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Another emphatic performance by filly Wonder Gadot has trainer Mark Casse at least considering an OLG Canadian Triple Crown run.

The 2/5 favourite went wire-to-wire to win a muddy $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes on Tuesday night. The 5 3/4-length performance at Fort Erie Racetrack came after Wonder Gadot’s convincing 4 3/4-length victory in the $1-million Queen’s Plate on June 30 at Woodbine.

Wonder Gadot, dominant while wearing blinkers for a second straight race, certainly gave the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales its star appeal. But Casse had said before the race even if the filly named after Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot won at Fort Erie, she wouldn’t chase a Triple Crown in the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes, a 1 1/2-mile turf event at Woodbine on Aug. 18.

Instead, the plan was for Wonder Gadot to go to the Grade 1 US$600,000 Alabama Stakes, a 1 1/4-mile dirt event for three-year-old fillies at Saratoga also Aug. 18. But after Tuesday night’s victory, Casse kept the door open to Wonder Gadot looking to become the first Canadian Triple Crown winner since Wando in 2003.

“It’s something Gary (owner Gary Barber) and I will talk about,” Casse said. “There’s a possibility of the Breeders’, it’s just very difficult as it messes up our plans a little bit.

“It’s a long shot but we still want a shot to be the champion three-year-old in North America. By going 1 1/2 miles on the grass, it just doesn’t really fit in to what we’re trying to do. Right now, she running on the dirt and going 1 1/8 miles, 1 3/16 miles and 1 1/4 miles. In all honesty, her least preferred surface in my opinion is grass.”

Casse admitted he had very strong concerns prior to the race. Not only was Wonder Gadot racing at Fort Erie for the first time, but she faced handling a sloppy track. Casse was so worried that he seriously considered scratching the filly from the race.

“I didn’t have concerns with her, I was more concerned with her health and worrying about her,” he said. “She’s my child and they don’t come around very often like this.

“Honestly, I was seriously thinking about scratching her, I was going on the fence back and forth but I’m glad we ran.”

Just like the Queen’s Plate, Aheadbyacentury and Cooler Mike were second and third, respectively, in the six-horse field. The remainder of the finishers in order were: Eskiminzin, Absolution and Home Base.

Wonder Gadot paid $2.80, $2.10 while Aheadbyacentury returned $2.70. After two straight Prince of Wales victories, jockey Luis Contreras settled for second aboard Aheadbyacentury.

“I saved as much ground as I wanted and he moved pretty good into the second turn,” Contreras said of his horse. “Turning for home, Johnny (winning jockey John Velazquez) looked back and just opened up.

“He had too much. My horse handled the track really well and I’m pretty happy with him.”

The win was Wonder Gadot’s second in eight races this year and maintained her streak of money finishes (four seconds, two thirds). The prized three-year-old now has five victories in 13 career starts and the $240,000 winner’s share boosted her overall earnings past $1.4 million.

Wonder Gadot continued her impressive run on dirt, earning her second win in eight starts on the surface. She also has three seconds and two third-place runs while having earned over $760,000.

Heavy rain roughly an hour from posttime made a mess of the Fort Erie dirt track. Although the wet stuff ceased after about 30 minutes, the surface went from fast to sloppy in the space of one race.

But the muddy conditions didn’t bother Wonder Gadot as Velazquez took her to the lead from the start, so the horse wouldn’t have mud thrown back into her face. With nothing but clear track ahead, Wonder Gadot surged ahead before putting the field away down the stretch in posting a winning time of 1:58.71 under threatening skies.

“Warming up, Johnny said she was on her toes,” Casse said. “And the more he looked at the track he said he didn’t want all that thrown back at him, so he said he was going to go for it.

“When he comes into the paddock he’ll tell you pretty well what every horse is going to do. That’s what makes him great and he’s truly great.”

Casse said the 1 1/8-mile Breeders’ Cup Distaff remains the long-range plan for Wonder Gadot, where the expectation is she’d again face rival Monomoy Girl. On May 4, Monomoy Girl nipped Wonder Gadot by a half-length in the $1-million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, a race Wonder Gadot ran without blinkers.

“I have the utmost respect for Monomoy Girl and she’ll be tough, but if anybody can beat her I think we can,” Casse said. “We’re not giving up.

“Right now, the Alabama is on the brain. I think she (Monomoy Girl) is going to the Cotillion (US$1-million Cotillion Stakes on Sept. 22 at Parx). We’ll probably try to go to the Alabama and then the (Breeders’ Cup) Distaff. We know she likes Churchill Downs, so that’s definitely something we’re going to point for as well.”

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