TORONTO, June 25, 2021 – Reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Mighty Heart will return to the scene of his thrilling Queen’s Plate triumph that propelled him to stardom last year at Woodbine Racetrack as the Josie Carroll trainee headlines the field for the featured Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes on Canada Day.
The Ontario-bred son of Dramedy enters Thursday’s $150,000 feature event, to be contested over 1-1/16 miles on the Tapeta, fresh off a victory in the Blame Stakes on May 29 at Churchill Downs.
After taking the first two-thirds of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown during his sophomore season, Mighty Heart finished seventh in the Breeders’ Stakes final leg, won by stablemate Belichick, and fourth in the Grade 3 Ontario Derby, both at Woodbine.
He opened his four-year-old campaign in mid-April giving way late to finish third in a Keeneland allowance race before returning to the stakes spotlight.
Owned and bred by Larry Cordes, Mighty Heart has four wins from 10 career starts, with his latest earning him millionaire status.
Jockey Daisuke Fukumoto, who was aboard for the popular one-eyed colt’s Triple Crown bid, will be back in the irons for the Dominion Day with Mighty Heart starting from post four in the seven-horse field.
The aforementioned Breeders’ Stakes champion Belichick will also be competing in the Dominion Day for NK Racing and LNJ Foxwoods. Luis Contreras will be back aboard the Lemon Drop colt, who has finished no lower than third in all six of his career starts while banking more than $500,000 in purse earnings.
A runner-up in the Queen’s Plate and Grade 3 Ontario Derby, Belichick also finished second in his 2021 debut, missing by just a nose when running back on the turf, in a 1-1/16-mile allowance race on May 13 at Churchill Downs.
Scheduled as the seventh of eight races on the Canada Day card, the Dominion Day also features the Mark Casse-conditioned graded stakes winners Lookin to Strike, March to the Arch and Skywire.
Returning to action on Thursday following an injury, jockey Rafael Hernandez will partner with Skywire, who was named Canada’s 2020 Champion Older Main Track Male thanks in part to a pair of Grade 2 stakes wins, the Eclipse and Autumn, last year at Woodbine for owners Gary Barber and Lucio Tucci.
Other contenders in the field include Malibu Mambo, now trained by Michael Doyle for Stronach Stables, and Atone for trainer Eoin Harty and owner Godolphin LLC.
First race post time is 1:20 p.m., with the Dominion Day scheduled for approximately 4:24 p.m.
$150,000 Dominion Day Stakes (Grade 3)
1 – Lookin to Strike – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
2 – March to the Arch – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
3 – Atone – Justin Stein – Eoin Harty
4 – Mighty Heart – Daisuke Fukumoto – Josie Carroll
5 – Malibu Mambo – David Moran – Michael Doyle
6 – Belichick – Luis Contreras – Josie Carroll
7 – Skywire – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse