The Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario
Prince of Wales Set to Run This Sunday at Fort Erie Race Track
Fort Erie, July 12th…A field of nine will compete in Canada’s richest stakes event on dirt in this Sunday’s 77th edition of the Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown. A purse of $500,000 is up for grabs for Canada’s finest 3-year-olds.
Listed at 3-1 morning line is Dixie Strike. Trained by Mark Casse who won the Prince of Wales in 2009 with Gallant, the filly finished a game 3rd in the Queen’s Plate. With earnings of over $600,000, she is the richest horse in the race. Casse believes that she is training even better leading up to the big event on Sunday. “She has outworked my entire barn on dirt. She is awesome on it and just such a smart filly.”
Jockey Patrick Husbands is the regular rider of Dixie Strike. A top rider for a number of years in Ontario, he will forever be in the history books for winning the Triple Crown aboard Wando in 2003.
The filly Irish Mission will open up at odds of 5/2. The winner of the Woodbine Oaks on June 3rd, she ran a huge race in the Queen’s Plate against a field of 13 other rivals finishing 2nd under jockey Alex Solis. Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Mark Frostad for her owner Robert Evans, the filly has come out of the Plate in good order and is ready to run in the big dance this Sunday. Mark Frostad is in search of this fourth Prince of Wales victory.
There are four newcomers who have entered the Triple Crown mix including two entries from the Ralph Biamonte outfit. Biamonte has been a fixture at Fort Erie Race Track for over 40 years, beginning as an owner while practicing his dental business in Niagara Falls. Ten years later he took out his trainer’s license and began to work double duty. Born and raised in Niagara Falls, his stable has grown to two strings, a base at Woodbine and another in Fort Erie. On Sunday he will saddle Run in Aruba and Menlo Castle. “To win this race would mean a lot to me,” he said.
Supplemented for a fee of $12,500 to compete is the gelding Quaesitor who is owned by Wayward Stable and trained by Ian Howard. Quaesitor broke his maiden by a nose on June 30th at Woodbine. “This is a family horse,” said Howard. “We bred him and his bloodlines go back generations for us.”
The red and gold silks of Sam Son Farms will also be represented in the “Wales”. Dead On is trained by Malcolm Pierce and has not raced since the Plate Trial held at Woodbine on June 3rd. Dead On has undergone a major equipment change since that day. “He was gelded after the Trial,” explained his conditioner, “and the change has helped him to concentrate. He seems to be more settled, more focused and looks to be moving in the right direction.”
Classic Bryce is the only entry whose connections opted to ship several days out to work over the dirt surface. On July 9th, he breezed five furlongs on 1.01 under jockey Todd Kabel. The dark bay colt finished a disappointing eighth in the Plate but his trainer Darwin Banach is quite confident that a top performance is still to come. “In my heart I believe that we have yet to see the best from this horse,” he said.
Colleen’s Sailor, fourth in the Queen’s Plate is trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield. Attfield is in search of his sixth Prince of Wales victory. “He’s been feeling very chippy since the Plate and he’s a great little fellow,” said Roger at the draw on Wednesday afternoon.
Ultimate Destiny would send his connections over the moon if he was to win on Sunday. Trained by Mike Keogh (who trained Wando to a Triple Crown sweep in 2003), the gelding finished fifth in the Queen’s Plate as has been training well on the dirt leading up to the race.
This year’s Prince of Wales promises to be one of the most exciting events in recent history. With a large field and no major stand out, this could be anyone’s race to win.
First race post time is 1:15pm. Fans are welcome to come to the track early to join track announcer Mike Dimoff for the Breakfast Club which is held at the Tiki Bar Patio from 8:15am to 10:00am.
Parking and admission are always free.
For more information please contact;
Elissa Blowe, Manager, Media & Marketing
Fort Erie Race Track /800-295-3770 ext. 3204/ firstname.lastname@example.org