Mighty Heart’s dominant performance in the 161st running of The Queen’s Plate at Woodbine on Saturday highlighted a day of racing that produced the third highest wagering handle in the race’s storied history.
The 13-race card generated a total of $14,532,678, including $3,494,496 on The Queen’s Plate itself, in which one-eyed Mighty Heart live up to his name, defeating his 13 rivals after going off at 13/1.
“While this year’s Queen’s Plate might be remembered for not having fans in the stands, I would much rather it be remembered for the collective efforts of so many people that allowed this race to be run and its storied history continued to be written,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment.
“On behalf of Woodbine, a sincere thank you to our staff, partners and the entire horse racing community for everything they did make this day possible. Over the past several months we have certainly proved that we are stronger together and this historic handle is surely representative of that.”
Originally slated for June 27, North America’s oldest continually run race was moved to September 12 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the connections of Mighty Heart, it was well worth the wait.
Bred and owned by Lawrence Cordes, the son of Dramedy flew under the radar leading up to the Plate, but the Ontario-bred bay, in his first stakes test, landed in the winner’s circle courtesy of a sensational wire-to-wire score under jockey Daisuke Fukumoto in the $1 million classic.
Runner-up Belichick made it a one-two for trainer Josie Carroll, who was winning her third Queen’s Plate. The Canadian Hall of Fame inductee took the 2006 edition with Edenwold and the 2011 running with filly Inglorious.
The $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, a 9½-furlong race over Fort Erie’s dirt oval, is next in the tri-surface OLG Canadian Triple Crown series, which winds up with the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes at 1½ miles on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course at Woodbine.
Wando, in 2003, was the last horse to sweep the series and the seventh since its exception in 1959.