07/13/2009 12:00AM

Casse credits Fraser for Prince of Wales win


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Mark Casse wasn't really tempted to try the Queen's Plate with Gallant after the colt won a 1 1/8-mile maiden race here July 12.

"We thought if we had a shot with those horses it would be in the Prince of Wales, coming in with a fresh horse," said Casse. "We needed some of the other horses to not run their best races and ours to run his best race for us to win.

"The other thing was this horse is really bred for the dirt, and some of the others maybe not."

Casse's reasoning seemed to have been proved correct after Gallant upset Sunday's $500,000 Prince of Wales over 1 3/16 miles on Fort Erie's dirt oval.

But the trainer acknowledges that Corey Fraser's ride had as much to do with Gallant's success as any of the intangibles.

"That was the difference between winning and losing" said Casse, who had watched Gallant win by the slimmest of noses from the Finish Line Bar here at Woodbine. "I think his ride was spectacular."

Fraser, 32, was riding Gallant for the first time and had been aboard for the colt's major Prince of Wales tune-ups on the dirt training track here at Woodbine.

The Prince of Wales followed the Queen's Plate as the second leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds with the $500,000 Breeders' over 1 1/2 miles on turf concluding the series here Aug. 2.

"I don't see why we wouldn't come back there," said Casse. "In his only start on turf last year, in the Cup and Saucer, the turf was so bad that it was hard to get a line on what some of the horses were capable of doing."

Gallant finished fourth, beaten 14 lengths in last fall's Cup and Saucer over 1 1/16 miles of turf rated yielding.

Milwaukee Appeal getting a break

Milwaukee Appeal, who ended a troubled third in the Queen's Plate and came out on the wrong end of the bob in the Prince of Wales, is scheduled to get six weeks off.

"It was an awesome race," said Scott Fairlie, who also sent out Milwaukee Appeal to win the Woodbine Oaks two weeks before the Queen's Plate. "It was just a tough beat for us."

Eye of the Leopard, Keino West, and Mr. Foricos Two U all are slated to carry on to the Breeders' after competing in the first two legs of the Canadian Triple.

After winning the Queen's Plate, Eye of the Leopard was a close third in the Prince of Wales.

"He came out of it fine," said trainer Mark Frostad, who would be trying Eye of the Leopard on turf for the first time in the Breeders'.

Keino West, fourth in the Prince of Wales after ending sixth in the Queen's Plate, also ran in last year's Cup and Saucer, finishing last in the 12-horse field.

Mr. Foricos Two U ran second in the Queen's Plate but was fifth in the Prince of Wales.

"He just didn't look very comfortable, or settled," said trainer Catherine Day Phillips, who plans to breeze Mr. Foricos Two U on the grass with a possible eye toward having the gelding make his turf debut in the Breeders'.

Trainer Vito Armata is unsure of his next move with Flip for the Coin, who finished fifth in the Queen's Plate and last of six in the Prince of Wales.

"Things didn't go right for my horse down there," said Armata, who will discuss Flip for the Coin's immediate future with Gino Molinaro when the owner returns from vacation.