On Saturday afternoon Alberta thoroughbred owner Terry Hamilton will be standing in the paddock at Del Mar racecourse with his superstar Heart to Heart waiting for the G1 $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Mile. Terry says that Heart to Heart is a total professional, and when he gets to the paddock he will be 100% ready for the race, and Terry will be willing him to “break ahead of Midnight Storm”!
Terry has been a racing fan since he was very young, and having a horse in the Breeders’ Cup is “A dream come true. It took a long time, but this is the experience of a lifetime. You know, everyone dreams about the Kentucky Derby, but the Breeders’ Cup is special, and even more thrilling than the Derby. Every horse in every race is a superstar. He’s an unbelievable horse, and he deserves to be here.”
Heart to Heart likes to break and go to the front and in every single one of his 13 wins (9 in graded stakes) he’s gone gate to wire. Terry thinks the track at Del Mar will suit his running style, because he can pick up speed on the tight turns and the short stretch will be an advantage. “He’s training super, he’s a really confident horse and right now he couldn’t be better. He’s sound and in perfect form,” Terry says, “this is the toughest race of his life and he’s facing the best in the world, so he’ll need the race of his life to win. He hasn’t had that elusive Grade 1 win, so it would be unbelievable if this was it for him!” With horses from England, Ireland and France, owned by stables Godolphin and Coolmore, Heart to Heart is facing the best turf horses from Europe and North America, including other front runner Midnight Storm.
Heart to Heart was bred by fellow Albertan Darrel Bauder’s Red Hawk Ranch. Darrell bought the mare Ask the Question at Keenland and he bred her to English Channel with a season he purchased through the Thoroughbred Charities of America Stallion Season Auction fundraiser. Darrell sent the mare to Ontario to foal, but Heart to Heart came to the ranch at Cochrane as a weanling. “He was really cute, really active, and that heart on his head always stood out. It’s perfect, because the Thoroughbred Charities of America logo is a heart.”
Darrell will be at Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup races and is “very excited” to have the opportunity to watch one of his own foals compete on the biggest racing stage, “I’m thrilled and proud of him, and I know that he’ll give his best – he always tries so hard.” A half brother to Heart to Heart will be making his Alberta debut at Century Downs on Saturday afternoon in Race 10, so Darrell will be checking in with the races at home from Del Mar.
Terry’s from Lethbridge, and his journey as an owner started in Alberta - he’s raced horses at Rocky Mountain Turf Club, Evergreen Park and Northlands Park. He’s happy to see the success that Century Downs has had this fall and looks forward to the new Century Mile track, “I’m happy to see that racing in southern Alberta is coming back, and look forward to having some horses racing at the new track, a little closer to home. I know that there are a lot of dedicated people who have never lost their passion for Alberta racing. Max Gibb and Rose Rossi keep putting in the time and effort to keep racing going at Rocky Mountain Turf Club and there are a lot of others who are committed to improving the industry.”
Terry’s words of wisdom that he would give to new owners are to “Keep the dreams alive. This is a tough game, but it’s a great game. There are a lot of ups and downs, but the ups outweigh the downs. You have to enjoy the special moments you have with the horses.” We’ll be cheering with Terry and Darrell for Heart to Heart and hoping that he breaks ahead of Midnight Storm and goes all the way! The Breeders’ Cup Mile is Saturday, November 4 at 5:19 pm MST.