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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Striking a Pose at the Fort

Dixie Strike wins the Prince of Wales
It was a beautiful day at the border oval as the filly Dixie Strike ($7.90), with Patrick Husbands aboard, won the 77th running of the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie Race Track covering the 1 3/16-miles in a modest 1:57.54. After some light morning rain, the day turned out to be just spectacular with the sun shining over Southern Ontario for the entire 11-race card and on John Oxley's filly who redeemed herself after a poor outing in the Woodbine Oaks and a third place finish in the Queen's Plate. I was a happy guy as I picked him on top in this Friday's TBN blog, so that works (and I cashed a few bets too!). She became the first filly to win Canada's second leg of its Triple Crown since Gandria in 1999.

She made a late move to duel for a moment with Roger Attfield's Colleen's Sailor who faded to third in deep stretch. Ultimate Destiny completed an $84.50 exacta by passing Attfield's horse on the rail. The Hall of Fame trainer was looking for his sixth Prince of Wales victory.

I spent the day roaming the grounds at the old race track which seemed to come alive with the biggest crowd I've ever seen there in the past five years. The reserved seating grandstands above the old slots parlor were open for the first time since I've been coming to the track. The place had a great vibe, it's a shame that it could be the last Prince of Wales to run at the border oval.

Some interesting tidbits from the post race press conference, were that trainer Mark Casse really likes the way this filly runs on dirt and he didn't rule out the possibility to bring her to Saratoga for the Grade 1 Alabama. He praised the filly's dam, Noble Strike, a Smart Strike mare, who also was last year's Plate champion Inglorious' mother. I hope he gives her a shot at Saratoga.

He also mentioned that his colt, Prospective, who ran in the Kentucky Derby, will run next in two weeks, either in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga or at Monmouth in the Haskell.

Here are a few photos from my fun-filled day at the Fort:

A view of the Tiki Bar (and beautiful infield)
from the Reserved Seat section
Tiki Central
Zingy Zesty won the 4th
Grandstand Seating with
Prince of Wales Dining Room above
Plenty of brewskis to go around
You could get a nice Pork Sammy for $5
Melanie Pinto heads over to her mount
Mountain Echo in the Princess Cup
Princess Cup champ Mountain Echo
trying to show me her better side
Mountain Echo wins by daylight and avenges
last year's second place finish to My Natalie
Second place POW finisher
Ultimate Destiny
Fifth place POW finisher
Dead On
2012 POW Champ Dixie Strike
Casse giving Husbands last
minute instructions
Third place POW finisher
Colleen's Sailor
Casse gives Husbands a leg up
on Dixie Strike
Fourth place POW finisher
Woodbine Oaks champ Irish Mission
The blanket awaits Dixie Strike
in the Winner's Circle
Passing us for the first time
Nakatani and Attfield post-race
Photo courtesy: Josh W (@BLOJW)
Casse and Husbands at the
post race presser
For the victors:
"Let Them Eat Cake!"
Dixie Strike - 2012 Prince of Wales Champion
Photo Courtesy: Ft. Erie Media Office



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