FORT ERIE, July 20, 2018 – After conquering the 159th Queen’s Plate with a 4 3/4-length victory, “wonder woman” Wonder Gadot is the filly to beat in the 83rd running of the Prince of Wales Stakes. Six of the finest Canadian-bred three-year-old thoroughbreds will be running 1 3/16 miles on the dirt on Tuesday, July 24 at Fort Erie Race Track.
The event will be televised from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on TSN 1, 3, 4 and 5 as part of the Canadian Triple Crown broadcast, sponsored by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
The Prince of Wales Stakes is Fort Erie Race Track’s signature event. The race is the second jewel in the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, between the Queen’s Plate, which was held on June 30 at Woodbine Racetrack, and the Breeders’ Stakes coming up on August 18 on the Woodbine turf course.
Two-time Prince of Wales Stakes winning jockey Constant Montpellier was the drawmaster for Friday’s post position draw, which placed the race favourite Wonder Gadot in post position one for the $400,000 stakes race. Along with Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez, Wonder Gadot is hoping to beat the boys again, as she takes on two of the horses she defeated earlier this summer in the Queen’s Plate.
The last filly to win the Prince of Wales Stakes was Dixie Strike in 2012. The last Queen’s Plate winner who went on to capture the Prince of Wales Stakes was Wando in 2003. Wando is also the most recent Canadian Triple Crown winner.
After finishing second in the Plate, Aheadbyacentury is looking for a second chance to beat the filly, with jockey Luis Contreras, who is seeking his third consecutive Prince of Wales win. Contreras, along with trainer John A. Ross and owners Jack of Hearts Racing & J.R. Racing Stables Inc., are looking for a repeat Prince of Wales victory after taking home the win with Cool Catomine last year.
The stakes race also includes Cooler Mike with jockey Jesse Campbell in the irons. The duo placed third in the Queen’s Plate earlier this summer. Absolution and jockey Rafael Hernandez drew the second starting gate position, with 6-1 morning line odds.
The field is rounded out by two supplemental entries, paying an additional $12,500 to enter the race. Eskiminzin will start from the sixth post position with jockey Sheena Ryan, and Home Base drew fourth, with rider Joseph Rocco Jr.
Home Base shipped in from Kentucky earlier this week and has been getting familiar with Fort Erie’s dirt track.
“We put some pretty solid works in him before he came up, but we have had him out on the track to stretch his legs a little bit, and he handles it well,” said Dennis Fries, assistant trainer to Michael Tomlinson. “He does it very easily and he has a long stride. He has had a couple of unlucky races the two times we tried to run him in a longer race, but if he runs the way he did at Churchill and Keeneland earlier this year, he will be a tough horse.”
First race post time is 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday, with the Prince of Wales scheduled for about 7:40 p.m. Fans can dine from a variety of food trucks that will be onsite and enjoy live music throughout the grounds. After the races, The Associates will be playing live at the trackside Tiki Bar. The concert is rain or shine, moving indoors in the event of inclement weather.
Event admission and parking are free. For more information, visit forterieracing.com.
(Fort Erie Race Track)