While there would be no Triple Crown winner this year, the 129th running of the Breeders’ Stakes would prove what we’ve known all year – 2020 is Trainer Josie Carroll‘s year!
BELICHICK took the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, taking control in the last two furlongs of the race, winning by a widening four lengths under jockey Luis Contreras for Carroll and an owner partnership of NK Racing & LNJ Foxwoods. He stopped the clock in 2:32.5 for 1 1/2 miles on a turf course listed as “good” after some rain last evening, paying $8.70 on a $2 bet as the third choice in the race. The three-year-old Lemon Drop Kid colt had gone winless in three prior attempts but always had been backed well in each start, winning his first race ever in style after an improving runner-up finish in the Queen’s Plate. He is named after New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick.
Finishing second was 54-1 longshot MEYER, a recent claim by Bruno Schickedanz and Trainer Martin Drexler from the barn of Mark Casse. 12-1 fifth choice ENGLISH CONQUEROR made a run up the rail to be third.
All eyes were on Belichick‘s stablemate MIGHTY HEART, the one-eyed colt who had swept both the Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes last month. A win in the Breeders’ Stakes would’ve made him the first horse in 17 years to win the Canadian Triple Crown. After getting pressured on the lead through quick fractions, the storied colt by Dramedy tired after one mile under Daisuke Fukumoto. Like his only other effort on the turf this March at Fairgrounds in New Orleans, he finished out of the money, this time in seventh place.
Despite not winning the Triple Crown, Carroll has the distinction of winning each leg of the the series, albeit with two different horses.
In a post-race Media scrum, Carroll comments on next plans for Mighty Heart and is asked about the possibility of taking a break.“Not necessarily, let’s see how he comes out of this race. He’s a strong healthy little horse and we’ll see where we go from here”, she says. “It’s a mile-and-a-half grueling race, and we’ll see how they come back.”.
We asked Carroll how different each of her star colts are. She says, “Mighty Heart‘s the littler scrapper. Belichick, he’s just the dude!”.
While it remains to be seen, a potential spot these two colts could face-off again would be the Grade III Ontario Derby November 21, 2020 at Woodbine Racetrack.