The field for the 78th running of the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Race Track is shaping up for next Tuesday night's second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown and it looks like the race will attract nine starters. The probable starters is likely to include six returnees from the Queen's Plate on July 7 and three newcomers, one being the highly regarded Uncaptured for trainer Mark Casse, who will likely don the favorite's role with Plate winner Midnight Aria passing on the race as reported on by Toronto-based DRF writer Bill Tallon. Like the Preakness in the US, the second jewel is run at 1 3/16-miles.
In breaking with tradition at the 116-year-old border oval, the race will be run as the feature of a twilight card on a Tuesday evening. With Woodbine, Saratoga and Del Mar all dark on Tuesdays, optimism is high that the simulcast handle will increase from its usual home on Sunday afternoon. In addition, bridge traffic from the USA should be much lighter on a Tuesday evening. The race, the 8th on the card will go off somewhere around 7:30 p.m.
Here's a look at the probables for the race and some comments a week out from the race...
Niigon's Glory has finished second in three straight Ontario-sired allowance races, one against probable Power Phil. Trained by Rachel Halden, the son of the Plate winner Niigon would likely have Steven Bahen aboard, as he is Halden's fiancee and rides most of her mounts. He seems to be over his head against this field.
Power Phil is another newcomer and looks to be the speed in the race. Has faced similar company losing to Pyrite Mountain by a nose in the $125K Kingarvie as a 2-year-old last December. The son of Philanthropist shouldn't have a problem with the distance and if no one challenges could get away with highway robbery, but after the pace scenario at the Plate, I doubt that will happen again.
(Photo credit: Michael Burns)
The Post Draw is set for Noon on Saturday at Fort Erie l and we'll post the gate and morning line odds here at the Space Station as we approach the biggest and richest race run at the border oval this year. A race that a mere five months ago was almost an after-thought with the issues at the southern Ontario racetrack.