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Duke of Love reigns supreme in Prince of Wales Stakes

FORT ERIE, SEPTEMBER 13, 2022 – The 87th running of the Prince of Wales Stakes was one for the history books, with Duke of Love dueling Ironstone through a gutsy stretch run to capture the race with veteran jockey Justin Stein aboard. The son of Cupid is owned by a micro share racing syndicate MyRacehorse and trained by Hall of Famer, Josie Carroll.

Capturing the second jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown (CTC) is a feeling Stein can describe candidly.

“I’m on a high. Put it that way. It will last all day, and tomorrow, and probably into Thursday,” said Stein.

Prior to this race, Stein had ridden the horse in six of his seven career starts, including the Queen’s Plate.

“The Plate was a throw out race in my opinion. Today, when Duke was on the track in post-parade, he had his game face on. He was a lot cooler. His body temperature on Plate Day, he got pretty nervous and warm, a little bit worked up. Today he knew what he was doing. He kept looking back at the gate, like are we going to go? You could just feel his energy was a lot more in tune with what he was supposed to be doing today.”

Trainer Josie Carroll has won this race in prior years with the likes of Mighty Heart and Amis Gizmo.

“He got the trip today. Justin rode him perfectly. We discussed what we were hoping for,” said Carroll. “I wanted Justin off the fence where he wasn’t going to be squeezed down in there and be in a lot of trouble this time. We wanted him to get a nice clear trip. The horse looked a little bit lost in the lead in the stretch, but Justin kept busy on him and got him home.”

MyRacehorse’s East Coast racing manager, Harry Rice was on hand to watch Duke of Love persevere and capture the second jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown. He was elated with the victory.

“It was awesome. We have about 900 owners that are involved with Duke. So, to have the 25 that we have here and see him finally put it together. We always knew he was going to. It was something else. We had people who travelled from all over - Americans, Canadians, and it was just an unbelievable day. Justin gave him a great ride, so it was good.”

Ironstone, finished second, while Ice Road settled for a third-place finish.

The action-packed afternoon of racing included a handful of stakes races, such as the Lake Erie Stakes and Rondeau Bay Stakes, both part of the Ontario Sire Heritage Series.

Bossy Holiday nosed out the win from Uncle Joe to capture the Lake Erie Stakes. Piloted by jockey Luis Contreras, the three-year-old colt returned $17.00 to his backers.

Contreras was extremely pleased with the colt’s gritty performance going six furlongs over the dirt course. “He broke really sharp, and after that he was just fighting the whole way and fought hard in the end.”

Bossy Holiday is also trained by Josie Carroll and owned by Ivan Dalos. Carroll also trained his sire, Ami’s Holiday, making today’s win a poignant moment for the veteran trainer. “That’s what’s a lot of fun, training for the Dalos’ - we’ve got generational horses and it just makes it very special.”

The skies opened up prior to the Rondeau Bay Stakes, but the rain did not hinder a compelling victory by Pleasure’s Gold for trainer Tino Attard and owners Elizabeth and Gordon Lickrish. Under the steady hand of reinsman Rafael Hernandez, the three-year-old filly, and daughter of Souper Speedy returned $14.80 to win.

Due to continuous rainfall throughout the afternoon, the Molson Cup was contested over a 1 1/16 mile over the dirt instead of the turf course. A determined stretch run by Super Chianti, saw the four-year-old filly capture the cup with jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson aboard and return $14.50 to backers. The filly is trained by Michaela Neubauer for owner Charles Fipke.

Neubauer felt confident in Super Chianti’s chances for today’s cup race. “I thought the distance would be fine and she’s been training so great. So, we just took the shot.”

Strong Ending lived up to his name, holding off a fray of competitors to clinch the Le Cinquieme Essai Cup for trainer Richard Davis and owner Bruno Schickedanz. Olaf Hernandez was back in the irons, after guiding the gelding to victory in the Puss N Boots stakes eight days prior. Today’s cup win brings the son of Strong Mandate to a total tally of five wins at Fort Erie’s current meet.

Davis claimed Strong Ending for $5,000 at Tampa Downs earlier this year. The Fort Erie based trainer didn’t anticipate the claim would lead to five wins in a row at the border oval this season.

“I knew he was a nice horse. I figured he would like it here at Fort Erie, but I wasn’t expecting this at all.”

Big fields, stakes races made for a lucrative betting day. The border oval saw over $2.1 million in wagering.

There are ten more racing days remaining on the Fort Erie racing calendar. Mondays and Tuesdays at 1 p.m. through to October 18.
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By Hayley Morrison for Fort Erie Race Track