Queen's Plate winner Big Red Mike will take on the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes.

Queen's Plate winner Big Red Mike will take on the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes.

Michael Burns

Plenty to Like About Mike in Prince of Wales

Big Red Mike the 6-5 morning line choice in second leg of Canadian Triple Crown

Queen’s Plate winner Big Red Mike will attempt to add the second jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown to his record when he goes to post as the 6-5 favorite in the July 25 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Racetrack.

Contested over 1 3/16 miles at the Fort Erie, Ontario, oval, the $500,000 (Canadian funds) Prince of Wales will be Big Red Mike’s first start on a conventional dirt surface. The gelded son of Tenpins--Regent n’ Flashy, by Vice Regent, has made six starts over the Polytrack at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto and has never finished off the board, including back-to-back stakes victories in the June 13 Plate Trial Stakes and the July 4 Queen’s Plate.

A homebred for Dom Romeo’s Terra Racing Stable, Big Red Mike is trained by Nick Gonzalez. The Ontario-bred chestnut will be ridden again by Eurico Rosa Da Silva, who piloted him to his last two wins. The pair will break from post 4.

Seven Canadian-bred 3-year-olds will attempt to dethrone Big Red Mike, including four return runners from the Queens Plate. This quartet is led by Hotep, runner-up to Big Red Mike last time out and pegged as the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. Conditioned by trainer Mark Frostad for Sam-Son Farm, Hotep is a seasoned traveler who has won three races from nine starts. The son of A.P. Indy–Eye of the Sphynx, by Smart Strike, competed at the Fair Grounds earlier this year, tallying a win on the dirt under allowance/optional claiming conditions Feb. 1.

After competing against top 3-year-olds such as Discreetly Mine and Drosselmeyer at the Fair Grounds, Hotep returned to Woodbine to score his most important win May 8 in the Wando Stakes. This was followed by a second-place effort behind the rapidly improving Exhi  in the May 29 Marine Stakes. Hotep will retain the services of jockey Patrick Husbands for the Prince of Wales.

Mobthewarrior, fifth in the Plate, has indicated in his last two starts that he should not be overlooked. The gelded son of Mobil  made a strong move in the stretch of the Plate Trial, finishing less than three lengths behind Big Red Mike while finishing third. Mobthewarrior made a similar move three weeks later in the Plate, threading through horses to come up just short. The winner of the Frost King Stakes as a 2-year-old for owner Andrew Fredericks and trainer Greg de Gannes, Mobthewarrior will keep regular rider Emile Ramsammy when he breaks from post one at 6-1.

Mobil Unit, another son of Mobil, has been pegged as the fourth choice at 8-1 as he joins the Triple Crown trail. A homebred for Gustav Schickedanz and trained by Mike Keogh, Mobil Unit showed ability early as a 2-year-old, finishing third behind Canadian 2-year-old champion Hollinger on the turf in the Cup and Saucer Stakes. While he has done his best running on the turf, also breaking his maiden over that surface last year, Mobil Unit most recently dominated a 1 1/16 mile allowance event over the Polytrack June 24 at Woodbine. David Clark will ride.

Dark Cloud Dancer, Golden Moka, Who We Gunna Call, and Captain Canuck round out the field. Dark Cloud Dancer is also entered in the Toronto Cup Stakes at Woodbine July 24.

This year’s running of the Prince of Wales marks the 75th renewal of the second jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown. Some of Canada’s greatest horses have won the Prince of Wales, including popular Triple Crown winners Izvestia, With Approval, Dance Smartly, and Wando.

$500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, 3-year-olds (Canadian-bred),  1 3/16 miles, dirt, Fort Erie, July 24.
PP/Horse/Jockey/Trainer/Morning Line

1, Mobthewarrior, Emile Ramsammy, Greg de Gannes,  6-1
2, Captain Canuck, Eibar Coa, Josie Carroll, 20-1
3, Hotep, Patrick Husbands, Mark Frostad, 5-2
4, Big Red Mike, Eurico Rosa Da Silva, Nick Gonzalez, 6-5
5, Golden Moka, Anthony Stephen, Brian Lynch, 15-1
6, Mobil Unit, David Clark, Mike Keogh, 8-1
7, Dark Cloud Dancer, Justin Stein, Mark Frostad, 10-1
8, Who We Gunna Call, Gerry Olguin, Tino Attard, 20-1