Grave-Yard of Champions -- Gallant captures The Prince of Wales
Posted @ 1 Minute To PostPre-race:
With just a half-hour to go before six of Canada's finest three-year old equines will lineup to contest the 74th running of the Prince of Wales Stakes I've finally uncovered the "real" story.
That's right!! The real story!! The winner. Who I've managed to out less then a half hour before the eighth race.
Keino West trained by Steve Attard has looked spectacular down at the boarder oval. Rider Gerry Olguin isn't one of my favourite jockeys but Fort Erie and more specifically the Prince of Wales Stakes is commonly referred to as the grave-yard of champions, which always opens me up to a world of insane possibilities.
Race favorite and Queen's Plate winner Eye of the Leopard has never raced over a dirt surface in a competitive race but he does show some impressive works over the dirt that would suggest he could handle the "new" surface.
I think that the change in surface coupled with Eye of the Leopard stunning performance last out in the Queen's Plate ultimately makes the Mark Frostad trainee a little bit too vulnerable to be consider a "live" play. This being said I've spent the week trying desperately to become attached to one of the other five entrants in today's race.
Keino West was a horse that rated just bellow "Plate Contender" in my books and was my horse of choice up until three or four days before the race was actually run. Coming off a troubled trip in the Queen's Plate Keino has put up a solid work over the Fort Erie strip and has drawn the outside post, right next to race favourite Eye of the Leopard (a good spot where Rider Gerry Olguin can keep an eye on Eye)
Another major factor that lead me to Keino West is Trainer Steve Attard and his incredible winning percentage when taking a horse who has previously raced on a synthetic surface and running them over conventional dirt. Attard wins over 40% of his starts when his charge fits into this angel.
Keino West having last raced in the Queen's Plate at Woodbine racetrack over a synthetic surface now moves to Fort Erie and it's conventional dirt. This one rates Strong Play.
Updated @ 6:00pm Sunday July 12th, 09
Well my selection Keino West was nowhere to befound, however I will rest easy this evening knowing that I was at least correct about about couple things.
#1 The Grave-Yard of Champions sure did live up to it's name. The race was won by 15-1 long-shot and Candian Triple Crown newcomer Gallant. Gallent was trained by Mark Casse and ridden to victory Canadian Corey Fraser.
#2 Eye of the Leopard sure looked vulnerable both on paper in the morning and then again on the track later in the afternoon. Looks like this one was begging to be beat.