Updated on 09/16/2011 8:50AM

Is 'T J' lucky or the real thing?


FORT ERIE, Ontario - T J's Lucky Moon, 82-1 winner of the Queen's Plate at Woodbine June 23, will be out to prove he's the genuine article in Sunday's $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.

But there are plenty of skeptics and a full field of 12 going to the post in the Prince of Wales, a 1 3/16-mile race that is the second leg of Canada's Triple Crown.

The 67th running of the Prince of Wales will go as the eighth race on a card that also includes two $60,000 stakes, the Benburb and Border Cup.

By virtue of his victory in the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate, T J's Lucky Moon is the only horse with a shot at the $500,000 bonus available for winning the Canadian Triple. The Breeders' Stakes, the 1 1/2-mile turf race that is the final leg of the series for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, is at Woodbine Aug. 10.

T J's Lucky Moon, who came into the Plate off his maiden win over 1 1/16 miles four weeks earlier, stumbled at the start after breaking from post 9 but quickly worked his way over to the rail and went on to a three-quarter-length victory.

Vito Armata, who trains T J's Lucky Moon, a gelding, for owner and breeder Gino Molinaro, expects him to run a similar type of race here and was happy with his draw of post 3.

Armata also believes T J's Lucky Moon is better now than he was heading into the Plate, citing a five-furlong work of 59.20 seconds at Woodbine July 8.

"That was the best work he's ever had," said Armata.

Looking to turn the tables on T J's Lucky Moon will be Plate returnees Anglian Prince, Forever Grand, Ford Every Stream, Fuzzy Star, Shaws Creek, and Classic Mike.

Anglian Prince, a rallying second after breaking from post 12 in the Plate's field of 13, drew the 6-hole here, and trainer Mort Hardy expects a different type of performance.

"On the first turn I'm going to be down in there, saving a lot of ground," said Hardy.

Forever Grand will be racing with blinkers Sunday after going without them for the first time during his third-place finish in the Plate.

"He was more relaxed than I wanted him to be," said trainer Bob Tiller, who believes removing the blinkers had been detrimental.

Ford Every Stream, fourth as the Plate favorite, drew post 12 here and will have a new rider in Slade Callaghan.

"The track had dried out, maybe to the extent he didn't handle it, but he certainly didn't run his best race there," said trainer Mark Frostad. "Hopefully, he'll rebound."

Todd Kabel, who has been piloting Ford Every Stream, has elected to remain at Woodbine Sunday to ride Quiet Resolve in the $336,300 Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes.

"He had a tough choice to make," said Frostad, who does not see Kabel's decision as a vote of non-confidence in Ford Every Stream. "Quiet Resolve's done very well by him, and he looks pretty good for Sunday."

Shaws Creek and Classic Mike, the 1-2 finishers in Woodbine's Plate Trial, both failed to duplicate those efforts in the Plate.

Shaws Creek drew the outside post and never managed to reach contention, although he did rally mildly to finish sixth.

"Things just didn't work out that day," said trainer John Ross. "But in my opinion he can rebound, and show his true colors. He's done too much, and been too nice a horse, not to do that."

Classic Mike, who had appeared to be in a perfect striking position rounding the final turn, flattened out to finish eighth.

Reade Baker, who trains Classic Mike, later revealed the gelding had rapped himself on a tendon during the running.

"I believe the heat bothered him, and getting hit bothered him," said Baker, "but not enough to be sure it caused his defeat. To me, he looked like a mortal cinch at the three-eighths pole and a dead horse at the quarter pole.

Rounding out the Prince of Wales field will be Questing Knight, Mister Coop, Phantom Light, and Le Cinquieme Essai, all of whom are coming off victories at Woodbine, plus Bravely, who was scratched from the Plate after showing a high white blood cell count.

Le Cinquieme Essai, based here with trainer Paul Nielsen, will be racing on Lasix for the first time.

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