SARATOGA SPRINGS -- A field of eight will head to the gate at post time on Tuesday evening at Fort Erie Race Track for the middle jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown. The post positions for the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes were drawn this afternoon at the border oval early this afternoon with Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges (2-1) drawing outside post number. 8.
No Plate winner since 2003 has won the second leg. Wando is that last horse to accomplish that feat on his way to the Canadian Triple Crown 13 years ago.
The race will include all three of the top finishers in the Queen's Plate, with second-place finisher Amis Gizmo (5-2) and All On Red (7-2) all entering the biggest race of the year across the Peace Bridge. The middle jewel is run over 1 3/16-miles, a similar distance to America's second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness.
Top trainer Todd Pletcher will stamp Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez' passport to head north of the border to ride Battery (8-1) in the 81st edition of the biggest stake race of the season at Fort Erie. Pletcher trained Prince of Wales winners in 1998 (Archers Bay) and 2008 (Harlem Rocker) and will seek his third winner on Tuesday evening.
Velazquez will make a rare appearance at Fort Erie on Tuesday, a dark day at Saratoga, making the five-hour trek down the Thruway to ride the son of Bernardini.
Post time for the race is 7:40 p.m., with the first race going off on the twilight card at 4:15 p.m.
Amis Gizmo is one of the few horses that came down to work over the border oval on July 19 for trainer Josie Carroll. Jockey Luis Contreras was satisfied with his charges' effort. “The track is perfect, they’ve got it very nice and I liked the surface,” said Contreras after the run. “The horse let loose like he loves the track and I’m very happy with him.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux will be back aboard Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges who should relish the outside post with his late closing racing style.
Morning line odds and post positions for Tuesday night's race is as follows:
|Prince of Wales Post Positions|
|1||Leavem in Malibu||Casse||Boulanger||5-1|
|2||All On Red||Attard||Rosa da Silva||7-2|
|5||Leo From Heaven||Frostad||Wilson||8-1|
|8||Sir Dudley Digges||Maker||Leparoux||2-1|
Check back Tuesday's morning for a print advance on the Prince of Wales and a recap in Wednesday morning's News.
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.