The victory was especially sweet for trainer and Fort Erie local Justin Nixon, who launched his career at the Ontario oval and was based there from 1996 to 2002.
A Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hopeful earlier this year, Coltimus Prime came into the Prince of Wales off a ninth in the Queen's Plate Stakes, the first leg of the series for Canadian-bred runners. In the Queen's Plate, won by the filly Lexie Lou
, he was forwardly placed through swift early fractions then faded but emphatically rebounded for classic victory in the Prince of Wales, taking charge to earn his first stakes win.
Breaking from the six hole in the 10-horse field, the son of Milwaukee Brew
was quick to lead and laid down an even pace throughout. He shook off a stretch challenge from runner-up Lynx
before drawing away to triumph by 3 1/2 lengths at 5-1 odds. Ami's Holiday
, the 8-5 favorite off a runner-up finish in the Queen's Plate, was up for third after racing in sixth, then fifth early on.
"I looked at the Form and it seems my horse was the speed in the race," said winning rider Eurico Rosa da Silva, who guided Coltimus Prime through fractions of :24.03, 48.11, and 1:12.86 for six furlongs while Lynx pressed from second. As the mile went in 1:36.82, Frankie Pennington moved Lynx to challenge in midstretch, but Coltimus Prime found another gear to secure the victory.
"I was screaming (down the stretch)," Nixon said after the race. "We've won a lot of races here. This is awfully special. It means a lot. It's a dream come true. I've watched a lot of good horses (at Fort Erie). I learned the game here when I first started my career. It's something special to win its biggest race.
"We did everything we could to put this horse in the best possible position to win. We brought him down a week early. He trained dynamite over the strip. He's eaten well. He's done everything the way you want a horse to go into a race."
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 dirt. The first race, the Queen's Plate, is a 1 1/4-mile race on Woodbine
's Polytrack surface. The final test, the Breeders' Stakes, a 1 1/2-mile test, is held on Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course and will be run Aug. 17.
Coltimus Prime covered the distance in 1:54.58, improving his overall record to 3-2-0 from nine career starts for Cabernet Racing Stables. He was second in last year's Display Stakes at Woodbine after breaking his maiden by eight lengths at the Toronto track. A Kentucky Derby candidate earlier this year, he was unplaced in the both the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) before returning to Woodbine where he won an allowance race in his start prior to the July 6 Queen's Plate.
Coltimus Prime returned $12.80, $6.50 and $3.90 while Lynx paid $6 and $3.80. Ami's Holiday brought $2.70 to show.
Coltimus Prime is the third Canadian classic winner for Milwaukee Brew, also the sire of Canadian champions Ginger Brew
and Milwaukee Appeal
, respective winners of the Woodbine Oaks in 2008 and 2009. Bred in Ontario by J. Horner, he is out of the Distorted Humor
mare Certainly Special, who also produced his stakes-winning Silent Name half sister Crysta's Court.