Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally and are projected to remain the single leading cause of death. Treatment options abounds, although efficacy is limited. Recent studies attribute discrete and ephemeral benefits to adult stem cell therapies, indicating the urge to improve stem cell based–therapy. In this study, we show that priming mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) towards cardiomyogenic lineage enhances their beneficial effects in vivo as treatment option for acute phase myocardial infarction. MSC were primed using cardiomyogenic media for 4 days, after which peak expression of key cardiomyogenic genes are reached and protein expression of Cx-43 and sarcomeric α-actinin are observed. MSC and primed MSC (pMSC) were characterized in vitro and used to treat infarcted rats immediately after left anterior descending (LAD) occlusion. Echocardiography analysis indicated that MSC-treated myocardium presented discrete improvement in function, but it also showed that pMSC treatment lead to superior beneficial results, compared with undifferentiated MSC. Seven days after cell injection, MSC and pMSC could still be detected in the myocardium. Connexin-43 expression was quantified through immunoblotting, and was superior in pMSC, indicating that this could be a possible explanation for the superior performance of pMSC therapy.