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FORT ERIE, ON – Tuesday’s $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie looks wide open, with the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown attracting six runners from the first-leg Queen’s Plate but neither of the top-two finishers.
The Prince of Wales is a 1 3/16-mile dirt route restricted to 3-year-olds foaled in Canada. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on an 11-race card and has a local post time of 5:35 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Prince of Wales:
1. Avoman 7/2 – He won the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial Stakes 2 starts back (albeit against just 3 others) before finishing sixth in the Queen’s Plate, 2 3/4 lengths behind the winner while navigating traffic in the stretch. Trainer and co-owner Don MacRae has won 3 of his past 6 team-ups with jockey Antonio Gallardo, who retains the mount for the third straight start.
2. Tidal Forces 15/1 – Trainer Gail Cox adds blinkers (a 20% winning move) to this Malibu Moon colt for the first time as he seeks to return to an early form that saw him win his first 2 starts but struggle in his next 2. He set the pace and faded in the 1 1/16-mile Marine Stakes (G3) before finishing a weakening ninth in the Queen’s Plate. Emma-Jayne Wilson rides for the fourth straight race.
3. Curlin’s Catch 9/2 – The field’s lone filly is also the only runner with any dirt racing experience, let alone a victory – and she succeeded twice on it to start 2021. After breaking her maiden in a one-turn Gulfstream Park mile-long event, she repeated by 4 1/2 lengths in the 1-mile, 40-yard Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Her breeding suggests that she should love this added distance.
4. Haddassah 12/1 – He broke his maiden on debut in an off-turf Woodbine synthetic event last November but failed to seriously threaten in his next 3 starts. The first of three Kevin Attard-trained runners exiting the Queen’s Plate for this race, he stalked the early pace before fading late in the stretch and finishing eighth of 13. He’s a threat to wire this race if left alone on the front end.
5. H C Holiday 5/2 – The morning line favorite exits an impressive-looking third in the Queen’s Plate when he rallied over the entire stretch and gained steadily on the top two finishers (sseparated by a head), eventually missing by just a length. The Fort Erie stretch isn’t as long as Woodbine’s synthetic, so jockey Luis Contreras may need to keep the second Attard horse closer to the early pace.
6. Ready At Dawn 30/1 – The longest shot on the board exits his maiden-breaking effort over the local turf when he easily wired a 7-furlong route in his sixth career start and first since trainer Daryl Ezra claimed him for $15k. That victory came against a significantly lesser class, but he showed a new style by leading comfortably throughout. If nothing else, he should factor into the pace here.
7. Harlan Estate 6/1 – He began his career in California, where he put together a 6-1-1-0 record on turf, before transferring to the Attard barn once Woodbine’s 2021 meet began. He finished second by a 1/2-length in his barn debut, then won by a nose against the same optional claiming company next out, before finishing a traffic-hindered seventh (beaten 2 3/4 lengths) in the Queen’s Plate.
8. Keep Grinding 3/1 – His dirt debut comes with a chance he could enjoy the surface, as his sire Tizway was a multiple Grade 1 winner on American dirt and his older siblings have a combined 9-3-2-2 dirt route record. He fired a 5-furlong bullet work in :59.40 over the local ground in his final preparation for this and should improve off his Queen’s Plate fifth for trainer Tino Attard (Kevin’s father).
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