King’s Plate winner Paramount Prince to run in Prince of Wales

Paramount Prince, with Patrick Husbands aboard, crosses the finish line to win the 164th running of the King's Plate horse race in Toronto on August 20, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Paramount Prince and jockey Patrick Husbands will take a run at the OLG Canadian Triple Crown.

Trainer Mark Casse said Wednesday that Paramount Prince, with Husbands aboard, will race Sept. 12 in the $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Racetrack. Husbands guided Paramount Prince to a 1 1/2-length, wire-to-wire win in the $1-million King’s Plate on Aug. 20 at Woodbine Racetrack.

Casse also intends to send Stayhonor Goodside to Fort Erie. Veteran jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson will ride the three-year-old gelding, which has a win, two seconds and two thirds in 10 career starts but second- and third-place showings over four races this year.

“I’m heading forward,” Casse said Wednesday. “We’re planning on running those two.”

The Prince of Wales is a 1 3/16-mile race on Fort Erie’s dirt course.

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But Casse-trained Elysian Field, the Woodbine Oaks champion and Plate runner-up ridden by Sahin Civaci, won’t be heading to Fort Erie. Casse said the connections weren’t entirely comfortable with the filly racing on dirt at this time.

Casse said Elysian Field is being pointed toward the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes — a 1 1/2-mile turf race at Woodbine on Oct. 1 that’s the final jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown — or the US$600, 000 Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, a 1/8-mile turf event for fillies, at Keeneland on Oct. 14.

Both the 1 1/8-mile Oaks (July 23) and 1 1/4-mile Plate were run on Woodbine’s Tapeta course.

Casse, 15 times Canadian thoroughbred racing’s top trainer, said he was also a little concerned initially about running Paramount Prince on dirt.

“I always have concerns, I’m a horse trainer,” he said. “The only thing I can tell you is we had him at our place in Ocala, Fla., all winter long and it’s dirt and he trained tremendously on our farm.”

Paramount Prince was impressive in the Plate, finishing in two minutes 1.93 seconds, just off Moira’s record of 2:01.48 set last year. Paramount Prince also earned Casse a third Plate title but his first two came with fillies — Lexie Lou in 2014 and Wonder Gadot four years later.

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The Plate victory was also the third of Husbands’ career. He rode Lexie Lou to her victory in 2014.

Paramount Prince and Husbands also captured the $150,000 Plate Trial — a King’s Plate prep race — with an emphatic five-length, wire-to-wire victory June 23 at Woodbine. Paramount Prince became the first horse to complete the Plate Trial-Plate double since Big Red Mike in 2010.

The chestnut son of Society’s Chairman-Platinum Steel had three wins from six lifetime starts. Paramount Prince has never finished out of the money (two seconds, one third).

Husbands was a key part of the last Canadian Triple Crown champion. He rode Wando to the sweep in 2003 for late breeder-owner Gus Schickedanz and retired trainer Mike Keogh.

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