January 27, 2023

Duke of Love enjoys clean trip in winning Prince of Wales

Duke of Love wins the 2022 Prince of Wales Stakes (Michael Burns Photography)

Duke of Love not only emerged emerged victorious in Tuesday’s $308,685 Prince of Wales S. at Fort Erie, but also one of the cleanest in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, which was contested over a muddy track.

“We had a dream trip,” winning jockey Justin Stein said.

Breaking from post 1 inside pacesetter and 13-10 favorite Ironstone, Duke of Love settled in second and shifted into the path outside that rival entering the clubhouse turn. Applying steady pressure to Ironstone down the backside and around the far turn of the 1 3/16-mile affair, Duke of Love proved to have the most stamina of the two down the stretch as they separated themselves from the rest at the finish.

“We had a nice, clean trip on the outside,” Stein said. “A track like this, there’s more kickback when it’s heavy and wet. It makes it a lot easier for the horse if they can get a clean trip and they’re not having to think about running into that slop.”

The winning margin for Duke of Love was three parts of a length, who is owned by MyRacehorse and trained by Josie Carroll, who was winning the Prince of Wales for the third time. Duke of Love returned $7.10 after completing the course in 1:58.07.

Ironstone had a six-length gap in second over 40-1 outsider Ice Road, while Fast Feet and Collaborative were the last two to officially finish. Hunt Master was distanced, and third choice Sir for Sure lost jockey Declan Carroll shortly before exiting the first turn.

The Prince of Wales was the first attempt on dirt for Duke of Love, as well as the other Prince of Wales starters. While he had not yet won beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, Duke of Love had previously out-finished Ironstone for second in the Marine (G3) over 1 1/16 miles. He had gone unplaced in three other stakes appearances, most recently finishing a dull eighth in the Queen’s Plate. His record now stands at 8-3-1-0, $357,106.

Bred in Ontario by Caldara Farm, Patrick Costello, David Whitford, and Tom Zwiesler, Duke of Love is by Cupid and out of Tell the Duchess, by Smart Strike. He most recently sold for $85,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile.