Sovereign Award champ Tyson set to defend Grade 3 Dominion Day title

Sovereign Award champ Tyson set to defend Grade 3 Dominion Day title

TORONTO, June 28, 2024 – Multiple graded stakes winner Tyson takes on eight heavyweight foes in the $150,000 Dominion Day Stakes (G3), part of the Canada Day Racing Festival, Saturday at Woodbine.  

A 1 1/8-mile main track event for 4-year-olds and up, the Dominion Day is part of a stellar card that showcases four other graded stakes offerings: $200,000 bet365 Highlander (G2T), $175,000 Nassau (G2T), $150,000 HPIbet Marine (G3) and $150,000 Selene (G3).  

Tyson, who won last year’s Dominion Day by 1 ½ lengths, will once again face a formidable group in this year’s running.

The Josie Carroll trainee comes into the race off a strong showing in his 5-year-old debut on June 1 when he was second, a half-length behind multiple graded stakes winner Palazzi, who will also contest the Dominion Day.

“I thought it was a very strong showing for his first race of the year,” said John Sikura, who co-bred and co-owns Tyson under the Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings Inc. banner, along with Stretch Run Ventures, LLC. “It wasn’t the ideal trip, but he came running. Make no mistake, you want to win, but I thought he looked good and raced very well. Hopefully, it sets him up nicely for this one.”

Named after former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, the grey won a pair of graded events (Dominion Day and Grade 2 Seagram Cup) in 2023 at Woodbine. He was also third in the 2023 Grade 1 Jockey Gold Cup at Saratoga.

That impressive body of work was recognized at the Sovereign Awards this April when he was named the 2023 Champion Older Main Track Male.

“It is very rewarding,” said Sikura, of the Sovereign trophy. “It is always nice to have a horse of this calibre and to hear his name called was a wonderful moment.”

Foaled on February 15, 2019, Tyson is the first runner out of the winning Smart Strike mare Honouring. A half-sister to Grade 1 winner Streaming and stakes winners Treasuring and Cascading, as well as stakes performers Distracting and Gifting, she is one of five stakes producers out of Better Than Honour daughter Teeming. 

His sire, Tapit, has had great success with the family, including stakes performers by stallion under Tyson’s first two dams, including Grade 2 winner Greatest Honour and stakes performers Sweet as Pie and Soaring. Honouring’s Tapit half-sister, Modeling, is also the dam of last year’s Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Arcangelo. 

“Tyson is a beautifully bred horse from a family cultivated for about 30 years,” said Sikura. “It’s a family that means a lot to me and is very rewarding to our farm.” 

Sikura, inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2018, hadn’t originally planned to keep Tyson but changed course after the 2020 Keeneland Association September Yearling Sale. 

“It’s very unusual for us to keep a colt. We offered him as a yearling at what I believe was a very reasonable reserve ($250,000), but he didn’t get sold.” 

Under the tutelage of Todd Pletcher, Tyson debuted in March 2022 at Gulfstream Park. Sent off at 6-1 in the 1 1/16-mile race over the main track, he recorded a gutsy one-length victory. 

He comes into his latest test with a mark of 4-1-2 from nine starts, along with $377,451 (U.S.) in purse earnings.

“This is going to be a tough field and hopefully, he runs his race and comes up with another big effort,” said Sikura. “He’s a very talented horse and he has a lot of versatility. He can be placed forward, inside, outside – he has that adaptability in his skillset.”

Other starters include 2023 King’s Plate winner and Canada’s champion 3-year-old male Paramount Prince, multiple graded stakes-placed Collective Force, stakes-placed Stanley House, and Lake Ontario Stakes winner Jim’s Hope.

First post is 1:10 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action through and    

Grade 3 $150,000 Dominion Day Stakes – Race 8

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer 

1 – Palazzi – Sahin Civaci – Mark Casse

2 – Wicked Django – Keveh Nicholls – Krista Cole

3 – Collective Force – Ryan Munger – Rachel Halden

4 – Stanley House – Jose Campos – Michael De Paulo

5 – Skyro – Rafael Hernandez – Kevin Attard

6 – Paramount Prince – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse

7 – Quadra Island (S) – Adam Beschizza – Michael Maker

8 – Tyson – Kazushi Kimura – Josie Carroll

9 – Jim’s Hope – Eswan Flores – Paul Buttigieg 

Chris Lomon, Woodbine

Grace Martin
Grace Martin Communications Specialist, Woodbine Entertainment
Horse Racing - TB
About Woodbine Entertainment

Woodbine Entertainment is the largest horse racing operator in Canada, with Thoroughbred horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, and Standardbred horse racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Milton. Woodbine Entertaiment also owns and operates HPIbet, Canada’s only betting platform dedicated to horse racing. Woodbine and Mohawk Park are host to several world-class racing events including The King’s Plate, three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races, and the Pepsi North America Cup. Run without share capital, Woodbine Entertainment has a mandate to financially invest all profit back into the horse racing industry and the 25,000 jobs it supports across Ontario.   

Woodbine Entertainment
555 Rexdale Blvd. Toronto, Ontario.