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TORONTO, ON – Canada’s 2020 Horse of the Year Mighty Heart returned home with authority on Thursday, outperforming a trio of graded stakes winners to champion the $150,000 Dominion Day Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.
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Upon exiting post 4 under Daisuke Fukumoto as the 9/5 second choice, Mighty Heart went straight to the lead and posted opening fractions of :25.23, :48.49, and 1:11.99.
Though his four rivals bunched up to challenge him in the far corner, the Josie Carroll trainee kicked clear at the top of the stretch and drew off late to win the 1 1/16-mile fast synthetic one-turn event by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:43.33.
“I’m glad to get the opportunity to ride this horse again,” Fukumoto said. “I breezed him a couple times and today I was ready to go, and we did it today.”
The Mark Casse-trained 8/5 favorite March to the Arch took second by 3 lengths over Malibu Mambo, while the other Casse runners Lookin to Strike and Skywire completed the order of finish.
Belichick (the winner’s stablemate) and Atone scratched.
Mighty Heart’s win was his second straight following the Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs and improved his overall record to 11-5-0-2 with $881,877 earned for owner/breeder Larry Cordes. The 4-year-old Ontario-bred Dramedy colt won the 2020 Queen’s Plate at Woodbine and the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie, the first two events of the Canadian Triple Crown (he was seventh in the third-leg Breeders’ Stakes).
““I thought (the Blame Stakes) just put him right where I wanted him,” Carroll said. “In fact, he had 2 works after that simply because he came out of it so well. We had to sort of take the high note off of him a little bit 4 days ago so he could settle in this race.”
Mighty Heart returned $5.80 to win, $3 to place, and $2.10 to show. March to the Arch brought back $3.10 to place and $2.20 to show. Malibu Mambo paid $2.90 to show.
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