ORONTO – Hall of Fame trainer Josie Carroll said she is looking forward to Sunday’s Grade 3 $150,000 Durham Cup at Woodbine because any time the much-loved Mighty Heart is in to race is a good day for her and the horse’s owner/breeder Larry Cordes.
“We’re always excited when he runs,” Carroll said of the horse who sports a career record of 5-2-2 in 13 starts. “He’s a horse that goes over and gives you everything he has every time, so you know he’s going to go over there and show up.”
Mighty Heart, the one-eyed wonder who stormed to victory in the 2020 Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales en route to Canada’s Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Male honours, comes into the Durham Cup off a second-place finish to Tap It to Win on September 11 at Woodbine in the Grade 3 $150,000 Seagram Cup.
Carroll’s assessment of that performance?
“I think the horse that won got away with an easy pace and nobody chased him,” she said, adding Mighty Heart, a son of Dramedy-Emma’s Bullseye, is primed and ready for the rematch with Tap It to Win in the Durham Cup. “(Mighty Heart is) his happy self. He’s in good order.”
The Durham Cup is the third race on a stakes card that also includes the 85th running of the $250,000 Cup & Saucer Stakes (race 8) and the $150,000 Ontario Matron Stakes (Grade 3, race 9).
Mighty Heart has drawn post one in the five-horse Durham Cup field and will be ridden by Patrick Husbands. Tap It to Win, trained by Mark Casse, has post three. Casse also sends out the second richest horse in the field, Sir Winston, from post two. Halo Again (post four) and Special Forces (post five) round out the field.
But there’s no doubt that Mighty Heart is the media darling and fan favourite in the group.
“It’s a lot of fun and it’s wonderful for the owners,” Carroll said. “They’ve never had a horse like this and they’re enjoying every minute of it.”
FIELD FOR THE DURHAM CUP
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Mighty Heart – Patrick Husbands – Josie Carroll
2 – Sir Winston – Antonio Gallardo – Mark Casse
3 – Tap It to Win – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
4 – Halo Again – Shaun Bridgmohan – Steve Asmussen
5 – Special Forces – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
Six set for Grade 3 Ontario Matron Stakes
The Grade 3 $150,000 Ontario Matron Stakes drew a field of six, including Casse starters Art of Almost (post one, Emma-Jayne Wilson), Crystal Glacier (post two, Kazushi Kimura) and Skygaze (Husbands, post six), winner of the $100,000 Belle Mahone Stakes on September 12 at Woodbine.
Set at 1 1/16-miles on the Tapeta, the race for fillies & mares, three-year-olds and upwards, was first run in 1979.
La Voyageuse took the first two edition for owner Jean-Louis Levesque, trainer Yonnie Star and jockey Paul Souter.
FIELD FOR THE ONTARIO MATRON
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Art of Almost – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Mark Casse
2 – Crystal Glacier – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
3 – Afleet Katherine – Justin Stein – Kevin Attard
4 – Saratoga Vision (S) – Rafael Hernandez – Alexander Patykewich
5 – Juxtapose (S) – Gary Boulanger – Steve Owens
6 – Skygaze – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
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Woodbine Press Release
Photo 1: Stargaze and jockey Patrick Husbands romps in the 2021 Belle Mahone Stakes at Woodbine. (Michael Burns Photo)
Photo 2: Queen’s Plate champ Mighty Heart cruising to victory on July 1 at Woodbine. (Michael Burns Photo)