Breaking Lucky edges Shaman Ghost in Prince of Wales
There will be no sweep of the Canadian Triple Crown this year after Breaking Lucky edged out Queen's Plate winner and 3-4 favorite Shaman Ghost Tuesday evening in the $383,500 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie.
The ground-saving early trailer as Cut to the Chase set fractions of :23.86, :48.24, and 1:12.30, Breaking Lucky commenced his bid at the quarter pole, made a sweeping rally into contention in the upper stretch and seized the lead with a furlong remaining.
Chased determinedly by Shaman Ghost along the rail and by Field of Courage between that one and Breaking Lucky, the latter gamely maintained his advantage to the wire to score the neck victory in a time of 1:56.59 for 1 3/16 miles on a fast track.
Owned by Gunpowder Farm, trained by Reade Baker, and ridden by Jim McAleney, Breaking Lucky returned $28.10 as the 13-1 fifth choice in the field of seven.
Fourth in his debut at Gulfstream Park on March 7, Breaking Lucky won next out at Woodbine going 6 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack, and then finished second and seventh in two allowance tries before contesting the July 5 Queen's Plate. In that race, Breaking Lucky was down 11 lengths early before making a middle move down the backside. However, the early exertion cost the colt as he dropped back from second to fifth by the finish.
McAleney obviously learned much from that race, waiting longer to unleash the colt's strong closing kick here. In taking the second leg of his native land's Triple Crown, he closely replicated the feat of his sire, Lookin at Lucky, who took the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, the Preakness (G1), in 2010.
Plate winner Shaman Ghost, the only Prince of Wales entrant with prior winning experience on dirt, took plenty of it to the face while racing in mid-pack. Along the inside approaching and entering the stretch, he never appeared to be going that well and it's a credit to him that he finally started to pick things up in a belated rally. Once Breaking Lucky made the lead, though, it was hard to envision Shaman Ghost catching him.
The third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown is the C$500,000 Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine over 1 1/2 miles on the turf August 16. The last horse to sweep the series was Wando in 2003.