July 17, 2024

Cool Catomine pulls off stunner in Prince of Wales

Cool Catomine made the successful leap from maiden winner to classic winner at Fort Erie (Michael Burns Photography)

Cool Catomine, a maiden race winner on the July 2 Queen’s Plate undercard, stunned some of those Plate participants Tuesday evening when upsetting the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, the $399,652 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie.

Under Luis Contreras, who also won the Plate on Holy Helena, the Spring At Last colt tracked in second behind State of Honor through fractions of :23.52 and :47.99, lost position around the turn when Plate runner-up Tiz a Slam made an early bid on the leader, but re-rallied in upper stretch and drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

Owned by Jack of Hearts Racing and J.R. Racing Stable, the John Ross trainee paid $30.80 after completing 1 3/16 miles over a fast track in 1:55.63.

“It’s an important moment in my life,” Ross said. “This tops it. We ended up coming through today. We’re overwhelmed by it.”

Aurora Way, making just his third career start, went off as a surprising 9-5 favorite and narrowly proved second best by a neck over State of Honor. Woodbridge was fourth and was followed by Tiz a Slam and Spirit of Caledon. Jurojin was distanced.

Bred in Ontario by Bernard and Karen McCormack, Cool Catomine was a $29,304 yearling purchase and has now earned $280,019. Not debuting until April 17 at Woodbine, when he finished seventh going seven furlongs, Cool Catomine subsequently finished third in another seven-furlong maiden. Two back, he finished seventh again, 15 lengths behind Aurora Way, in a 1 1/16-mile maiden, also at Woodbine. He finally broke through last time over the same distance on the Tapeta while sporting blinkers for the first time.

“We had some delays earlier on in his career,” Ross said. We had to find out some stuff about him and I have to commend Luis because he said this horse could use blinkers.  So we added them and look how it’s worked out.

“As a two-year-old, we took a lot of time with him. We took him to Florida with a good foundation. All these things and the time we took with him all paid off today.  We could see the horse coming forward in all of his races. We’re counting our blessings today.”

Cool Catomine was reared by the Smart Strike mare Smart Catomine, who has also produced the stakes-winning Wild Catomine and stakes-placed Crowns Dynasty. The colt’s third dam was the German champion Martessa.