07/04/2012 1:55PM

Woodbine: Prince of Wales nominees led by fillies Irish Mission, Dixie Strike


Fort Erie will provide the stage but Woodbine will provide the players for Act II of the Canadian Triple Crown, the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes on July 15.

The Prince of Wales will be run over 1 3/16 miles on Fort Erie’s dirt surface and 13 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds have been nominated.

Heading the list, and scheduled to participate, are Irish Mission and Dixie Strike, who were the only fillies in the Queen’s Plate and finished second and third in the field of 14 here June 24.

Others expected to return from the 1 1/4 mile Queen’s Plate are fourth-place finisher Colleen’s Sailor, fifth-place Ultimate Destiny, and 10th-place Classic Bryce

Newcomers to the Canadian Triple Crown trail are Dead On and Menlo’s Castle, who bypassed the Queen’s Plate after finishing eighth and ninth in the June 3 Plate Trial, and Run in Aruba, who is coming off a sixth-place finish here in the restricted Bold Ruckus over six furlongs of turf. Menlo Castle and Run in Aruba both are trained by Ralph Biamonte.

All eight horses are based at Woodbine.

Irish Mission, who won the June 3 Woodbine Oaks at 1 1/8 miles, and Dixie Strike, who had finished fifth that day before rebounding in the Queen’s Plate, both will be making their debuts on dirt but loom as the probable one-two choices for the Prince of Wales.

Alex Solis retains the mount on Irish Mission, who is trained by Mark Frostad, with Patrick Husbands scheduled to return aboard Dixie Strike for conditioner Mark Casse.

Trainer Danny Vella said last week that Queen’s Plate winner Strait of Dover, who had shown no affinity for dirt in either his early races at Hastings or his winter training in Ocala, Fla.,would bypass the Prince of Wales and train up to the Breeders’ Stakes.

The Breeders’, the $500,000 turf race that is the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, will be run here Aug. 5.

◗ Jockey agent Steve Roberts has taken over the book of Quincy Welch. Roberts also represents Tyler Pizarro and had David Clark’s book until that veteran retired last month.