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2018 Prince of Wales Stakes Picks
Prince of Wales Stakes Preview and Odds
After dominating a field of 16 in the Plate, Wonder Gadot has been made the 7-5 morning line favorite against the much smaller field in the Prince of Wales. Trained by Mark Casse, she'll be taking on males for the second straight race.
After winning the (G2) Damoiselle Stakes on the dirt at Aqueduct last December, Wonder Gadot gave a good account of herself through this past spring against some of the toughest three-year-old fillies in the US, finishing in the money in five straight graded-stakes south of the border, including giving superstar Monomoy Girl all she could handle in the (G1) Kentucky Oaks.
But she was without a win during that span, and when she returned to Canada to finish as the runner-up the Woodbine Oaks, there was some concern she was developing a case of second-itis. Those fears were put to rest in the Queen's Plate, where she raced three-wide while tracking the leaders to the top of the long Woodbine stretch. Set down to make her run by jockey John Velazquez, she quickly opened up on the field and proved much the best.
Velazquez will make the trip to southern Ontario to retain the mount, and you can expect to see a similar performance from Wonder Gadot on Tuesday evening.
Two Other Plate Runners Return
Of the two others in the field that also ran in the Queen's Plate, Cooler Mike (4-1) is a front-running colt that will be looking to improve on his third-place finish in that race. He had been successful in the upper allowance ranks at Woodbine in early spring, with a second-place finish and a win coming into the Queen's Plate.
There he did a lot of the dirty work by pressing the early pace and was game down the stretch where he couldn't hold off Wonder Gadot or the late-running Aheadbyacentury but stayed on well enough to get the show money at odds of 46-1. If he wants the lead here he likely have an easier time of it, and the slight cutback in distance could work to his advantage. The Prince of Wales will be his first lifetime start on dirt, so how he'll handle the surface remains to be seen.
For his part, Aheadbyacentury (5-2) wants as much distance as he can get, and the slight cut back here could prove to be the deciding factor in reversing the Plate result between him and Cooler Mike. He finished ahead of that rival in winning the Coronation Futurity at Woodbine last November, but he has yet to get another win in four starts in 2018. Although his runner-up finish in the Queen's Plate was a respectable result, there has to be some question as to whether he has hit a plateau.
The other three entries in the Prince of Wales are all new shooters on the Canadian Triple Crown trail, including Home Base (8-1) an Ontario-bred who will actually be making his Canadian racing debut. He began his career with three starts at Gulfstream Park in Florida but got his breakthrough win at Keeneland in mid-April. He then picked up a second win at Churchill Downs at the allowance level before stepping up to the graded-stakes when he was sixth in the (G3) Matt Winn.
He's an interesting dark horse in this field, but it should be noted both his wins came at the distance of seven furlongs and he'll have to prove he can go longer.
The Prince of Wales Stakes goes Tuesday, July 24 from Fort Erie Race Track in Fort Erie, Ontario. It's race #8 of 9 on Fort Erie's evening card, with an expected post time of 7:38 PM Eastern.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Wonder Gadot (7-5)
- Absolution (6-1)
- Cooler Mike (4-1)
- Home Base (8-1)
- Aheadbyacentury (5-2)
- Eskiminzin (12-1)
Prince of Wales Stakes Picks
- 1) #1 - Wonder Gadot
- 2) #3 - Cooler Mike
- 3) #5 - Aheadbyacentury
- 4) #4 - Home Base
Betting Canada Horse Racing
While not as prestigious as the US version, the Canadian Triple Crown has it's own unique flavor, with the first leg - The Queen's Plate - the oldest continuously run sporting event in North America, and the fact each leg is run on a different surface, from the all-weather track at Woodbine to the dirt at Fort Erie and then back to Woodbine for the Breeders' Stakes on turf. Follow all the action and bet Canada's top races through Bovada's online racebook.
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