plate Trial, but it was his first time around two turns and he was a little surprised ("Hey, aren’t we done yet?"). Won’t be this time. And he beat Dynamic Sky while almost winning the Queenston back in May. In five starts this year, the bay colt has been in the money three times. They call him Mickey around the barn because, like Jagger, he takes a shine to the opposite sex. Up is Shaun Bridgmohan, one of North America’s most consistent jocks.

4. Spring in the Air (f), 10-1

  • Jockey: Gary Boulanger
  • Trainer: Mark Casse
  • Owner: John Oxley

Casse has Joel Rosario also listed on this horse, on the off-chance something happens to Dynamic Sky before race time, but more than likely it’s Gary Boulanger on this bay filly. This young lady has known great success, with three wins and four places over nine lifetime stars for $641,510 in earnings. Canada’s top two-year-old filly last year, she was fifth at the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile with some bleeding issues. Lost to Nipissing by ¾ in the Oaks after trailing most of the way and putting on a final sprint.

5. County Lineman, 30-1

  • Jockey: Alex Solis
  • Trainer: Mark Frostad
  • Owner: Ginger Punch Racing

This is a horse that seems to find trouble. And he has a habit of hanging back and watching a bit too much. This is his stakes debut, but he has gone to the post four times this year, winning once and showing the other. He also finished 38 lengths behind at Gulfstream Park in March. Solis is a hugely experienced rider, so he might be able to stay out of trouble long enough to put on a burst at the end. Another horse that needs a race with pace.

6. Kaigun, 20-1

  • Jockey: Justin Stein
  • Trainer: Mark Casse
  • Owner: Gary Barber, Quintessential Racing & Horse’n Around Racing

A lightly raced chestnut colt that did not appear as a juvenile, Kaigun is named for the old Imperial Japanese Navy (Nippon Kaigun). Hopefully there’s no Kamikaze in him if things start going wrong. Was impressive breaking his maiden and then was sent out for a seventh in the Plate Trial. If you’re looking for an outsider, however, note he was just 7 ½-lengths back of the winners in that race, so there’s power there. Also note Casse put Justin Stein (last year’s winner on Strait of Dover) up for the first time on this horse. Might be a surprise attack.

7. Up With the Birds, 2-1

  • Jockey: Eurico Rosa da Silva
  • Trainer: Malcolm Pierce
  • Owner: Sam-Son Farms

The race notes reminded all that only twice in 18 years (Wando and Eye of the Leopard) has a morning line favourite won this race. Hope Pierce doesn’t read these things. In three stars this season, this colt has won twice and placed the other, so he isn’t used to having anyone in front of him. Been a star from the beginning, taking the Coronation Futurity last year and the Marine Stakes six weeks ago. Pierce purposely kept him off since then, breezing him once a week for sharpness. Likes to come off the pace by taking the wide way around. Rico da Silva has two Plate wins in the last four outings. Perfect post position.

8. Rackman, 50-1

  • Jockey: Jim McAleney
  • Trainer: Nick Nosowenko
  • Owner: Mike and Nick Nosowenko

It took nine tries for this big guy to break his maiden, finally pulling it off on June 1 in a dead-heat. A gelding, he’s in tough against a field filled with battle-tested foes. This is a son of Niigon, the 2004 winner, so there’s good blood there. At the draw, Nick said the decision was "Let’s go for broke and go against the big guys." Could like the move up to the longer distance.

9. Nipissing (f), 7-2

  • Jockey: Steve Bahen
  • Trainer: Rachel Halden
  • Owner: Chiefswood Stables

The folks at the Chiefswood table before the draw on Thursday looked a tad nerve-wracked, and here’s why: This horse can win this race, there is no doubt. Must be a lot of hearts in throats over there up to post time. You had to be impressed with the way this filly handled winning the Oaks, looking calm as can be in the winner’s circle. That kind of aplomb is huge in the craziness that is Plate day. Halden calls her "very level headed." Five lifetime wins, 4-0 as a juvenile, for $634,430 so far (funny how the fillies in this race have made the most money). A late finisher with an extra gear for the back end of the stretch. And, not that this really matters, she’s gorgeous. A filly one-two?

10. Pyrite Mountain, 6-1

  • Jockey: Luis Contreras
  • Trainer: Mark Frostad
  • Owner: Awesome Again Racing

Let’s see, Frosty has four Plate wins, four seconds and a horse going off at 6-1 on the morning line that no-one seems to be paying much attention to, under one of the best young jockeys in North America. Nothing to see here folks, let’s move along. Pyrite Mountain has been up and down, showing strongly, falling off, showing strongly again. Was the favourite for the Plate Trial but finished fourth. He also turned on the jets in the stretch and humbled Uncaptured in the Wando a month earlier. Don’t be surprised to see this colt in the money. No fool’s gold here.

11. His Race to Win, 10-1

  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Trainer: Malcolm Pierce
  • Owner: Sam-Son Farms

Pierce is convinced his colt has the distance in him. There certainly is the heart. When they stampeded down the stretch at the Plate Trial this year, it was His Race to Win who looked to pull the upset until nipped at the line by Dynamic Sky. There must be something here, otherwise John Velazquez, one of the sport’s greatest living legends, wouldn’t be in town to ride. Pierce says the "light bulb went off in his head" while the colt was breaking his maiden in a crushing victory on May 12. Tends to go out a little quick, but they are teaching him to hold back. Like most everyone else in this race.

12. River Seven, 20-1

  • Jockey: Todd Kabel
  • Trainer: Nick Gonzalez
  • Owner: Tucci Stables

After an excellent juvenile campaign that saw this gelding in the money for all four starts (and over $200,000 in winnings), things have been quiet for River Seven. He’s been out just twice this year for no result, stumbling out of the gate in the Plate Trial, leaving him far back. Off for more schooling in the gate, went River Seven. Kabel, who was back in the saddle last year after a couple of seasons off, is an experience, winning jock who knows what he’s about. It’s a long way to that first turn from the 12 spot, though.