07/15/2011 2:07PM

Fort Erie: Hippolytus will be much shorter price in Prince of Wales

Michael Burns
Hippolytus is the morning-line favorite for Sunday's $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.

Hippolytus was sent off at odds of 61-1 in Woodbine’s Queen’s Plate, but finished second after stalking the pace and briefly looking like a winner when moving to the lead in midstretch.

In the absence of Inglorious, the filly who ran him down in the Queen’s Plate, Hippolytus is the morning-line favorite for Sunday’s $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.

The Prince of Wales, run over 1 3/16 miles on Fort Erie’s dirt surface, is the second leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

The series began with the June 26 Queen’s Plate, run over 1 1/4 miles on Woodbine’s Polytrack surface, and will conclude there with the Aug. 7 Breeders’ Stakes over 1 1/2 miles of turf.

Sunday’s 10-race card begins at 2 p.m., with the Prince of Wales set to go postward at 5:45 p.m.

Six of the seven horses in the field are based at Woodbine and in addition to Hippolytus include Pender Harbour, the Queen’s Plate third-place finisher; Check Your Soul, seventh as the Queen’s Plate favorite; and Oh Canada, who faltered to finish 13th in the $1 million showpiece at Woodbine.

Bowman’s Causeway, fourth in the Queen’s Plate, returns from Saratoga for trainer Chad Brown.

Oban and Welloiledmachine, both trained by Mike Keogh at Woodbine, are the new faces in the Triple Crown series.

Hippolytus vanned down here last Sunday to breeze five furlongs in 1:02 under regular rider Tyler Pizarro and then schooled in the paddock under the watchful eye of trainer Mark Casse.

“We just wanted the horse to have a nice little work over the track, and I think he handled it very well,” said Casse. “I think he can get over just about anything, but I still wanted to see it. Hopefully, the experience will pay off.”

Hippolytus returned to Woodbine following his half-day at Fort Erie and will head back down early on Prince of Wales Day.

“This horse can get a little excited, but he handled himself well in the Queen’s Plate and going down there,” Casse said. “He’s maturing.”

Hippolytus also raced with blinkers for the first time in the Queen’s Plate, and Casse believed the change in equipment had a positive but not necessarily dramatic effect.

“I think positioning him was a big factor,” Casse said. “Before, we were letting him drop back, and he was getting a little too far out of it.”

Pender Harbour, who finished two lengths behind Hippolytus, was making just his third start of the season after finishing up the track in a six-furlong, first-level allowance race May 13 and then a good third in the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park one month later.

“He didn’t start training until March,” said trainer Mike DePaulo, “but he ran a huge race in the Victoria Park.”

DePaulo does not believe that Pender Harbour could regress suddenly due to his accelerated schedule.

“He’s a sturdy, strong horse,” DePaulo said. “He has a good constitution. There have been no signs of him being off his game.”

Pender Harbour tuned up for the Prince of the Wales on Monday with a five-furlong breeze under jockey Luis Contreras in 1:01.20 on Woodbine’s dirt training track.

‘I think he’s fine as far as the dirt goes,” DePaulo said. “He’s never had a bad work on any surface.”

Contreras, who rode Pender Harbour for the first time in the Victoria Park, had opted for Inglorious in the Queen’s Plate.

Check Your Soul came into the Queen’s Plate off back-to-back wins in Woodbine’s Wando and Plate Trial for trainer Roger Attfield and jockey Patrick Husbands.

But the skein unraveled for Check Your Soul on Plate Day as he got agitated on post parade and came out of the race with a case of the thumps – an electrolyte imbalance – and muscle soreness.

“He seems like he’s great now,” Attfield said. “His blood’s back to where I want it, and he’s acting well.

“I just hope he doesn’t get worked up again in the afternoon. He’s the easiest horse to deal with in the morning.”

Check Your Soul breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 on Woodbine’s training track last Sunday, with Husbands in the irons.

“He also worked on dirt at Payson Park all winter, very well,” Attfield said.

Bowman’s Causeway and Welloiledmachine are the only horses in the field to have run on dirt.

Originally trained by Patrick Biancone, Bowman’s Causeway won a 1 1/8-mile maiden race and finished third in a difficult one-mile, first-level allowance at Gulfstream before the wheels fell off in the Florida Derby.

Transferred to Brown, Bowman’s Causeway finished second in the Plate Trial before coming up short in the final furlong of the Queen’s Plate under returning rider Eurico Rosa da Silva.

Welloiledmachine also is the only entrant to have had a race over the track as he shipped down from Woodbine to finish second to an older rival in a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles here June 19.

Oban, is coming off a nose defeat in a 1 3/16-mile maiden race at Woodbine and, like Welloiledmachine, has worked well there over the training track.

Oh Canada, winner of Woodbine’s six-furlong Woodstock in his seasonal bow and later third there in the 1 1/16-mile Marine, found himself dueling for the lead in the Queen’s Plate when wearing blinkers for the first time.

Trainer Bob Tiller is taking the blinkers off for the Prince of Wales and made a popular decision by recruiting local rider Krista Carignan for the Prince of Wales mount.