Mighty Heart, horse with N.S. connection, falls short in bid for Canadian Triple Crown

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Mighty Heart, horse with N.S. connection, falls short in bid for Canadian Triple Crown
Mighty Heart, horse with N.S. connection, falls short in bid for Canadian Triple Crown

Mighty Heart, the one-eyed colt with a Nova Scotia connection, narrowly missed winning the OLG Canadian Triple Crown on Saturday.

"It's been a crazy journey," Cape Breton's Siobhan Brown, Mighty Heart's groom, said from Toronto before the Breeders' Stakes race, the third jewel of the Triple Crown.

The three-year-old horse took an early lead at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, but fell short after he ran out of steam, finishing seventh.

His stablemate, Belichick, captured the title instead.

Chris Young/The Canadian Press
Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Mighty Heart, nicknamed Willie, lost his left eye in a paddock accident when he was just two weeks old — but he's never let that stop him.

Last month, he won the Queen's Plate, the opening leg of the Triple Crown with a winning time of 2:01.98, the second-fastest since 1957. He went on to capture the second jewel, the Prince of Wales Stakes, only a couple weeks later.

If he had won the Breeders' Stakes, he would become the first horse since Wando in 2003 to capture the Triple Crown — and the first to do it with one eye.

Submitted by Siobhan Brown
Submitted by Siobhan Brown

Brown has been Mighty Heart's groom since last year. She said she understands Mighty Heart's disability because she has epilepsy.

"I totally get, you know, not being all there so we just kind of bonded from that and it's been really nice," she said.

But she said it was his personality, sense of humour and his kindness that made her want to be his groom.

"He just needs some love and he's one of those [horses] that needs that confidence boost and time and patience," she said.

"... And the more I've worked with him now, I've just absolutely fallen in love with him."

Earlier Saturday, Brown said her family back home in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were rooting for Mighty Heart.

"It's so amazing to see such a community come together for something that nobody really knew anything about, because we don't have thoroughbred racing at home."

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