FORT ERIE, July 12 – The border oval is gearing up for its most prestigious day of the year on Tuesday, July 24, the 83rd running of the Prince of Wales Stakes
This highly-anticipated event features the finest Canadian-bred 3-year-old horses who will be running one mile and three sixteenths on the dirt surface at Fort Erie Race Track. The race is the second jewel in the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, for a purse of $400,000.
Early nominations have closed with some excellent contenders, including the top four finishers from the 159th Queen’s Plate, the first leg in the OLG Canadian Triple Crown held at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday, June 30.
Wonder Gadot (pictured, photo by John Watkins
) was the first to cross the finish line at the Plate and is looking to take home the second Triple Crown jewel as well. The three-year-old filly is trained by Mark E. Casse, who has also entered Kentucky Derby contestant Flameaway for the July 24th race.
Aheadbyacentury finished second in the Plate with jockey Luis Contreras, for trainer John A. Ross and owners Jack of Hearts Racing and J.R. Racing Stable Inc. The connections are defending champions of the Prince of Wales Stakes, steering the 2017 winner Cool Catomine to victory last year at The Fort.
“We are looking forward to going back to Fort Erie this year as defending champions with the same team we had last year,” said Ross. “Aheadbyacentury has done a lot of training over the winter on the dirt surface at Payson Park Training Center in Florida, and on the training track at Woodbine and he handles it well. Fort Erie has a really nice dirt track with a good bottom, we don’t think it will be a problem.”
Jockey Luis Contreras will once again be aboard Aheadbyacentury. Contreras has two consecutive Prince of Wales wins and three in total for the stakes race, with Cool Catomine (2017), Amis Gizmo (2016) and Pender Harbour (2011).
Cooler Mike and Strike Me Down, third and fourth place finishers in the Queen’s Plate, respectively, have also been nominated for the Prince of Wales, along with Absolution, trained by Tony Michael Gattellaro. Supplemental entries will be accepted until Friday, July 20, with the post-position draw taking place at Fort Erie’s Race Office at noon on the same day.
“The Prince of Wales Stakes is our signature race at Fort Erie Race Track, and is a highly anticipated event in our community,” said Tom Valiquette, chief operating and financial officer of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium. “Whether you are a seasoned racing enthusiast or a new racing fan, this year’s event is sure to be another great day for Canadian thoroughbred racing, and we welcome everyone to attend and take part in the excitement.”
During the event, fans can dine from a variety of food trucks and enjoy live music throughout the venue. After the races, The Associates will be performing at the trackside Tiki Bar as part of Fort Erie Race Track’s free summer concert series.
First race is at a special 4:10 p.m. post time, with the Prince of Wales Stakes planned for about 7:30 p.m. The event will be televised from 7-8 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.
Event admission and parking are free. For more information, visit forterieracing.com.