Who’s Set to Win the Canadian Triple Crown’s Second Jewel?

With the Canadian Triple Crown’s first jewel in the books, Ontario’s Fort Erie Race Track is gearing up to host the second leg of the series – the annual Prince of Wales Stakes.

Featured as part of the track’s Twilight Tuesdays series, the gates are set to open at 7:30 PM ET on Tuesday, July 30. The lineup consists of three-year-olds each ready to stake their claim on the $500,000 purse, as well as the second jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown.

It looks like Uncaptured and Kaigun will be the front-runners. However, as with any race, anything can happen.

Uncaptured: The Probable

Deemed Canada’s 2012 Horse of the Year and Top Two-Year-Old Male, Uncaptured is looking like the favored contender. Owned by John Oxley and trained by Mark Casse, this three-year-old Dark Bay Colt has 11-career starts with six first and three second-place finishes in his short two-year career.

Sired by Lion Heart, who ranked 14th in earnings in 2004 and placed second in that same year’s Kentucky Derby, it’s safe to say that talent runs in the family.

In this colt’s most recent outings, he placed at both the Wando Stakes in May and the Matt Winn Stakes in June. Those results, combined with his strong performances in 2012 and a stellar bloodline show that Uncaptured could definitely give his competitors a run for their money.

Kaigun: The Possible

Kaigun, named after the Imperial Japanese Navy, hit the racetrack for the first time in April. The lightest-raced horse at this year’s Queen’s Plate, he has four starts and one first-place finish under his belt. Though Kaigun had a strong start in the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, a ninth-place finish further adds to the doubt surrounding his performance at Tuesday’s race.

While his track-record is not quite as impressive as Uncaptured’s, Kaigun comes from a family of champions. Sired by Northern Afleet, a Breeder’s Cup Sprint participant in 1997, who also sired the multi-Classic winner, Afleet Alex; Kaigun belongs to a strong gene pool, which alludes to his innate potential. Though this thoroughbred may have far less experience than his competitors, there’s always room for improvement and we’ll just have to see what happens.

Now that the news has broken that this year’s Queen’s Plate winner, Midnight Aria, will be skipping out on the second leg of the series, Kaigun might have as good a chance as any other horse down the stretch.

The Queen’s Plate Recap

The 154th Queen’s Plate at Woodbine saw Midnight Aria race gate to wire in the pouring rain to win the 1 ¼ Mile first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and claim the $600,000 first-prize purse.

A first-time win at the Queen’s Plate for jockey Jesse Campbell, the race was considered a great success for him, trainer Nick Gonzalez and the Tucci Family, who purchased the Ontario bred colt for a measly $35,000 last year.

Despite the well-deserved victory, tough weather conditions and the intensity with which he stormed the finish line seem to have taken their toll on the Queen’s Plate winner. According to Gonzalez, Midnight Aria has been slow to bounce back and has merited himself a break. As such will he will not be around come post time at the Prince of Wales Stakes.

However, the summer is not quite over for this thoroughbred, as the possibility of his participation in the 1 ½ Mile third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown this August lingers.

With the stakes so high, the question of the hour revolves around who will step up to the plate at next week’s race? Only time will tell.

About Tennessee Leduc

Born in Summersville Kentucky, Tennessee is an impassioned fan of horse racing, women, civilized debauchery, and... mint juleps. He writes, he reads, he listens, but above all he experiences the world he lives in.

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