Mighty Heart, the one-eyed colt with a connection to Nova Scotia, narrowly missed the victory of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown on Saturday.
“It has been a crazy journey”, Siobhan Brown of Cape Breton, Engaged to Mighty Heart, said of Toronto before the Breeders’ Stakes race, the third jewel in the Triple Crown.
The three-year-old horse took the lead at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, but fell short after losing his breath, finishing seventh.
His stable mate Belichick won the title.
Mighty Heart, nicknamed Willie, lost his left eye in a paddock accident when he was just two weeks old – but he never let that stop him.
Last month, he won the Queen’s Dish, the first stage 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, just a few weeks later.
If he had beaten the Breeders’ Stakes, he would have become the first horse since Wando in 2003 to capture the Triple Crown – and the first to do so with one eye.
Brown has been engaged to Mighty Heart since last year. She said she understands Mighty Heart deficiency because she has epilepsy.
“I totally understand, you know, it’s not all there, so we kind of connected with it and it’s been really good,” she said.
But she said it was her personality, sense of humor and kindness that made her want to be her fiance.
“He just needs a little love and he’s one of those [horses] who needs that boost of confidence, time and patience, “she said.
“… And the more I work with him now, I just fell in love with him.”
On Saturday, Brown said his family in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were rooting for Mighty Heart.
“It is so amazing to see this community come together for something that no one really knew, because we don’t have thoroughbred races at home.”