06/14/2005 11:00PM

Azamour takes Wales; Ouija Board 7th

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Edward Whitaker/Racing Post
Azamour wins the Prince of Wales's, his second Royal Ascot Group 1.

Azamour secured his second career Royal Ascot Group 1 victory on Wednesday, this one coming at York in the $630,000 Prince of Wales's Stakes. The win came at the expense of last year's Eclipse Award-winner as top turf female, Ouija Board, who lost a shoe in finishing a well-beaten seventh.

For Azamour, his late-running 1 1/2-length tally over the Aidan O'Brien-trained Ace recalled his win in last year's one-mile St. James's Palace Stakes. It also signaled the return of Azamour, a John Oxx-trained 4-year-old, to the form that saw him capture last September's Irish Champion Stakes.

Michael Kinane rode the Aga Khan-owned Azamour with the confidence that befits a 6-5 favorite who had been touted all week as Ireland's best chance for a royal triumph.

The good to firm ground suited Azamour perfectly, as he took 2:08.15 for the 1 1/4 miles, 88 yards.

Elvstroem, the Australian world traveler, was third after having led to the three-sixteenths pole, but everything went wrong for Ouija Board, who was making her first start since having landed the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Oct. 30.

Trainer Ed Dunlop said that Ouija Board lost her right front shoe after stepping in a hole after two furlongs and was unbalanced for the remainder of the race under new rider Jamie Spencer. Although beaten 29 1/2 lengths behind Azamour, she returned afterward in good shape, and Dunlop said he was prepared "to draw a line through this race."

Earlier, Peeress scored a 14-1 upset in the Group 2, $234,000 Windsor Forest Stakes, overcoming early rankness under Kinane to defeat the favored Sundrop by two lengths. A Michael Stoute-trained daughter of Pivotal, Peeress was clocked in 1:37.42 for the mile, while multiple Group 1 winner Soviet Song 3 was 3/4 lengths behind in third in her seasonal debut.

The Jeremy Noseda-trained Proclamation put in an outstanding performance with a 2 1/2-length score in the Group 3, $117,000 Jersey Stakes, overcoming a wide draw and early trouble to defeat a pair of Khalid Abdullah's Danehill colts, Camacho and Home Affairs. Proclamation covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.82, just .82 of a second off the track record.

Royal Ascot at York continues on Friday with the Group 1, $423,000 Coronation Stakes. The mile for 3-year-old fillies will feature four of first five finishers in the 1000 Guineas, including the Aidan O'Brien-trained winner, Virginia Waters.

But Virginia Waters has since been just eighth in the Irish 1000 Guineas and fourth in the English Oaks. In cutting back to a mile from 1 1/2 miles, she appears vulnerable to Maids Causeway and Penkenna Princess, but perhaps most of all to Karen's Caper, who has been freshened since her 1000 Guineas fourth on May 1.

In the Group 2, 1 1/2-mile King Edward VII Stakes, The Geezer, eighth in the Epsom Derby, is the selection based on his second to subsequent Epsom Derby winner Motivator in York's Group 2 Dante Stakes.