07/06/2012 2:41PM

Woodbine: Quaesitor joins probables for Prince of Wales

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Fort Erie’s Prince of Wales Stakes has gained a probable new player in Quaesitor, a 3-year-old gelding who is based here at Woodbine with trainer Ian Howard.

Quaesitor is a homebred who races for the Wayward Stable of Howard’s mother, Nancy; sister, Gillian; and Donald Ross, and would have to be supplemented to the Prince of Wales at a cost of $12,500.

“Originally I wasn’t going to go, and I didn’t spend the $1,000 to nominate him,” said Howard. “Then I thought, ‘Why not?’ ”

Quaesitor has raced once this year, winning his maiden by a nose over 1 1/16 miles here June 30 while earning a respectable Beyer Speed Figure of 83.

But, were it not for a curious circumstance, Quaesitor would have appeared much earlier as he had wintered in Florida with Howard, breezed here for the first time on Feb. 28, and had recorded five more breezes, including three at five furlongs by April 11.

“He was breezing okay,” said Howard. “I was just waiting until they went two turns.”

Then, Quaesitor fell victim to a mysterious ailment.

“All of a sudden, he started losing weight and wouldn’t eat,” said Howard.

“The vet X-rayed his abdomen, and there were white flecks in it. Then she had an ultrasound performed and scoped his abdomen.”

The results showed that Quaesitor had in fact been eating but was not on a diet recommended for either beast or man.

“The stalls in our barn are coated with soft rubber,” said Howard. “He was peeling it off the wall, and eating it. He was slowly poisoning himself.

“We took the rubber out of his stall, and put wood in. It took about six weeks to get him back to normal.”

Quaesitor had shown promise in his three starts at 2, sandwiching second- and fifth-place finishes in 1 1/16-mile maiden races around a decent sixth in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity.

But, Howard was particularly pleased with the manner in which Quaesitor won his 3-year-old bow as he rallied up the inside and came again in the closing strides to prevail in the photo.

“He’s still green; he got in a bit,” said the trainer. “He’d been slow, switching leads, last year but he did okay this time.”

Quaesitor, along with the majority of the field for 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales, will be racing on dirt for the first time.

“I don’t think that will be a problem,” said Howard. “He trained all winter on a dirt track in Ocala.”

And while Quaesitor would be running in the Prince of Wales on just two weeks’ rest Howard does not necessarily fear a “bounce,” a term which takes on added context in view of his travails this spring.

“The way he ran the other day, he didn’t act like it took a lot out of him,” said Howard. “He came out of it very well, and has been eating up and training well.

“I’ll probably send him down to Fort Erie a few days early. He’s a little flighty. I’ll let him settle in.”

Jockeys set on 5 Prince of Wales mounts

Quaesitor brings the number of candidates for the Prince of Wales to nine, with all being based here at Woodbine.

Five jockey assignments have been firmed up with Alex Solis scheduled to ride Irish Mission, Patrick Husbands, Dixie Strike; Colleen’s Sailor, Corey Nakatani; Ultimate Destiny, Steven Bahen; and Classic Bryce, Todd Kabel.

As of Friday morning no riders had been confirmed for Dead On, Menlo Castle, Run in Aruba, or Quaesitor.

Pair of shippers target Colin

Mark Casse, who trains Dixie Strike, breezed several horses here Friday in preparation for Woodbine stakes appearances next weekend.

Honorable Guest, who is nominated to Saturday’s Colin, and Bold Birdie, who is heading for Sunday’s Shady Well, breezed five furlongs in company in 1:00.80.

The $150,000 Colin is an open six-furlong race for 2-year-olds while the $150,000 Shady Well is a 5 1/2-furlong test for Ontario-bred 2-year-old fillies.

Casse said that Honorable Guest may or may not run in the Colin, which as of Friday was expected to attract a pair of shippers from south of the border.

Woodbine stakes manager Julie Bell said that Hamp, based at Maryland’s Sagamore Farm and trained by Ignacio Correas IV, and Triple Cross, currently at Presque Isle Downs with conditioner Wayne Rice, are expected to make the trips north.

Hamp is coming off a win in his second career start, which came over 5 1/2 furlongs of turf at Colonial Downs, and breezed four furlongs in 48 seconds over Sagamore’s synthetic surface on Friday morning.

Bold Birdie, second to subsequent My Dear Stakes winner Just Got In when debuting at 4 1/2 furlongs, came back to win her maiden over five furlongs with both starts coming in open company.

Patrick Husbands has been Bold Birdie’s regular rider but guided her highly regarded stablemate Spring in the Air through a four-furlong breeze in 48 here Friday.

Spring in the Air is scheduled to debut in the Shady Well with Husbands in the irons.

Patrioticandproud preps for Toronto Cup

Husbands also was aboard Patrioticandproud when that Casse-conditioned colt breezed five furlongs in 1:03 here Friday in preparation for Saturday’s $150,000 Toronto Cup, an open race for 3-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles of turf.

Patrioticandproud, a Pennsylvania-bred, is coming off a second-place finish behind stablemate Prospective in the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park Stakes here June 10.

Patrioticandproud would be making his fourth start on that surface with his earlier efforts, including a close third-place finish, placed second via a disqualification, in a one-mile maiden race here last summer and a good fourth in a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park last winter.

Prince Raphael needs time to recover

Prince Raphael, who came up with a tendon issue just three days before he was scheduled to be entered in the Queen’s Plate, will undergo an extensive period of recuperation before returning to the races.

“We gelded him, and we’ll be doing stem cell therapy,” said Debbie England, who trains Prince Raphael for owner/breeders Oslen and Cristina Belle and Doug Reddington. “We’ll give him as much time as he needs.”

Prince Raphael, a son of Shakespeare, won his maiden over seven furlongs in his second career start here last fall and returned this spring with a third-place finish behind subsequent Marine Stakes and Queen’s Plate winner Strait of Dover at the same distance.

While Prince Raphael disappointed in a subsequent outing, England remained high on the horse and had sent him out to breeze five furlongs in 1:00.60 the day before his problem became evident.

Prince Raphael currently is at Woodbine but soon will be heading to Reddington’s nearby farm.