Front-running Ablo fended off several challenges from a determined Autumn Snow to register a game neck victory in the $500,000 (Canadian) Prince of Wales Stakes Sunday at Fort Erie in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.
Queen's Plate winner Wild Desert, the 3-10 favorite in the field of six, finished third, three-quarters of a length behind in the 1 3/16-mile event for 3-year-old Canadian-breds. The final time was 1:56.90 on a sloppy track.
Ridden by Gerry Olguin, Ablo, a bay colt by Lite the Fuse
-Diablo's Closer (Diablo), broke alertly and went to the front, gradually increasing his advantage to a length while setting fractions of :24 2/5, :48 and 1:11 3/5. Going into the far turn, Autumn Snow, ridden by Francine Villeneuve, challenged for the lead on the outside and the pair battled head and head the rest of the way. Ablo emerged as the winner in the final strides under strong handling from Olguin.
Wild Desert was reserved off the pace under Patrick Valenzuela, and rallied while four-wide in the stretch but could not reach the first two. Wild Desert won the Queen's Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple, by a half-length June 26.
Trained by Roger Attfield, Ablo ran fifth, beaten by 7 1/2 lengths in the Queen's Plate after pressuring the early pace and flattening out in the stretch. His last victory came in November's Coronation Futurity at Woodbine to wrap up his 2-year-old campaign. He was winless in four starts in 2005 prior to Sunday.
Ablo earned $245,760 (U.S.) for owners Michael Canino, William Werner, and Attfield. He won for the third time in 10 career starts and has earned $497,623 (U.S.).
He paid $18.90 and $6.90. Autumn Snow returned $6.70. There was no show wagering.
After Wild Desert came Out From Africa, Stephen's Gift, and Granique.