Mighty Heart is two-thirds of the way to a Canadian Triple Crown sweep after notching Tuesday’s $299,163 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.
The odds-on favorite after dominating the Queen’s Plate earlier this month in wire-to-wire fashion, Mighty Heart enjoyed a tactically different trip in the Prince of Wales. Rated in a pocket behind the speed under Daisuke Fukumoto, Mighty Heart followed Clayton into contention on the far turn after that rival made a four-wide bid for the lead.
In the stretch, the Prince of Wales became a two-horse race between Clayton and Mighty Heart, but the latter proved to strong in the final furlong and won by 2 1/2 lengths going away.
“He’s a wonderful little horse, he gets better every time,” trainer Josie Carroll said.
A homebred campaigned by Larry Cordes, Mighty Heart paid $3.70 after completing 1 3/16 miles over a fast track in 1:55.59. Clayton easily held second by 5 1/4 lengths over Dotted Line, who had prompted the pace, with the maiden Bold Victory fourth. Muskoka Giant, Enchant Me, Truebelieve, Red Mercury, and Tecumseh’s War completed the order of finish.
The Prince of Wales was Mighty Heart’s first win on dirt in two attempts, having run fourth in his debut over the main track at Fair Grounds back in February. He posted a 2-for-3 record over Woodbine’s Tapeta track this summer, including the aforementioned 7 1/2-length romp in the Queen’s Plate at odds of 13-1.
To sweep the Triple Crown, though, he’ll need to tackle turf in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine on Oct. 24. Mighty Heart bore out in the first turn of his only previous try on grass, at Fair Grounds, and was placed 10th in the field of 14.
“I think he’ll take to the grass, he’s certainly bred to,” Carroll said. “Fingers crossed.”
Foaled in Ontario, Mighty Heart is by Dramedy and out of Emma’s Bullseye, by City Place. His record now stands at 6-3-0-1, $687,653.