07/13/2004 11:00PM

Niigon in post 3 for second leg


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Niigon, winner of Woodbine's $1 million Queen's Plate on June 27, will be looking to add the second jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown to his treasure chest in the Prince of Wales Stakes here Sunday.

Seven horses were entered in the $500,000 Prince of Wales, a 1 3/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, at the special draw here Wednesday afternoon.

Niigon, owned by Chiefswood Stable and trained by Eric Coatrieux, will have his usual pilot, Robert Landry, in the irons when he breaks from post 3.

"I would have been a little happier to be more to the outside," said Coatrieux. "But, it's all right. There's some speed to our inside."

A Bit O'Gold, who finished three-quarters of a length behind Niigon as the runner-up in the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate, will begin from post 4 in the Prince of Wales under regular rider Jono Jones.

Owned by The Two Bit Racing Stable and trained by Catherine Day Phillips, A Bit O'Gold was the 6-5 favorite in the Queen's Plate off his emphatic victory in Woodbine's 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial three weeks earlier.

Others returning from the Queen's Plate are fourth-place finisher Just in Case Jimmy, fifth-place His Smoothness, and ninth-place Copper Trail.

Just in Case Jimmy, trained by Roger Attfield, will race with blinkers for the first time in the Prince of Wales. The gelding drew post 1 and will be ridden by Richard Dos Ramos.

His Smoothness and Copper Trail both are trained by Jim Day and drew posts 5 and 6, respectively.

"It's probably not super-vital, with a fairly small field," said Day. "But if we had our choice, 5 and 6 are the positions we would have chosen."

Rounding out the Prince of Wales lineup are One to Celebrate and Picadilly Bay

One to Celebrate, who begins from post 2, is coming off a front-running Woodbine score in a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward on July 1.

Picadilly Bay, who finished fifth in Woodbine's Victoria Park Stakes on June 13 in his last start, will break from the outside.

The Prince of Wales lost one scheduled participant when Will He Crow, the third-place finisher in the Queen's Plate, was not entered after coming up with an unspecified problem.

"We found something we didn't like this morning," said Tim Regan, who trains Will He Crow for his father, Larry Regan.