Le Cinquieme Essai, translated from French as 'the fifth try', was making his fifth career start on Sunday in Fort Erie's Prince of Wales Stakes. Perhaps it was meant to be. The 3-year-old son of Fastness, and the only Fort Erie-based horse running in the $500,000 event, captured the second leg of Canada's Triple Crown, and thwarted the Triple Crown hopes of Queen's Plate winner T J's Lucky Moon.Le Cinquieme Essai entered Sunday's event with a perfect two-for-two record in 2002. But with a start only two weeks earlier at Woodbine, the Ontario-bred was coming into the toughest race of his career on less rest than any of his 11 rivals.Trainer Paul Nielsen made the final decision to run the chestnut at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, feeling that his colt was ready for the test.Ridden by Fort Erie regular Brian Bochinski, Le Cinquieme Essai stalked the early pace set by Forever Grand, T J's Lucky Moon and Ford Every Stream. At the top of the stretch, Bochinski asked the colt for run, and he responded to win by three-quarters of a length over a late-charging Bravely and Anglian Prince."It was tough and I wasn't really sure how it would turn out," said Nielsen of his final decision to run. "It turned out really well. It's great for Fort Erie and the home team."According to Bochinski, the race shaped up according to plan."It turned out the way we hoped," he said. "We wanted to be a couple of lengths off of it and make a run down the lane. At the three-eighths pole I had a lot left, I asked him and he responded well."
Plate winner T J's Lucky Moon was hard pressed in the 1 3/16 mile race, and failed to sustain his run in the stretch. He finished 10th under jockey Steven Bahen."We didn't get to go as slow as we did in the Plate," said Bahen. "The inside was really not good today. I tried to keep him in the three path because that's where they were winning today. They pushed me down inside. I finally got to where I was supposed to be, but he just didn't handle the racetrack."The third leg of the Triple Crown will be contested on Saturday, August 10, over 1 1/2 miles on Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course.Le Cinquime Essai returned $15.40 to win.