Just gimme a kissss – A muddy Patrick Husbands duck away from Mark Casse’s pucker in the winner’s circle after the Prince of Wales…Terence Dulay photo
SHE STRIKES, SHE SCORES!
91 Beyer for Dixie strike in ‘Wales
It was fitting that it was a bright and shiny day after all at Fort Erie yesterday for the 77th PRINCE OF WALES Stakes, the middle jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown. The ‘Wales, a Woodbine race, has been run at Fort Erie for years, at one time on the grass and then, in 19888, 1 3/16 miles on the dirt, just like its American counterpart the Preakness Stakes.
The greats have been here and won here, With Approval, Izvestia and Dance Smartly. The horsepeople love to come here.
Just ask Mark Casse, who sent out the hard knocking filly DIXIE STRIKE to win the ‘Wales for her 3rd big win of the season.
You have to hand it to Casse, who is well aware that there has been plenty of skepticism about how good the filly really is. He knew, it was just a matter of making her happy.
“I think a lot of times, we overtrain horses,” said Casse after the John Oxley filly won the $500,000 race. “I decided about a week out that I was not going to work her between the Plate and the ‘Wales.”
And with a patented, patient ride from his main man, Patrick Husbands, Dixie Strike came from last, covered in wet dirt (it had rained before the racing day, heavily) and powered past Colleen’s Sailor and fought off Ultimate Destiny to win.
The time of 1:57 4/5 was among the slower times in history but the track was not overly fast since it was a bit on the heavy side.
Husbands rode a super race as the pace was quite fast. Menlo Castle surged ahead of Colleen’s Sailor to take the lead but then the Sailor moved wide to the lead around the last turn. With Ultimate Destiny inside but looking to drift off the rail and Colleen’s Sailor either going out or in, Husbands had to make up his mind quickly where to go with the filly. He went outside Colleen’s Sailor and ground out the score.
The betting on a great day was $1.1 million, the best handle in 10 years for the day.
Fans and horsepeople from all parts Ontario and south of the border wore Fort Erie buttons, shirts, banners, etc.
RACING FUTURE.com, inaugurated by Dennis Mills with a huge push to fight the government on its inane plan to take away slot revenue from tracks (Fort Erie has already lost its slots) was emblazoned on the pants of all the jockeys.
The mood was cheerful but serious. Any conversation seemingly had something to do with the future of the track. Is this the last year of Fort Erie? Is this the last Prince of Wales at Fort Erie?
We hope not, it is such a quaint and lovely track to race at and visit. You are close to the horses and that means a lot.
Newly blinkered DIXIE STRIKE powers away from Ultimate Destiny, light blue, and Colleen’s Sailor (yellow/orange)
Cindy Pierson Dulay photo
Sharp as a tack – no workout since the Plate means a happy and frisky Dixie Strike
More from the FORT… A Pig roast in a bit open pit barbeque filled the air with the sweet, smokey smell of cookin’ – awesome!
French frie trucks and tons of tables and benches around the paddock brought the fans right to the horses.
The Tiki Bar set up was huge and popular and the band after the last race had a big crowd.
The track does it all right, no question about it. If the track should close, the marketing gurus at the track would be worth a pretty penny at other tracks.
It should be noted that I found the crowd to be on the older side and not very boisterous. As the races ran, there was nary a peep, it was a controlled crowd perhaps. Thus, while the betting was up, can the people that are coming to the track really bet enough to keep it going, slots or no?
STEVE BAHEN, who rode ULTIMATE DESTINY, was fined for excessive use of the whip in the ‘Wales (waiting to hear if the stretch drive of RUN IN ARUBA was a bit heavy too). He was fined 20% of his 10% purse share ($2,000).
Terence Dulay photo
I got dressed up for you folks, now don’t take away my track!
E-MAIL YOUR MPP, DON’T WAIT ANY LONGER!
LIST OF MPPS
FOREVER GRAND, 13, SELLS FOR $91,000
Anglian Prince, $88,000
Okay, well, I guess if you are going to spend that much money on a chuckwagon horse, you are gonna take care of him. Good luck to Forever Grand..let’s just not see these horses doing this when they 18 anymore!
excerpt from CALGARY HERALD….Sutherland led off the auction, which signified the end of Profit’s 26-year run with the World Pro group, by paying a record $91,000 for 13-year-old right leader Granby, which finished third in a Queen’s Plate early in his racetrack career.
Then it was $88,000 for left leader Prince, another 13-year-old; $55,000 for award-winning left wheeler Johnny (10) and $42,000 for left wheeler Chuck (11).