TRANQUILITY AT THE TRACK. Jeff Bowen captured this quiet moment on a beautiful morning at Woodbine in July.



COLTIMUS  primes at the Fort

Field for ‘Wales at 10




COLTIMUS PRIME worked between races 3 and 4 at Fort yesterday in the late afternoon to get a feel for the cozy track and its surface. The son of Milwaukee Brew, an allowance winner on Polytrack in June but 9th in the Queen’s Plate, sped 5 furlongs in 59 1/5 under Francine Villenueve. The Cabarnet Racing Stables colt is trained by Justin Nixon. Jesse Campbell has been the regular rider of the dark bay although Campbell has been on Money Talks and Ascot Martin recently in Prince of Wales preps.


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COLTIMUS PRIME, under Francine Villeneuve, worked 5 furlongs in 59 1/5 at Fort Erie on Tuesday MICHAEL BURNS PHOTO/FORT ERIE RACETRACK


There were 11 nominations to the Wales but with Bangkok racing Friday at Woodbine, there are 10 on the list of possibilities.

Owner JOHN OXLEY has won the last 2 Prince of Wales with his Mark Casse-trained Canadian-breds: Uncaptured and Dixie Strike. This year the owner is strong with MATADOR, who seems to prefer the dirt to Woodbine’s Polytrack.

Some Fort Erie guys – Nick Gonzalez and Justin Nixon (and Bill Tharrenos) have horses in the race and it would be a huge moment for them were their horses to win.

Interesting newcomer is LYNX, who was a Plate hopeful for trainer Roger Attfield in the winter when 3rd to RING WEEKEND in a maiden race (that colt went on to win the Tampa Bay Derby). This son of Curlin posted an 84 Beyer Figure when he won his maiden on June 8 at Parx on dirt. He was recently 3rd beaten 12 lengths in the Grade 3 Pegasus at Monmouth behind Albano with a 78 Beyer.

Albano is a contender in the upcoming Haskell at Monmouth.

Ami’s Holiday, a rallying runner-up to Lexie Lou in the Queen’s Plate, heads the field of what is currently 10 for the  $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, to be held on Tuesday, July 29 at Fort Erie Racetrack.

The 79th edition of the Prince of Wales for Canadian-foaled three-year-olds will be televised live on TSN from 7:00 – 8:00 pm ET.

At a distance of 1 3/16-miles, the Prince of Wales is the only race in the Canadian Triple Crown Series that is run on a traditional dirt surface.

The Queen’s Plate, a 1 1/4-mile ‘Poly’ test is the first jewel of the Triple Crown which is completed by the Breeders’ Stakes, a 1 1/2-mile endurance test over Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course, to be held on Sunday, August 17.

Ami’s Holiday, an Ivan Dalos homebred son of Harlan’s Holiday-Victorious Ami, started from the outside post under Luis Contreras in a 15-horse strong Plate field with the filly, Lexie Lou, leaving from Post 14.

The bay settled near the back of the pack in the 1 1/4-mile classic and tracked the run of Patrick Husbands and Lexie Lou through the final turn before a thrilling stretch run.

While Lexie Lou had a clear path to the wire, Contreras had to maneuver Ami’s Holiday to the rail to avoid traffic trouble, closing with intent to finish 1 1/2-lengths behind the winning filly.

“I was really happy with him. I thought he made a tremendous run,” said trainer Josie Carroll. “The filly came from right inside of us. You can’t take anything away from her, she ran a great race.”

Ami’s Holiday breezed four furlongs in :50.20 on Thursday morning over the Woodbine ‘Poly’.

“He came out of the Plate very well,” said Carroll. “He’s going to go down to Fort Erie on Monday to have a gallop over the track and see the paddock. His final breeze will be back here at Woodbine.”

Ami’s Holiday will be making his first dirt start in the Prince of Wales, but the colt spent part of his winter at Oaklawn Park with Carroll before shipping to Keeneland for his seasonal debut when fourth in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes.

“He was on the dirt all winter at Oaklawn and he was fine on the dirt,” said Carroll.

With a record of 2-2-1 from seven starts and purse earnings of $423,460, Ami’s Holiday has been a consistent performer for his owner-breeder topped by a win in October’s Grade 3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine.

Carroll is hopeful the colt will earn Dalos a coveted Classic win at Fort Erie.

“When you look at the horses that Mr. Dalos has bred, with that back pedigree of Victory Gallop (sire of dam Victorious Ami), he definitely sets out to breed a horse for endurance,” said Carroll.

Lions Bay, trained by Jamie Attard for longtime owners/breeders Martin and Vicky Earle and their sons, Nicholas and Jonathan, arrives at the Prince of Wales from a troubled sixth-place run in the Queen’s Plate.

The Sligo Bay colt entered the Plate with back-to-back wins, but trouble arrived almost immediately after the break for horse and rider David Moran.

“He broke well, but two steps out he stumbled and grabbed the inside of his front right foot and bent his shoe down about an inch and a half,” said Attard. “It made him uncomfortable and David said he wasn’t able to stride out like he normally would.”

“The filly ran a huge race that day and I don’t want to take anything away from her. I don’t think we would have won, but we think we could have been fourth. There were only 2 1/2-lengths from fourth to six in the Plate and we felt we could have been right there.”

Good news coming out of the race is that Lions Bay appeared no worse for wear.

“Thankfully we came back to the barn and he didn’t have a nick on him,” said Attard. “We pulled the shoe right away and his foot is fine. We put a new shoe on him and he’s training beautifully, so it seems to be a non-issue.”

Lions Bay will breeze over Woodbine’s dirt training track on Tuesday afternoon in his final Prince of Wales prep.

“He did most of his preliminary training last year on the training track and he’s had a number of works over it and he handles it fine,” said Attard. “I understand that Fort Erie is a little bit different of a dirt surface, but we’ve breezed here in :47 and change, so he handles the dirt very well.”

Matador and Coltimus Prime, seventh and ninth in the Plate respectively, are also expected to make the short trek down the Queen Elizabeth Way for the Prince of Wales.

Matador, trained by Casse for John Oxley, arrived at the Plate from an easy allowance win after trying his luck in a series of U.S. Triple Crown prep races where his best result was a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Casse won the 2013 edition of the Prince of Wales with Uncaptured, the 2012 Canadian Horse of the Year.

Coltimus Prime, a dark bay Milwaukee Brew colt, was part of the early pace in the Plate before fading. The Justin Nixon trainee boasts a record of 2-2-0 from eight career starts including an allowance score heading into the Plate.

Owned by Cabernet Racing Stables, the social media savvy connections also attempted to make the Kentucky Derby with Coltimus Prime, finishing a good fifth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland before deciding to focus on the Plate.

Newcomers to the Canadian Triple Crown experience on the nomination list include Ascot Martin, East Side, Lynx, Money Talks, Rhythm Blues and Smart Spree.

Of that group, Money Talks, a dark bay Mobil gelding trained by William Tharrenos, seems certain to make the Prince of Wales field.

Money Talks, under a patient steer from Jesse Campbell, toppled an optional claiming field in style on Friday afternoon at Woodbine covering 1 1/16-miles in 1:45.28.

Making his first start since May 19, Campbell settled into fifth position along the rail with Money Talks and waited until the top of the lane to split rivals with an impressive turn of foot for a 4 3/4-length score.

“Jesse just let him run the last eighth of a mile. He looks pretty fit right now,” said Tharrenos following the race. “That little break really helped him. He had a two month break and in a couple works it showed in the morning that he’s coming along very well.

“I think we’ll point there (the Prince of Wales) as long as he comes out of it well. We were really pleased to have that little break and let him come back to himself. He wasn’t right the last couple starts, but we have him right now.”

Money Talks boasts a record of 3-2-1 from 10 career starts and has faced older company in all four of his 2014 starts. Tharrenos is confident the gelding will handle the dirt.

“He trains well on it in the morning and I think this (result) will get him to peak right on,” said Tharrenos.


HORSE                         OWNER                                               TRAINER    THE SCOOP

Ami’s Holiday          Ivan Dalos                                           Josie Carroll  – 2nd Queen’s Plate, never tried dirt but has a big chance if he handles     it,    86 Beyer in Plate

Ascot Martin            Beclawat Stable                                  Mike Keogh –  maiden but 2nd in his only dirt race, 56 Beyer

Coltimus Prime        Cabernet Racing Stable                      Justin Nixon –  stakes placed, 9th in only dirt race

East Side                      Stoneway Farm                                   Mark Casse – winner with 65 Beyer, never tried dirt

Lions Bay                   M. N. V. & J. Earle                              Jamie Attard – winner, 6th with 70 Beyer in Plate

Lynx                             Peachtree Stable                                 Cathal Lynch – winner with 84 Beyer on dirt at Parx

Matador                     John C. Oxley                                      Mark Casse – SW, 85 Beyer on dirt

Money Talks           RPI Stable, Natural Eight, Harrison & McLaughlin Bill Tharrenos winner, 74 Beyer last time, new top

Rhythm Blues              Hillsbrook Farms                                 Nick Gonzalez – winner won maiden on dirt, 63 Beyer, 76 Beyer last time

Smart Spree                Augustin Stable                                   Mark Frostad – maiden, 8th in only dirt race, turf to dirt, best Beyer 78 came on grass


The draw for the Prince of Wales will take place on Friday, July 25th in the Fort Erie Race Office at 1pm.  Members of the media are welcome to attend.

The Prince of Wales will be run on Tuesday, July 29th.  First race post time is scheduled for 4:15.  The Prince of Wales will be televised on TSN from 7pm to 8pm EDT with the Prince of Wales scheduled for 7:40pm.


KRIS DUBE – bullet news niagara

FORT ERIE – Contenders for next week’s Prince of Wales Stakes at the Fort Erie Race Track are starting to prepare, get loose and even go for practice runs at the 117-year-old border oval.

Between the third and fourth races at this week’s Twilight Tuesday at the track, one of the horses that will be coming out of the starting gate in the 79th instalment of the prestigious race, went for a five-furlong breeze around the track.

Coltimus Prime, a colt trained by 20-year veteran Justin Nixon, went for a trial run in front of a decent crowd on Tuesday – ridden by retired jockey Francine Villeneuve – the first female Canadian rider to earn 1,000 wins in a horse racing career.


Leading trainers by wins:
Rank    Trainer Name    Sts    1st    2nd    3rd    Total $    Win%    Top3    Top3%

1    Mark E. Casse                214    40    41    29    $3,374,379    19%    110    51%
4    Nicholas Gonzalez    123    23    12    18    $965,748    19%    53    43%
3    Robert P. Tiller             116    21    19    17    $988,332    18%    57    49%
7    Ralph J. Biamonte    64    15    8    8    $671,438    23%    31    48%
2    Malcolm Pierce           44    14    5    8    $1,034,262    32%    27    61%
6    Brian A. Lynch            75    14    10    11    $790,342    19%    35    47%
13    Norman McKnight    50    14    4    9    $407,215    28%    27    54%
5    Reade Baker                  102    11    17    15    $842,379    11%    43    42%
9    Michael P. De Paulo    67    11    5    8    $597,399    16%    24    36%


Leading Jockeys by wins

Rank    Jockey Name    Sts    1st    2nd    3rd    Total $    Win%    Top3    Top3%
2    Luis Contreras                     377    71    72    50    $3,303,117    19%    193    51%
3    Eurico Rosa Da Silva    306    66    42    48    $3,128,796    22%    156    51%
1    Patrick Husbands           257    59    43    41    $3,712,494    23%    143    56%
5    Jesse M. Campbell          257    40    33    43    $1,899,262    16%    116    45%
4    Justin Stein                       260    38    35    37    $2,141,313    15%    110    42%
7    Emma-Jayne Wilson    244    27    32    34    $1,413,909    11%    93    38%
10    David Moran                  206    26    19    28    $1,148,555    13%    73    35%
6    Chantal Sutherland Kruse    201    23    34    20    $1,420,960    11%    77    38%
9    Gerry Olguin                        170    23    18    26    $1,158,351    14%    67    39%



The top Beyer Figures from Sunday, a rainy and cool day at Woodbine were:


KARIBU GARDENS – 90, allowance race. one of a few Eugene Melnyk runners left and he was vanned off from his most recent race (reportedly of heat stroke but not confirmed). He won like a thief on this day in 1:49.37 for 9 furlongs.

O WANDERLUST – 82, turf;  won again on the grass, this time for $30,00 claiming for Lucky Fish Stable and trainer John Mattine, 2:03.80 for 10 furlongs.

PIRATE’S TROVE, 80, lasted to win the Duchess at odds-on for trainer Mike Stidham. from the female family made potent by Gail Wood, who bred the half sister Authenicat and others.

LAFONTAINE – 80 slogged through yielding grass to win the Toronto Cup for Cudney Stable. by Artie Schiller, 1:48.86 for 9 furlongs

THEOGENY, 80  Conrad Stable filly won this allowance in 1:22.82 from off the pace.