Remember Mighty Heart, the reigning Canadian Horse of the Year? The now-4-year-old headlines the field in the Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes, Woodbine’s flagship race on Canada Day.
The July 1 Dominion Day Stakes takes its contestants 1 1/16 miles over Woodbine’s all-weather Tapeta surface. Waiting for Mighty Heart are graded stakes winners Lookin to Strike, March to the Arch and Skywire, Canada’s 2020 Champion Older Main Track Male. All three are Mark Casse trainees.
As for the Josie Carroll-conditioned Mighty Heart, he returns to the scene of his greatest victory: last year’s 1 ¼-mile Queen’s Plate. That win, at 13/1, gave Mighty Heart his second career triumph. He’d add another one 17 days later, winning the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales at Fort Erie.
That gave Mighty Heart the first two legs of Canada’s Triple Crown, putting him in line to become Canada’s first Triple Crown winner since Wando in 2003. Alas, the colt fell well short in the third, finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Stakes on Woodbine’s turf. He’d wrap up his 3-year-old season in November, finishing fourth by four lengths in the Grade 3 Ontario Derby at Woodbine.
Belichick, Mighty Heart duel yet again
The horse that beat Mighty Heart in that Breeders’ Stakes, stablemate Belichick, is also entered in the Dominion Day. He’s finished no worse than third in six career starts. He finished second to Mighty Heart in the Queen’s Plate and second to Field Pass in the Ontario Derby.
The one-eyed, Ontario-bred son of Dramedy opened his 4-year-old season finishing third in a Keeneland allowance race in mid-April. That day, he led up until the wire, when both South Bend and Empty Tomb caught and passed him. He lost by 1 ¼ lengths.
Mighty Heart took his revenge against South Bend six weeks later at Churchill Downs, capturing the Black-Type Blame Stakes by a nose over Night Ops. South Bend was fifth, 3 ¾ lengths behind.
That snapped his three-race losing streak, gave Mighty Heart his fourth career victory in 10 races and put him just short of $800,000 in career earnings ($794,759). He is 4-0-2 in those 10 races.