January 24, 2022

Queen’s Plate winner One Bad Boy gets rematch in Prince of Wales

One Bad Boy and jockey Flavien Prat win the Queen's Plate at Woodbine on June 29, 2019 (c) Heather Prien

The second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, Tuesday’s C$400,000 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie, serves as a redux of the Queen’s Plate. Front-running hero One Bad Boy aims to confirm the form with the respective second through fourth in the Queen’s Plate – Avie’s Flatter, Tone Broke, He’s a Macho Man – and the troubled 11th as the favorite, Skywire.

The venue change from Woodbine’s Tapeta to the Fort Erie dirt could play a role, but the race dynamics in the 1 3/16-mile affair might prove more significant.

One Bad Boy benefited from a textbook trip on the front end in the Queen’s Plate, carving out tepid splits before repelling the stalker Avie’s Flatter. The Richard Baltas trainee again looms as the controlling speed on the rail with Flavien Prat, and his prior dirt efforts in Santa Anita maidens are encouraging, notably his second to Omaha Beach in the slop. The son of Twirling Candy also has consistency in his favor. Never off the board in five starts, One Bad Boy crushed a turf maiden and finished second in the off-the-turf Alcatraz on the Golden Gate Fields Tapeta en route to Woodbine.

While that resume makes One Bad Boy the 7-5 favorite to turn the classic double, two of his key rivals are eligible to work out better trips in the rematch, and the other two are making key changes.

Skywire was tackled right out of the gate in the Queen’s Plate by Tone Broke, or else he would have secured much better early position. Instead, the Mark Casse pupil never got involved in a toss-out race. As the Wando winner and Marine (G3) runner-up, Skywire is entitled to contend here with a clean trip. The Afleet Alex colt has dirt experience as well, albeit in the slop, when dominating an off-the-turf allowance at Gulfstream Park over the winter. Eurico Rosa Da Silva has the return call aboard the 3-1 chance, who will try to give Casse a fifth Prince of Wales trophy.

Avie’s Flatter had a more straightforward passage in the first jewel, but post 14 likely prompted him to employ more forward tactics than he otherwise would have. Although the Ivan Dalos homebred had raced on the engine when romping in last year’s Cup and Saucer on a yielding turf course, he’s typically swept from a few lengths off the pace, as in his Coronation Futurity and Transylvania (G3) scores. Hall of Famer Javier Castellano makes the jaunt to renew partnership with the 5-2 second pick on the morning line.

Trainer Josie Carroll told Woodbine publicity that Avie’s Flatter, who has yet to race on dirt, worked well on the Fort Erie surface.

“Avie’s Flatter skipped over the track and seemed very comfortable,” she said of his five-furlong move in 1:00.20 on July 11. “He’s a very consistent horse across every surface.”

Carroll is double-handed with He’s a Macho Man, the longest price of the quintet at 8-1, but on the upswing and adding Lasix. The least experienced member of the field, the Mucho Macho Man colt was making only his fourth start in the Queen’s Plate, met with trouble, and closed for fourth.

“I’m glad we brought him down,” Carroll said of his getting acquainted with Fort Erie. “(Jockey) Patrick Husbands worked him and said he was a little lost on the track because he likes to take a look at everything, so his time wasn’t very fast (1:03.80 the same day as Avie’s Flatter) but Patrick loved the way he got across the track.”

Tone Broke, pegged at 5-1 on the morning line, takes the blinkers off after his Queen’s Plate third. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen boasts a 24 percent strike rate when removing blinkers, making the well-traveled colt worth a second look. Other than his forgettable excursion to the Dubai Carnival, Tone Broke has useful form as the Springboard Mile fourth and runner-up in the May 18 Sir Barton to King for a Day, who went on to upset Maximum Security in the Pegasus. Note that Ricardo Santana Jr., aboard that day but not at Woodbine, regains the mount.

Post time for the Prince of Wales is 7:36 p.m. (EDT).