Heart to Heart scores charitable Maker’s 46 Mile win at Keeneland

April 13, 2018 06:17pm
Heart to Heart scores charitable Maker’s 46 Mile win at Keeneland
Photo: Mary Cage/HRN

While it took Heart to Heart 34 career starts to win a Grade 1 race, the 7-year-old struck at the highest level again Friday, giving owner Terry Hamilton a victory worth sharing in the Maker’s 46 Mile.

In front of a record Keeneland Friday crowd of 28,307, Heart to Heart took them all the way on the front end with Hamilton promising a portion of earnings from the race would go to Thoroughbred Charities of America.

Heart to Heart — named for the shape of his blaze — is the result of season to sire English Channel purchased in a 2010 auction. The TCA — whose logo also includes a heart — seeks to provide better lives for Thoroughbreds both during and after their racing careers.

With another Grade 1 score, Heart to Heart’s post-racing plans may include stallion duties.

Under jockey Julien Leparoux, he broke alertly, took his usual place at the front of the pack and carried that speed to the wire for a 1 3/4-length win. The final time for a mile was 1:34.71 with Heart to Heart a tepid 3-1 favorite in the field of 10.

"He just never stops giving, does he?" said trainer Brian Lynch. "Julian's just a great fit for him, and I think that was probably one of his best performances here today. We always worry about the Keeneland stretch. It's so long. We're looking for the wire before it gets there.

"But today, when he broke clear, I thought, 'Someone's going to have to burst out of the pack to get him today.'"

The bay horse backed up his last out victory, also in front-running style, to take the Gulfstream Park Turf back on Feb. 10. His career record now stands at 15-5-3 in 34 starts.

"He's a nice horse," Leparoux said. "He's a cool horse to be around. Last time, he got his first Grade 1. It was very special, but to have a Grade 1 at Keeneland is even more special."

Ballagh Rocks got up for second in his season debut, while Forge got third in a photo over West Coast shipper Om.

As for Heart to Heart, Lynch said the horse is in his best career form, continuing to age nicely.

"He's just become a much stronger horse," Lynch said. "...This year he's put on an enormous amount of weight, and he's just gotten that much bigger and stronger. I guess he's got a little bit more stamina to him, and we're seeing it in his races."


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