07/22/2001 12:00AM

Win City victorious in Prince of Wales


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Win City, avenging his Queen's Plate defeat in dramatic fashion, stormed down the stretch under rider Constant Montpellier to take Sunday's $350,000 Prince of Wales Stakes by a half-length over Dancethruthedawn.

The 1 3/16 mile Prince of Wales follows the 1.25 mile Queen's Plate in the Canadian Triple Crown series for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Win City, a 3-year-old gelding owned by Frank DiGiulio Jr. and the Estate of Frank DiGiulio and trained by Bob Tiller, had fallen short by the same margin when second to the filly, Dancethruthedawn, in the Queen's Plate at Woodbine June 24.

Wild Years, the surprising 6-5 favorite here following his spectacular last-out maiden win at Belmont, took the lead as expected and set the pace through fractions of :23.53, :47.11 and 1:11.12 with Dancethruthedawn and Brushing Bully in close attendance and Win City running along on his own in fourth place.

"I didn't want to let him fall back," said Montpellier, "but I didn't encourage him to be any closer. I just let him relax, and run his race."

Rounding the final turn, Dancethruthedawn moved up to challenge Wild Years and, meeting surprisingly little resistance, the filly found herself on a clear lead which measured 3.5 lengths with an eighth of a mile to run.

Win City, meanwhile, had launched a three-wide bid turning into the stretch and was taking aim on the leader.

"Around the sixteenth pole, it was like a flashback," said Montpellier. "I didn't know if I was going to get there.

"But I was confident the last few jumps. He wants to win, and he did it today."

Dancethruthedawn ended 7.75 lengths clear of third-place finisher Brushing Bully with Asia, Thatsthebottomline and Wild Years completing the order of finish. The final time was 1:56.14.

Win City was winning his fourth race from six starts this season, all in stakes, and the $210,000 winner's share boosted his seasonal bankroll to $692,414. He returned $6.20 as the co-second choice and keyed a $12 exactor and $48.40 triactor.

Tiller was noncommittal about the Breeders' Stakes, the 1.5 mile turf race at Woodbine Aug. 11 which is the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

"I'm not convinced he's a mile and a half horse," said the trainer.

* In the day's supporting features, Beau Gentleman ($7.40) won the Benburb and Katsumi ($18.30) upset the Border.

Beau Gentleman was ridden by Anthony Rannelli while Woodbine-based apprentice Chantal Sutherland notched her first stakes victory with Katsumi.