E.P. Taylor Day
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Jockey Daisuke Fukumoto celebrates after winning the 2020 Prince of Wales Stakes aboard Mighty Heart.
The 85th renewal of the $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel in Canada's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds foaled in Canada, was run Tuesday afternoon at Fort Erie Racetrack over a distance of 1 3/16 miles on the main track. Conditions were excellent for late September at the "border oval", with mostly cloudy skies and a race time temperature of 17 C (62F), the main track rated fast and the turf course firm. As was the case at Woodbine, the race was closed to spectators with only essential horsemen, owners, officials, and limited media allowed on the grounds.
Down the stretch with Clayton on the rail and Mighty Heart to his outside.
Jockey Keveh Nicholls sent 32-1 Truebelieve to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 23.48 and 47.39 while pressed by Dotted Line and stalked by 111-1 longest shot Red Mercury. On the far turn, Truebelieve tired allowing Dotted Line to inherit the front through 3/4 in 1:11.42 but the lead was short-lived. Favorite Mighty Heart, 5th early under Daisuke Fukumoto, came out 3 wide for room and swept to the front through 1 mile in 1:37.18. Kept to task by Fukumoto, Mighty Heart drew clear to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths over late-running Clayton in 1:55.59. It was a long 5 1/4 lengths back to Dotted Line third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Mighty Heart Fukumoto 3.70 2.60 2.20 9 Clayton Hernandez 3.40 2.40 3 Dotted Line Stein 3.20 Winning Time: 1:55.59 $1 Exacta 2-9 4.65 $1 Trifecta 2-9-3 13.70 $1 Superfecta 2-9-3-6 61.20
Left: Mighty Heart in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Josie Carroll said, “We always wait to see how the horse comes out (before committing to the Breeders' Stakes on October 24), that’s the key. He’s a wonderful little horse and he gets better every time. I think he'll take to the grass. Certainly he's bred to so fingers crossed.”
Right: The trophy presentation for the Prince of Wales Stakes with owner-breeder Lawrence Cordes (far left) and trainer Josie Carroll (second from right). Cordes said, ”I never dreamed that he'd do what he's done but we always had faith in him, Josie in particular. She was right there saying to me, 'This is a horse. This is a race horse, Larry. We just have to figure out the problem'. He was handicapped from day one and his future looked bleak because of his injury, but we had faith in him from the day he stepped on the track. We have to see how he comes out of this race, but we would like to compete for the Triple Crown.”
Left: Mighty Heart in the paddock before the race.
Right: Mighty Heart in the post parade. Winning jockey Daisuke Fukumoto said, “A lot of people expect him (to win) and I expect him too. He did it today, I’m so happy. A couple horses went to the lead so I let them go and sat behind them. He can take a little air so I changed up the tactic, and when I asked him at the quarter pole he went on again. Last time he won very easily, and he did it again today.”
Left: Mighty Heart heads back to the barn after the race. Cordes added, “So many people have fallen in love with this horse from the start of the Triple Crown. It makes my heart feel so good that so many people are excited."
Right: The horses break from the gate for the Prince of Wales.
Left: Second place finisher Clayton in the post parade. The Kevin Attard trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 6 starts, earning $289,928 for owners Donato Lanni and Daniel Plouffe.
Right: Third place finisher Dotted Line returns after the race in front of the empty grandstand. The Sid Attard trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 0 seconds, and 3 thirds in 10 starts, earning $183,835 for owner Norseman Racing Stable.
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