Woodbine

Book Review: Eurico Rosa Da Silva–Riding for Freedom

To the outside world, Eurico Rosa Da Silva came off as a good-natured, level-headed jockey whose natural talent led him to the top of the standings at Woodbine Racetrack and to seven Sovereign Awards as Canada's champion rider. But underneath that veneer was a person whose anger and troubled past had consumed him, nearly leading him down a path to total destruction. Da Silva rose from the poverty of a small town in Brazil to become the dominant rider in Canada before retiring in 2019. But that's not what his...

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Queen's Plate Scheduled for Aug. 22

The 162nd running of the $1-million Queen's Plate, the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, will be held Sunday, Aug. 22 at Woodbine, Woodbine Entertainment announced Tuesday. Contested annually to showcase Canada's finest 3-year-old Thoroughbreds, The Queen's Plate is one of the country's premier sporting events and North America's oldest continuously run stakes horse race. Held at the end of June in past years, The Queen's Plate was moved to late summer in 2020 and run Sept. 12 without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One-eyed champion Mighty Heart...

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Kazushi Kimura to Spend Winter in Saudi Arabia

Grade I-winning jockey Kazushi Kimura, who was named the 2019 Eclipse Award Outstanding Apprentice Jockey, will spend the winter of 2020/21 riding primarily for Prince Sultan bin Mishal bin Abdulaziz in Saudi Arabia, he confirmed to the TDN on Sunday. "Yes," Kimura told the TDN regarding his Saudi Arabian posting. "I'm gonna ride in Saudi Arabia until the middle of March, then I will be back to Woodbine before the opening day." Kimura, who was also Canada's Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in 2018, celebrated four graded winners in 2020 led by...

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Woodbine Entertainment Gives Back to Backstretch Community

Woodbine Entertainment has announced a trio of initiatives designed to support the 130 people living on the backstretch at Woodbine Racetrack during the winter months. Woodbine has partnered with the Horses First Fund, which will sponsor a nutritious, hot meal each week. The program will start Wednesday, Dec. 23. The Horses First Fund assists Thoroughbreds and their caretakers in need of emergency aid due to large scale neglect, natural disaster, or other catastrophes. Horses First Fund founder Jaime Roth of LNJ Foxwoods said, "I was especially moved by the misfortune...

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Problems Persist with Gmax Timing System

Despite a press release in late August from Equibase in which the company announced it would be conducting an "extensive analysis" of its Gmax timing system, the technology has continued to produce a number of inaccurate times at the racetracks it services. The TDN has found recent examples from Del Mar, Tampa Bay Downs and Penn National that show there were problems with the Gmax timing of the races. Gmax, which is operated in the U.S. by Equibase, relies on Global Positioning System (GPS) to record times, as well as...

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All-Sources Handle Down for Abbreviated Woodbine Meet

All-sources handle was down more than $50 million at $462,041,545.76 compared to $516,189,419.44 in 2019 for Woodbine's shortened 2020 Thoroughbred meet, which started late and concluded early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meet ran 96 days with the start being pushed back from Apr. 18 to June 6 and the end date moved up from Dec. 13 to Nov. 22. The abbreviated meet resulted in 35 less race days and 305 less races. "Like many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted our business and the entire horse racing industry...

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Casse Earns 12th Woodbine Training Title

Mark Casse topped the Woodbine trainers leaderboard for the 12th time with 93 wins during the abbreviated 2020 meet. Beginning June 6, the meet was originally scheduled to conclude Dec. 13, but was forced to end early Nov. 22 due to a government-mandated lockdown for the region of Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The jockeys' race went right down to the wire with Rafael Hernandez edging out Justin Stein. It was the first riding title at Woodbine for Hernandez, who racked up 129 wins. Barber was the leading money-winning...

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Woodbine Meet Officially Over

While attempts were made to reach an agreement with the Ontario government to continue racing despite a mandatory 28-day lockdown of Toronto and its suburbs, Woodbine Entertainment announced Thursday that the track's 2020 Thoroughbred meet was officially over. "While I am extremely disappointed we are not able to complete the 2020 Thoroughbred meet, what we achieved this year in face of significant adversity is quite remarkable," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "I have been around horse racing my entire life and I can proudly say that I have never...

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Woodbine Issues Statement on Sports Betting

Woodbine Entertainment issued the following statement Thursday: In response to the Federal Government introducing a Bill that proposes to legalize single event sports wagering in Canada, Woodbine Entertainment would like to congratulate the Government of Canada for considering the potential impacts to the horse racing industry. While the proposed Bill to Amend the Criminal Code would permit single event sports betting on most sports, Woodbine Entertainment is pleased that under the new proposed legislation, fixed odds wagering will not be permitted on horse racing. "On behalf of the entire horse...

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Terry Finley Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Founder, president and CEO of West Point Thoroughbreds Terry Finley joined this week's Thanksgiving edition of the TDN Writers' Room.

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Woodbine Officials Negotiating for Permission to Complete Season

Despite a mandatory 28-day lockdown of Toronto and one of its suburbs, officials at Woodbine Racetrack remain in negotiations with the Ontario government as they seek permission to complete the 2020 Thoroughbred season. The lockdown went into effect Monday, Nov. 25, at 12:01 a.m. and allows for training and stabling of horses at the track, but live racing has been canceled. An update late Tuesday from Woodbine read: "Since being permitted to race without spectators in early June, Woodbine Entertainment has demonstrated that live racing poses no greater health risk...

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Woodbine Cancels Remainder of Sunday Card Due to Inclement Weather

Shortly after announcing that the final three weeks of its Thoroughbred meet would be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, Woodbine was forced to cancel races seven through 13 on Sunday's card due to inclement weather, effectively ending the meet. Among the races cancelled Sunday were renewals of the GIII Grey S. for 2-year-old males and GIII Mazarine S. for juvenile fillies. In a brief statement, Woodbine said, "Woodbine Racetrack was forced to cancel the remainder of its live Thoroughbred racing program on Sunday, Nov. 22 following the sixth race due...

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