07/13/2012 2:22PM

Fort Erie: Princess Cup gives locals a chance to shine on Prince of Wales card


FORT ERIE, Ontario – The $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes is the undisputed highlight here at Fort Erie on Sunday but local performers will have a chance to showcase their talents in the $30,000 Princess Cup, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares who have started at least twice at the meeting.

Ten runners will go to the post in the Princess Cup, and the logical favorite is Mountain Echo, a 6-year-old trained by Richard Davis.

Mountain Echo has won both of her starts at the Fort this year and just missed making it three in a row in a recent try at Woodbine. She will be ridden by Melanie Pinto.

Another leading contender is Grace By Moonlight, trained by Shawn Rideout. Grace By Moonlight has won three in a row here and it is expected she will stalk the pace under regular rider Juan Crawford.

Molinaro Rush, trained by Ravendra Raghunath and ridden by Kirk Johnson, also has a good chance. Molinaro Rush just missed winning her latest and looks to be improving.

Rounding out the top contenders, and a must for superfecta tickets, is Classical Humour, a Darwin Banach trainee who has done most of her running this year on the turf. Classic Humour is an off-the-pace runner and could be a sleeper in this field as she tries the Fort Erie dirt for the first time.

Todd Kabel, who will be in town to ride Classic Bryce for Banach in the Prince of Wales, has the call on Classical Humour.

The speed of the race is My Natalie, who is owned and trained by Martin Drexler and will have Terry Husbands, this meet’s leading rider, aboard. My Natalie has won seven races at Fort Erie while finishing in the money in 12 of 15 local appearances.

Striking Miss, ridden by Martin Ramirez, will be a longshot but could fly home late for trainer John Simms and is not without a shot.

The Princess Cup will go as the seventh of 11 races on a program which begins with a $20,000 Quarter Horse allowance race at one-sixteenth of a mile.