TORONTO, June 28, 2022 — A quartet of Ontario Breds Artie’s Storm, Mighty Heart, Skywire, and Avoman are part of the field of nine entered in the Grade 3 $150,000 Dominion Day Stakes.
The Dominion Day is a 1 1/8-mile main track event and race six Friday at Woodbine.
Fresh off a third straight score, Artie’s Storm, a four-year-old son of We Miss Artie-Tiz Stormy now, heads into his latest stakes engagement off a one-length win in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Eclipse on May 29.
It was the seasonal debut for the Paul Buttigieg trained and owned gelding, who was bred in Ontario by Sunrise Farm.
Under David Moran, the dark bay, sent off at 7-1, tracked the early leaders, sitting third before striking front and going on to record the victory in a time of 1:42.40.
“He came out of the race really well,” said Moran. “He’s had a nice, little few weeks and a few works. You couldn’t have asked for a better effort. The trip, everything, it was just ideal. We couldn’t have written that one any better for him, actually. We went into the race thinking he would need the race and would improve from it. He seems to have come out of it really well and he’s had good time in between the races. He seems fresh. He’s bucking and playing, and happy in himself. He seems really happy right now.”
Artie’s Storm, who went 4-2-2 from nine starts in 2021, arrives at the Dominion Day sporting a 5-2-3 mark from 11 career races.
He capped off his three-year-old campaign with wins in the Lake Ontario (November) and Steady Growth (December).
“He seems very happy with himself,” said Moran, who was aboard for a four-furlong breeze, in :47.0, over the Woodbine main track on June 26. “Hopefully, he steps up from the last race and does it again. From the get-go, he was a horse I loved. When you get nice horses, they make life easy. They make it fun, and they make it easy. Good horses get you to the good places.”
Mighty Heart, Canada’s reigning Horse of The Year – the Ontario-bred also won the award in 2020 – will look to get back in the winner’s circle in the race he won last year.
Bred and owned by Larry Cordes, the multiple stakes winning son of Dramedy-Emma’s Bullseye was third in this year’s Eclipse.
The lifetime winner of six races, along with a pair of seconds and four thirds from 18 starts, finished third in the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday to conclude his four-year-old campaign. Mighty Heart was sixth in the Grade 3 Ben Ali in April before coming back to Woodbine for the Eclipse.
Trained by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Josie Carroll, the one-eyed gelding won the first two jewels, the Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes, of the 2020 Canadian Triple Crown.
Skywire and Avoman round out the Ontario contingent in the Dominion Day.
Skywire won his first start back from a ten month layoff in an allowance at Woodbine finishing ahead of the pair of graded stakes winner Helium, and graded stakes placed Sir Sahib. The Mark Casse trainee was fifth in this race last season.
Avoman ran second his last time out, posting an Equibase speed figure of 92 and was claimed by new trainer John Charalambous for owners Paul Braverman and Timothy Pinch. The son of Ontario Sire Old-Forester won the Plate Trial in 2021, and ran sixth in the Queen’s Plate.
Full Field for the Gr. 3 Dominion Day.
Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Talbeyah (IRE) – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse
2 – Primo Touch (S) – Daisuke Fukumoto – Harold Ladouceur
3 – Skywire – Rafael Hernandez – Mark Casse
4 – War Bomber (IRE) – Antonio Gallardo – Norm McKnight
5 – Mighty Heart – Justin Stein – Josie Carroll
6 – Avoman – Emma-Jayne Wilson – John Charalambous
7 – Artie’s Storm – David Moran – Paul Buttigieg
8 – Special Forces – Luis Contreras – Kevin Attard
9 – Frosted Over – Kazushi Kimura – Mark Casse
With files from Woodbine Communications / Chris Lomon