Strait of Dover

Strait of Dover

Michael Burns Photography

Champion Strait of Dover Dies After Surgery

The 2012 Queen's Plate winner had been expected to return to the races this year.

Strait of Dover, who captured the 2012 Queen's Plate at Woodbine in his final start and earned the Sovereign Award for champion 3-year-old male, was euthanized July 14 due to complications following surgery for a twisted large colon at Milton Equine Hospital in Ontario.

Trained by Dan Vella and ridden by Justin Stein, the Canyon Farms homebred won the $1 million Queen's Plate, Canada's most famous horse race, in Plate-record time.

Strait of Dover's 3-year-old season ended after he sustained a soft-tissue injury while training for the Breeders' Stakes, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. His connections planned for the 4-year-old colt to return to the racetrack.

"I'm shocked and heartbroken that he's gone," Stein told Woodbine Entertainment officials. "He had a true racehorse heart. He knew how to win. He was getting better and better with every start.

"We were hoping for grade I status with him. It's a huge loss."

British Columbia-bred Strait of Dover, by English Channel  out of Bahrain Star, finished first in all five starts—he was disqualified for interference once—on the Polytrack at Woodbine. He had four wins and a third in seven starts for earnings of $749,628.