A sure way to the poor house is to put confidence in any horse from the Queen’s Plate winning tomorrow’s Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie. It’s the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and it’s also the graveyard for horses transitioning from the synthetic surface at Woodbine to the dirt surface at Fort Erie.
Historically, horses haven’t transitioned well, with favourites finishing up the track. And get this: not one of the seven horses in tomorrow’s $400K Prince of Wales has run on dirt. The morning line favourite is Sir for Sure just because he finished third in the Plate. And I like to dip my French fries in garlic-seasoned mayonnaise. So?
Look at what happened in the nine times (since 2007 when Woodbine installed a synthetic track) that Queen’s Plate winners tried to negotiate the dirt at Fort Erie. Just two horses were successful—Wonder Gadot at 2-5 and Mighty Heart at 4-5. Betting $2 to win on the nine Queen’s Plate winners would have cost you $18 and you would have collected $6.50. Look and weep:
2007—Mike Fox (7-2) finished fourth in a field of six.
2008—Not Bourbon (1-1) finished sixth in a field of seven.
2009—Eye of the Leopard (9-5) finished third in a field of six.
2010—Big Red Mike (4-5) finished third in a field of seven.
2015—Shaman Ghost (2-5) finished second in a field of seven.
2016—Sir Dudley Digges (4-1) finished sixth in a field of eight.
2018—Wonder Gadot (2-5) WON (but had raced on U.S. dirt tracks before the Queen’s Plate)
2019—One Bad Boy (1-1) finished third in a field of five.
2020—Mighty Heart (4-5) WON (but had previously raced on dirt tracks)
So what does this mean for the 87th running of the Prince of Wales Stakes tomorrow? Essentially, any horse can win. The only horse who worked out on a dirt training track is the 30-1 maiden, #3 Collaborative. Previous experience has shown, however, that even horses that have good workouts on a dirt training track haven’t raced even close to their synthetic figures.
Which means this: go deep and be creative in your triactor, superfecta and horizonal wagers. What I may do is bet a small superfecta wheel keying the longshot maiden in the fourth position. If you want to plunge with a big win bet, I suggest you head to the washroom during the running of the race. Or at least start your day with a bowl of Lucky Charms.
Download tomorrow’s Fort Erie card here.
Who’s Going to Win Saturday’s Ricoh Woodbine Mile?
After my “rules” pointed out the top three finishers in the Queen’s Plate, with 16-1 Hall of Dreams finishing second, Woodbine invited me to write a predictive piece on this Saturday’s Ricoh Woodbine Mile. No pressure. But check out Woodbine’s website to find out the horse(s) my rules select. It’s a turf route race which is right up there in my wheelhouse. And yours, too?