Queen's Plate winner Wando scared off the competition for Sunday's $500,000 Prince of Wales for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds at Fort Erie Race Track, and was installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite in a field of seven.
Wando, who dominated the Queen's Plate at Toronto's Woodbine last month with a nine-length victory, is an overwhelming choice in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. The chestnut colt drew post position four in the biggest race of the year at Erie.
Owned by Toronto construction tycoon Gus Schickedanz, Wando could be in position to become his nation's seventh Triple Crown winner and the first since Peteski in 1993. If he can win on Sunday, the final leg is the Breeders' Stakes next month.
Wando's trainer, Michael Keogh, is making his third Prince of Wales appearance. He finished second in both 1996 with Firm Dancer and in 1999 with Woodcarver, another Queen's Plate winner.
Keogh plans to ship his horse from Woodbine the morning of the race.
Starting from the outside will be Shoal Water, expected to be Wando's chief competition at 9-2 on the morning line. Shoal Water's connections drew exactly where they hoped to.
"We're hoping to put some early pressure on Wando and hopefully can pin him along the fence, said assistant trainer Hugh Chatman."
Keogh isn't at all concerned with anyone else's strategy.
"We're going to run our race. He's coming into the race off two good works, a maintenance breeze and a strong work. We're good to go. We'll see what they're going to do."
Fort Erie based runner Sonofawac breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:00 3/5, galloping out in 1:14 4/5 Wednesday morning over the border oval main track.
The Prince of Wales Stakes is scheduled to go to post at 4:48 p.m. (EDT), as race eight on the card. $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, 3-year-olds bred in Canada, 1 3/16 mile
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Peef (ON), Raymond Brian Sabourin
2. Arco's Gold (ON), Constant Montpellier
3. Gavro (ON), Steven Ronald Bahen
4. Wando (ON), Patrick Husbands
5. Sonofawac (BC), Cory Clark
6. Solihull (ON), Dino Luciani
7. Shoal Water (ON), David Clark
All will carry 126 pounds.