Queen’s Plate champion One Bad Boy to take a run at Canadian Triple Crown

One Bad Boy is going to take a run at the OLG Canadian Triple Crown.

Trainer Richard Baltas said Wednesday the Queen’s Plate champion will run in the $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes on July 23 at Fort Erie Racetrack. Should the California-based horse win that race, Baltas added the plan is to race One Bad Boy in the final leg, the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes on Aug. 17, a 1 1/2-mile turf event at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto.

Should One Bad Boy complete the sweep, he’d capture a $500,000 bonus for becoming Canada’s first Triple Crown winner since Wando in 2003.

One Bad Boy went wire-to-wire with jockey Flavien Prat aboard for a solid 3 1/2-length Plate win over Winterbook favourite Avie’s Flatter on Saturday at Woodbine. Baltas said One Bad Boy will remain at Woodbine leading up to the Prince of Wales and returned to the track Wednesday.

Following the Plate, One Bad Boy’s connections were non-committal regarding what was next but Baltas suggested there wasn’t much doubt regarding whether One Bad Boy would run in the Prince of Wales, a 1 3/16-mile dirt event.

“No, there wasn’t,” he said. “Especially with the bonus involved.”

The Plate victory was just One Bad Boy’s second win in five career starts (two seconds, one third all coming in California). He ran his first two races on dirt, finishing second in a Feb. 2 race to Omaha Beach, the 4-1 morning-line favourite for the Kentucky Derby who was scratched days before the race with a throat condition.

“One Bad Boy is probably a little bit better on grass but he’s also very good on dirt,” Baltas said. “He was second to Omaha Beach on a sloppy racetrack.

“Omaha Beach won easily that day but thank God we came back out of it good. The horse seems to be coming around.”

One Bad Boy was the runner-cup in his previous event, the mile-long Alcatraz Stakes on May 19 on a synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco with Prat aboard. The horse wore blinkers in that race but not in the Plate, which Baltas said helped One Bad Boy in his first-ever race over 1 1/4 miles.

“The only thing I was concerned about was the distance, getting the 1 1/4 mile,” Baltas said. “When he lost at Golden Gate, he got into a speed duel with another horse and Flavien said we should’ve went to the lead.

“When we took the blinkers off, he really settled nicely in the workouts. He still seemed to be a good horse and much more relaxed. I think it really helped him get that 1 1/4 mile.”

In May, Prat guided 65-1 long-shot Country House to second in the Kentucky Derby behind Maximum Security. But Country House was elevated to the winner’s circle when Maximum Security was disqualified for interference, a stunning first in the race’s illustrious 145-year history.

That day, Prat was forced to wait nearly 20 agonizing minutes before being credited with winning the first jewel of the American Triple Crown. There was an inquiry Saturday in the Plate, but it involved third-place finisher Ton Broke.

So while stewards pondered Tone Broke’s fate — there eventually was no change — Prat celebrated capturing the opening leg of Canada’s Triple Crown in the winner’s circle at Woodbine Racetrack.

Prat became the first jockey since Kent Desormeaux to do the Derby-Plate double in the same year. Desormeaux did it in the ’98 Derby with Real Quiet and the Plate with Archers Bay.

Bill Hartack also accomplished the feat in 1964 with the legendary Northern Dancer.

Baltas said the plan remains for Prat to rode One Bad Boy throughout his Canadian Triple Crown quest.

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