Niigon Tops Prince of Wales Field
Updated: Friday, July 16, 2004 12:39 PM
Edited release from Woodbine Entertainment
Posted: Friday, July 16, 2004 11:30 AM
A field of seven, including Queen's Plate champion Niigon, is set to compete Sunday afternoon in the Prince of Wales Stakes, second jewel of Canada's Triple Crown, at Fort Erie.
Chiefswood Stables' Niigon, a son of Unbridled trained by Eric Coatrieux, has been made an even-money morning line favorite and will break from post position three. Robert Landry, who won the 1998 renewal of the Prince of Wales with Archers Bay, gets the call.
Niigon worked six furlongs in 1:14-flat on July 9 at Chiefswood Training Center.
Niigon will look to follow in the hoofsteps of 13 other Queen's Plate winners that won the Prince of Wales en route to a shot at a Triple Crown coronation in the series' final gem, the Breeders' Stakes.
The most recent winner of the race, Wando in 2003, went on to become the seventh Triple Crown winner in racing history.
A Bit O'Gold, at 7-5 in the morning line, is Niigon's chief rival in the 69th Prince of Wales. The Two Bit Racing Stable's chestnut is trained by Catherine Day Phillips and will be ridden by Jono Jones. The Gold Fever gelding drew post four, looking to avenge his narrow half-length loss in the Plate.
The multiple stakes winner signaled his readiness to turn the tables with a five furlong breeze on July 10 at Woodbine in a minute flat. The mark was second best of 40 moves over the main track that morning.
Just in Case Jimmy, at 8-1, is the logical upsetter of the top two. Trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, who also owns a half of the Whiskey Wisdom gelding with Bill Werner, should move forward off his fourth-place finish in the Plate after coming off the pace in the 1 1/4-mile race.
The bay also worked five furlongs in the interim, 1:02 1/5, handily on July 9 over the Woodbine main strip.
One to Celebrate is the one of two entrants set to participate in the 1 3/16-mile event not to have run in the Plate. The Curraghmore Farm and Formal Racing Stable silk-bearer has two wins in four starts this year, including a smart 5 1/4-length win in an allowance race on July 1 for trainer Reade Baker. The Ascot Knight colt, who is 12-1 in the morning line, will be ridden by Rui Pimentel.
The Prince of Wales field includes two from the barn of trainer Jim Day -- His Smoothness (post 5, jockey Jim McKnight, 20-1 in the morning line), who finished fifth in the Plate for Come By Chance Stable, and Copper Trail (6, Na Somsanith, 20-1), ninth in the Plate for owner Mario Stolar.
Gary Wellwood and Larry Titchner's Picadilly Bay rounds out the seven horse field. The John Ross trainee also did not run in the Queen's Plate, as he tries to become the first horse since Le Cinquieme Essai in 2002 to win the Prince of Wales after not running in the series' first leg. The Cape Town
colt, 20-1 in the morning line, drew post seven for jockey Constant Montpellier.
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