Sunday marks the running of the 74th Prince of Wales Stakes at beautiful Fort Erie Racetrack. The second leg of Canada's triple crown is a small but competitive field containing all of the top horses from the Queen's Plate and a surprise entrant, Gallant, from trainer Mark Casse. Canada's triple crown is a unique combination of races run at three different distances on three separate surfaces with this test being 1 3/16M on dirt. The first leg is run at a 1 1/4M on Woodbine's polytack and the final leg is a 1 1/2M test on the turf.
Eye of the Leopard heads out a rail bound Mr. Foricos Two U with filly Milwaukee Appeal closing between runners
1 – Flip for the Coin/S. Bahen/V.Armata 8-1
2 – Milwaukee Appeal/S. Elliott/S. Fairlie 5-2
3 – Gallant/C. Fraser/M. Casse 12-1
4 – Mr. Foricos Two U/M. Smith/C. Day Phillips 2-1
5 – Eye of the Leopard/E. da Silva/M. Frostad 9-5
6 – Keino West/G. Olguin/S. Attard 12-1
Eye of the Leopard will have a chance to prove his dominance as Canada's outstanding three year-old but must beat a free-wheeling Mr. Foricos Two U who will have Mike Smith in the irons. Mr. Foricos had a tough outing in the Plate on a pressed pace, only succumbing to Eye of the Leopard in the final stride, but could end up with the lead all to himself on Sunday.
That's MR Foricos Two U!
Eye of the Leopard recently worked 6F on Woodbine's dirt training track in 1:12 in preparation for his first dirt attempt. The big Sam-Son Farms colt has improved with each race and will be a well-bet favourite on Sunday. Leopard has a good spot in this fixture, with an outside post position that will allow him to keep an eye on the inside speed. Eurico Rosa da Silva will ride.
Eye of the Leopard is one BIG colt.
The filly, Milwaukee Appeal, returns to take on the boys after a difficult Plate run where she was boxed along the rail before closing late to be third. Stewart Elliott will be at Fort Erie to ride for trainer Scott Fairlie. On Monday, Milwaukee Appeal breezed four furlongs in 49.60 at the Fort. The filly is apparently in good order as she makes and the Oaks winner have a slight advantage carrying five pounds less than her male counterparts.
Milwaukee Appeal looks to break down the door of the boy's club.
Steve Bahen, a long shot specialist, has the ride on Flip For The Coin. 8-1 on the morning line is good value for the fifth place finisher in the plate. Flip for the Coin breezed 5F on Woodbine's dirt training track in 1:00.60 proving the surface change should not be an issue.
Flip For The Coin looks to improve on a fifth place finish in the Plate.
Steve Attard sends Keino West to the border oval to make one more attempt at closing from the back of the pack. In the Plate, Keino West trailed in 13th and last place some 15 lengths off the pace before making his trademark late run to finish sixth while making up some seven lengths. A smaller field may work to his advantage with less traffic to manoeuvre and a little less dirt in his face. Keino West breezed 5F at Fort Erie in 1:00.80 and appears to be sharp and ready.
Keino West hopes for an easier trip in the Prince of Wales
The newcomer to the Triple Crown picture is Gallant, who previously finished second to Eye of the Leopard in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race. Gallant broke his maiden at a 1 1/8 miles on May 31, and will be no pushover in this event. Corey Fraser will ride Gallant for trainer Mark Casse. On Saturday, Gallant breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 on Woodbine's dirt training track.
Gerard Gallant is not likely to be at Fort Erie on Sunday
The town of Fort Erie will be out in full force to celebrate the Prince of Wales which a few months ago seemed destined to be run at a different venue. This will be the event of the meet and a big money maker for the track. The card will include the Ernie Samuel Memorial Stakes for Canadian-bred Fillies And Mares, Three-Year-Olds And Upward run at 5F on the turf; the Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial S. for Canadian-bred Three-Year-Olds And Upward also at 5F on the turf. Post time for the Prince of Wales is 5:22PM.
I will be at The Fort on Sunday to celebrate with the locals and a review will be posted Monday morning.
Eurico Rosa da Silva celebrates a Queen's Plate victory