IN HIS PRIME – 93 Beyer Speed Figure for Coltimus Prime
COLTIMUS PRIME ran to the expectations put on him by his connections on Tuesday evening when he led all the way to win the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie. The second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown did not have the Queen’s Plate winner in the field (Lexie Lou) and was a mixed group of winners and maidens. It was AMI’S HOLIDAY who was bet hard off his 2nd place finish to Lexie Lou in the Plate while Coltimus Prime was surprisingly just 5 to 1. It had been a long, hard grind for the son of Milwaukee Brew, who began tackling Kentucky Derby hopefuls in the winter. He was 9th in the Tampa Bay Derby, 5th in the Blue Grass and then 2nd in his return to Woodbine. He won an allowance race in his next start when the leader bolted inwards. He finished ninth beaten 18 lengths in the Plate.
But trainer Justin Nixon and owners Jayson Horner and Mike Weingartner continued to have faith in the handsome colt, bred by Horner. He trained at Fort Erie, worked fast, and was the best looking horse on the post parade for the 69th Wales.
Under new rider Eurico Da Silva, Coltimus Prime broke eagerly and asserted himself to the lead. As he did so, he drifted inwards several paths, causing a major jam up for Money Talks and Ascot Martin. The former got mad from being wiped out and raced up to chase the leader but the race was soon over.
LYNX, the Canadian-bred invader for John Fort, pressed and challenged Coltimus Prime all the way but could not stay with the winner, landing second ahead of Ami’s Holiday and Smart Spree.
Curiously, even with track announcer Mike Dimoff remarking about the winner drifting in after the start and the rough trip for some rivals, there was no inquiry posted. No claim of foul by jockeys, no stewards inquiry. So anyone holding tickets with the winner and the others in exactors were left wondering what exactly happened.
The time of 1:54.58 was one of the better times for the race in history and is Beyer Figure was a career best 93.
Coltimus Prime is out of Horner’s lovely mare (and aptly named) Certainly Special, a daughter of Distorted Humor, who raced 4 times and was claimed for $16,000 from a 4th place finisher at Gulfstream in 2008. She did not race again. Her 3rd dam is Thaidah, a daughter of Vice Regent – Ballade, a great Canadian family.
The mare’s second foal, a Silent Name (Jpn) filly is stakes winner Crysta’s Court. She has a 2013 colt by Sky Conqueror named Narrow Escape and a 2014 colt by Silent Name.
COLTIMUS PRIME will by-pass the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine on grass and may point for a dirt stakes race south of the border.
HOLDING THE FORT
Wagering on the card at Fort Erie was up about $200,000 and a nice crowd made Fort Erie the talk of Canadian horse racing this week. The track has been racing 2 days a week and has just under three dozen racing dates as it continues to struggle for survival.
KRIS DUBE FEATURE STORIES
FORT ERIE – Justin Nixon has enjoyed his fair share of wins at the Fort Erie Race Track as a trainer and after Tuesday’s Prince of Wales Stakes, he is celebrating the biggest of his career.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Nixon, whose three-year old colt, Coltimus Prime, beat the rest of the field with a time of 1:54.58.
Nixon let his jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva take control as soon as the 10-horse field reached the starting gate, he told reporters after the race.
“I told Eurico to ride him however he saw fit,” said Nixon, who has been training horses for almost 20 years.
Standing next to his 13-year-old son, Nixon said Coltimus Prime “trained dynamite” in the days leading up to the big race – and that he was clearly comfortable with his surroundings at the Fort Erie Race Track.
INVESTORS SET TO BUY FORT ERIE
FORT ERIE – The day after the 79th run of the Prince of Wales Stakes at the Fort Erie Race Track, news has broke that the 117-year-old facility is about to be sold.
According to Jim Thibert, chief executive officer of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium, the final touches will be put on a transaction with the buyers – who are based out of Buffalo, N.Y.
The FELRC has been leasing the property from the track’s owner, Nordic Gaming, for the last five years, an agreement Thibert said will be transferred to the new owners when the sale is finalized.
“The land/property transaction does not affect the operations of FELRC or the Fort Erie Race Track,” Thibert wrote in a post on social media.
BELLA’S REBEL CONNECTS
Gary Wellwood’s BELLA’S REBEL won the Rainbow Connection Stakes on the Prince of Wales card over 7 rivals. Older fillies and mares contested the $75,000 Rainbow Connection Stakes, originally scheduled for turf but moved to the main track at 5 furlongs due to rain the previous day. Jockey Michelle Rainford sent 8-1 Bella’s Rebel to the lead down the backstretch and she set fractions of 22.14 and 44.83 while pressed by 19-1 Dreamy Moonlite. Entering the lane, the pair continued to duel to the line, with Bella’s Rebel outfinishing Dreamy Moonlite by 3/4 length in 57.47. It was another 1 1/4 length back to 3-1 Dance to the Moon third, while 5-2 favorite Crysta’s Court was sixth.