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Pender Harbour and his connections head for the winner's circle after the 2011 Prince of Wales Stakes
The 76th renewal of the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel in Canada's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds foaled in Canada, was run Sunday at Fort Erie Racetrack over a distance of 1 3/16 miles. A field of 7 went to post under sunny skies with temperatures reaching 90 degrees.. Queen's Plate winner Inglorious skipped the race in favor of heading to Saratoga to take on the fillies there in the Alabama Stakes, denying Canada a Triple Crown champion for yet another year. Just 7 entered the race, with Queen's Plate beaten favorite and 7th place finisher Check Your Soul sent off as the 3-2 choice. In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice Bowman's Causeway, fourth in the Plate after finishing second to Check Your Soul in the Plate Trial, and 4-1 third choice Pender Harbour, third in the Plate last out.
Oh Canada leads in the stretch with Pender Harbour and Bowman's Causeway rallying on the outside.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Pender Harbour Contraras 10.30 4.60 3.40 6 Bowman's Causeway Da Silva 3.40 2.90 1 Oh Canada Carignan 4.40 Winning Time: 1:55.74 $2 Exacta 2-6 28.70 $2 Trifecta 1-6-1 186.20 $1 Superfecta 2-6-1-3 301.10
Left: Pender Harbour in the winner's circle. His trainer Mike DePaulo said, "We had some traffic problems in the Plate and wanted Pender Harbour outside and clear of trouble. Luis gave him a great ride and he was clear of trouble every step of the way. We were so happy to have him back in the saddle. This was a genuine victory (compared to winning by DQ in 2006 with Shillelagh Slew). This one was much more rewarding, a win fair and square. My horse showed a lot of heart. This gelding might be one of the best horses I've ever trained."
Right: Pender Harbour returns after the race. Asked whether he would run Pender Harbour in the Breeders' Stakes, which is on turf, DePaulo added, "He has run good on the polytrack, he has run good on the dirt and I don't see anything really bothering him in terms of tracks. I don't see any reason why he wouldn't run. He should love grass."
Left: Pender Harbour in the paddock before the race. His jockey Luis Contreras said, "It's amazing. I can't believe it. I just won the Queen's Plate, a big and exciting race for me and then to come back and win the Prince of Wales on a different horse and course. My horse had a clean trip and gave me everything he had. I had a lot of horse at the top of the stretch and felt I would win it. When I turned for home, I saw all kinds of room to spare. But I also heard a lot of horses coming from behind and knew it was going to be a very close finish. (Da Silva aboard Bowman's Causeway) was riding hard and yelling, but it was an exciting finish. I thought he caught me on the last jump."
Right: Pender Harbour in the post parade.
Left: Jockey Luis Contraras poses with the Prince of Wales Stakes trophy. Contreras also won this year's Queen's Plate aboard Inglorious, so if he wins the Breeders' Stakes in 3 weeks time he could be the only jockey to sweep the Canadian Triple Crown aboard different horses, a feat almost accomplished in the U.S. Triple Crown by Calvin Borel in 2009.
Right: The trophy presentation for the Prince of Wales Stakes. Co-owner Bob Giffin said, "I think I helped Luis ride the horse home. He got in the clear on the outside and that's where he wanted to be and he got a good run on the turn heading into the stretch and he rode a strong finish. He's just a wonderful rider. What a day. We're all ecstatic."
Left: Second place finisher Bowman's Causeway in the post parade. The 2-1 second choice raced 5th about 3 lengths off the pace early under regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva, rallied well but was nosed out at the line. The Chad Brown trainee improved his record to 1 win, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 9 starts, earning $252,465 for owner Martin Schwartz.
Right: Third place finisher Oh Canada leads first time by. The 12-1 fifth choice set the pace under new jockey Krista Carignan, but faded in the final strides to finish third beaten just 1/2 a length. The Bob Tiller trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 1 second, and 3 thirds in 7 starts, earning $254,881 for owner-breeder Frank DiGiulio Jr.
Last place finisher and beaten favorite Check Your Soul returns after the race. The 3-2 favorite broke outward and had to be straightened by regular rider Patrick Husbands, trailed throughout and failed to rally, finishing last beaten 14 3/4 lengths. The Roger Attfield trainee has a record to 3 wins, 0 seconds, and 0 thirds in 6 starts, earning $200,324 for owner-breeder Charles Fipke.
Drexler said, "I thought of scratching Gee Pari and I was sitting on the fence for a long time. 'Natalie' has so much more confidence this season and we set her up for this race."
Results Chart from DRF
Prince of Wales info online:
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