Queen's Plate

Queen's Plate Contenders Switch to Dirt in Prince of Wales

With the absence of Queen's Plate S. hero Safe Conduct (Bodemeister), who will await the Breeders' S. on turf for his next engagement, a handful of horses who followed him home in that Woodbine feature will try dirt Tuesday at Fort Erie in an eight-horse renewal of the Prince of Wales S., the middle jewel of Canada's Triple Crown. Given the narrowest of nods on the morning line at 5-2 is Ivan Dalos's H C Holiday (Ami's Holiday). Scoring against $40,000 maiden optional claiming foes second out at Woodbine, he...

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'Safe' to Say Queen's Plate Conquest Huge for Serpe

It's been a difficult few years for Phil Serpe and his stable. Like many smaller outfits trying to compete at a top-tier racing circuit, he has seen his number of horses dwindle as owners move in favor of consolidating their operations in the barns of "super trainers". Partly due to circumstance, partly due to that increasing monopolization of the sport, Serpe has had an especially trying 2021. Heading into this past weekend, he had just two winners to his name since the calendar turned--a 4-year-old maiden-breaker named King Angelo (Lemon...

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Queen's Plate Day Handle Second-Highest in Event's History

A total of $16,122,170 was wagered on Sunday's 13-race Queen's Plate card at Woodbine, including $3,491,564 on the feature. The total handle for the day is second-only to the 2019 event total of $18,005,973 and tops the 2020 handle of $14,532,678 by 11%. "This year's Queen's Plate brought the energy of our great sport back in full-force to Woodbine with an outstanding crowd and thrilling racing," said Jim Lawson. "It's evident that this excitement was felt across North America and we're elated to see the support this great day of...

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New York-Based Invader Takes Queen's Plate

WellSpring Stables' New York invader Safe Conduct (Bodemeister) pressed, pounced and just held off the late-charging Riptide Rock (Point of Entry) to win the 162nd Queen's Plate in a dramatic finish at Woodbine Sunday. With top U.S. jockey Irad Ortiz, riding in his first Queen's Plate, in the irons and making his first start over a synthetic surface, the 3-1 favorite was under a hold while tracking longshot pacesetter Take a Chance (Munnings) through fractions of :24.01 and :48.37. The bay colt rolled up to challenge the pacesetter nearing the...

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Munnyfor Ro Takes on the Boys in Queen's Plate

Munnyfor Ro (Munnings) looks to become the fifth filly in the last 10 years to beat the boys in Woodbine's most prestigious race, the $1-million Queen's Plate S. for Ontario-breds. Breaking her maiden on the grass while part of the Brian Lynch's shedrow this spring, the chestnut was third in a turfy allowance at Churchill May 8 and was sixth in the GIII Regret S. three weeks later. Sent back to Kevin Attard, she checked in second on the local synthetic in the GIII Selene S. and followed that with...

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Olympians Named Queen's Plate Ambassadors

Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez, each a multiple medallist in swimming at the recently completed Summer Olympics in Tokyo, have been named celebrity ambassadors for this Sunday's C$1-million Queen's Plate at Woodbine. "At Woodbine Entertainment we are so proud of our Canadian Olympians and how they represented our country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "We are thrilled to have Penny and Kayla participate in the traditions of The Queen's Plate which will also serve as a reflection of the gratitude and pride we...

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Munnyfor Ro Overcomes Wide Trip to Take Woodbine Oaks

Munnyfor Ro (Munnings) completed a quick-fire stakes double for her outstanding sire, overcoming a tough trip from a double digit gate to take out Sunday's C$500,000 Woodbine Oaks in Toronto. Settled behind midfield through the opening furlongs, the $65,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase traveled four and five off the inside--though with some cover--down the backstretch and began working into it entering the final half-mile. Four deep for the run around the second turn, she sustained a long run despite the ground loss, hit the front in upper stretch and stayed...

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LongRun Holds Virtual Race to the Plate

A total of 39 graduates of LongRun, one of the first adoption and placement programs for Thoroughbred racehorses in Ontario, are part of Race to the Plate, an initiative that invites people to sponsor a horse to a maximum of $25 per person, with each $5 donation providing one length for the horse as part of a contest that culminates with a winner being announced Aug. 22, Queen's Plate day, at Woodbine Racetrack. "One of our TAA [Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance] partners, Maryland Horse Rescue, they did an event like this...

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OLG Returns as Sponsor of Canadian Triple Crown

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) will partner with Woodbine Entertainment Group for the 2021 Canadian Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. OLG has been a long-time sponsor of the Triple Crown, encompassing the Queen's Plate at Woodbine, the Prince of Wales S. at Fort Erie and the Breeders' S. at Woodbine. "OLG's continued support of horse racing helps organizations like Woodbine bring the fast-paced action of horse racing to more Ontarians," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "With their support, we are able to enhance premier Thoroughbred racing events...

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A Mighty Day for Woodbine Fans

What a singular coincidence, and literally so, that two of the best horses recently bred in Canada--and that has never been a negligible distinction--should both have only one eye. True, the origins of Hard Not to Love (Hard Spun) and Mighty Heart (Dramedy) could scarcely be more diverse. The 2019 GI La Brea S. winner, who was retired a few weeks ago, graduated from one of the most admired breeding programs in North America, which routinely sends yearlings to Keeneland as coveted as any making a shorter trip from the...

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Stakes Schedule Released for Delayed Woodbine Meet

Woodbine has released a stakes schedule for its 2021 Thoroughbred meet, which has been delayed from its Apr. 17 scheduled opening due to COVID-19 restrictions in the province of Ontario. As it stands, the track is targeting a June 18 start date, with the possibility of opening sooner. The stakes program offers more than C$16.5 million in purses, including 39 graded events and two million-dollar races, the Queen's Plate--still on its original Aug. 22 date--and the Sept. 18 GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile, one of three "Win and You're" in races...

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Weyburn, Roman Centurian on Course for Wood Memorial

Chiefwood Stables' Weyburn (Pioneerof the Nile) breezed an easy half-mile in :50.93 seconds over Belmont's training track Wednesday in preparation for the Apr. 3 GII Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. A winner going seven panels in the Big A slop last December, the Ontario-bred kicked off 2021 with a nose victory in the Mar. 6 GIII Gotham S., a race in which Weyburn earned 50 qualifying points to the GI Kentucky Derby. "He just ran hard [in the Gotham] and he's not the heaviest horse in the world, so he didn't...

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