Perhaps you've wagered in a handicapped horse race but did you ever wager on a handicapped horse? You'll have your chance on October 24 when the Thoroughbred Mighty Heart makes his run to be the first Canadian Triple Crown winner since 2003. The three-year-old colt has only one eye due to an accident when he was a foal.
Mighty Heart was pretty much unseen himself before he broke the gate at Woodbine's Queen Plate on September 12 as a 13-1 longshot and proceeded to go wire-to-wire for a 7-1/2 length win in the $1,000,000 race. His finishing time at the Plate, 2:01.98, was the fastest in 30 years. On a muddy surface at Fort Eire Racetrack, September 29, the colt proved himself again by winning the $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes.
All that remains now is the final jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine on October 24. The Breeders is 1-1/2 miles, run on turf, and carries a $400,000 purse.
All eyes were on Mighty Heart when he posted as a 6-5 favorite at the start of the sloppy 1-3/16 miles Prince of Wales Stakes. With jockey Daisuke Fukumoto in the irons, the colt bided his time, hanging in third place until rounding the home turn. In his stretch run, he pulled past Dotted Line into second and then easily passed Clayton to take the lead he would not relinquish.
With six starts under his belt, the colt is only now hitting his stride. He has three wins and one show. All of his wins came in 2020, amassing $688,003 thus far in career earnings.
The one person who seemed to have the clearest view of his raw talent was Hall of Fame trainer Josie Carroll. She noted after the Fort Erie win that the horse was bred to run on grass and should do well on the Woodbine turf. For Carroll, this was her second win at the Prince of Wales. She prepped Amis Gizmo for the win in 2016.
The last colt to win the Canadian Triple Crown was 2003's champion Thoroughbred Wando.
Mighty Heart is an Ontario bred horse, bred and owned by Lawrence Cordes. Even though fans are shut out of in-person watching due to COVID-19 concerns, according to Cordes, the public has warmed up to his colt. With his surprising wins and physical handicap, Mighty Heart is a horse people want to cheer to victory.
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