Vella Joins Woodbine as Horse People Liason

Sovereign Award and Queen's Plate-winning trainer Dan Vella has joined Woodbine as Horse People Liaison. Vella will be a point of contact for owners and trainers as it relates to opportunities and feedback regarding race conditions, track surface matters, backstretch maintenance, equine safety and race day logistics. "Dan is a highly regarded figure on our backstretch that has his finger on the pulse of our racing community," Jim Lawson, Woodbine Entertainment CEO, said. "Having the ability to add someone like Dan, who has spent over 50 years on our backstretch...

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Woodbine Releases 2023 Stakes Schedule

Woodbine Entertainment unveiled the stakes schedule Monday for the 2023 Thoroughbred racing season at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. The program will offer more than $17 million in purses, including 39 graded stakes, five Grade I events and two $1 million classics, The King's Plate and Ricoh Woodbine Mile. "Highlighted by the return of the Canadian International, and the first running of The King's Plate in 70 years, this year's stakes program at Woodbine will be as exciting as ever," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. The 164th running of...

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Record All-Sources Handle at Woodbine

Total all-sources handle for the 2022 Thoroughbred meet at Woodbine was $621,782,346, by a wide margin the largest single-season total in the history of the track. The previous record was $533 million set in 2018. For the first time since 2019, Woodbine was able to hold a full season of racing. Over the course of 132 live dates, a total of 1,198 races were staged. The 2020 and 2021 seasons were delayed and interrupted to varying degrees by the COVID-19 pandemic. "We're very happy with the results of our 2022...

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Kimura, Casse Win 2022 Woodbine Titles

Eclipse and Sovereign Award winner Kazushi Kimura earned his second consecutive Woodbine jockey crown at the recently concluded Woodbine Thoroughbred meet with 152 wins. Overall his mounts earned $8.9 million (CDN). Born in Hokkaido, Japan, Kimura joined the Woodbine jockey colony as a 19-year-old apprentice in 2018. He finished his first Woodbine campaign sixth in the standings with 89 wins and his mounts totaled more than $2.3 million in earnings which earned him an Eclipse Award as North America's outstanding apprentice jockey. He also took home the Sovereign Award as...

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Dec. 9: Busy Day For Tight First-Crop Sire Race

by Margaret Ransom Since neither of the top three first-crop sires battling it out to win the 2022 division title had a runner on Thursday, their numbers remain unchanged. The focus now turns to a busy Friday with Bolt d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro) in a solid position to pull away from both Justify (Scat Daddy) and Good Magic (Curlin) with six runners total--three in the fifth race at Turfway Park, two in the sixth at Woodbine and another at Oaklawn Park. Good Magic's lone runner on Friday--Zia Park Juvenile S. winner...

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The Queen's Plate Renamed The King's Plate

The historic Queen's Plate, North America's longest continuously run stakes race, will be renamed The King's Plate. Woodbine will run the next edition of the Canadian Classic Sunday, Aug. 20. Entry conditions for the 2023 King's Plate are unchanged with the race remaining open to all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds foaled in Canada. "The Plate is one of the most celebrated events in horse racing, and we're proud to celebrate its history while starting a new chapter under the banner of The King's Plate," said Jim Lawson, Woodbine Entertainment's CEO. "Those who...

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Juveniles Headline Saturday Graded Stakes Action

Curly Jack (Good Magic) looks to return to winning ways at a venue at which he is already two-for-two in Saturday's GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at Churchill Downs. A debut winner at this oval in June, he was off the board in Saratoga's GIII Sanford S. in July, but missed by just a head in the Ellis Park Juvenile S. in August. Rallying to victory in this oval's GIII Iroquois S. Sept. 17, the bay was fifth at odds of 55-1 in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Keeneland...

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Woodbine Cancels Most of Sunday's Card

Woodbine Entertainment was forced to cancel races 3-10 on Sunday's card at the Etobicoke track due to inclement weather. The first two races were conducted under "clear" weather, according to the Equibase charts, but a significant amount of snow was on the ground and the Weather Network said up to 15 more inches of lake-effect snow could fall before the end of the day. The temperature was listed at -5 degrees in Celsius, or approximately 23 degrees in Fahrenheit. Live racing is scheduled to resume Thursday, Nov. 24.

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Accelerate Gets First Stakes Winner At Woodbine

Having broken his maiden on this same surface and distance Oct. 2 with a 71 Beyer Speed Figure, Hal returned Saturday to Woodbine as the 2-1 second choice--a far cry from his 10-1 morning-line odds. Much as he did Oct. 2, Hal tracked off the pace inside from mid pack before shifting out to the clear as the field passed the quarter pole. He loomed outside of pacesetter Ticker Tape Home and the pair bobbed heads down the lane with Hal gaining only minimal separation on the wire for the...

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Bidding Now Open for Kate's Kingdom Flash Sale On Fasig-Tipton Digital

Bidding is now open on Fasig-Tipton Digital for the "Kate's Kingdom Flash Sale," a one-horse online auction of Kate's Kingdom, winner of the GIII Ontario Matron S. at Woodbine this past weekend. Bidding on the racing/broodmare prospect will close this Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m. EDT. A 4-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom, Kate's Kingdom earned a career-best 6+ Ragozin figure in the Ontario Matron victory over Woodbine's main track. It was her second stakes win this year, increasing her earnings to $211,855. She is a winner on both turf...

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MGSW Avie's Flatter Retired To Ontario's Colebrook Farms

Tall Oaks homebred Avie's Flatter (Flatter), 2018 Canadian champion 2-year-old, is retiring from racing to stand stud at Ontario's Colebrook Farms. Winner of the Cup and Saucer S. and the Coronation Futurity at two, he went on at three to win Keeneland's GIII Kentucky Utilities Transylvania S. and place in each leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. From ages four to six, he took both the GII Neartic S. and the GII Connaught Cup and also placed in the GII Eclipse S. and the GIII Bold Venture S. He retires...

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Gaughan Becomes Independent Chair of Ontario Racing Board of Directors

Andrew Gaughan has been appointed the next Independent Chair of the Ontario Racing Board of Directors. Jamie Martin will be an Executive Consultant to the board. Gaughan became a manager with Woodbine Entertainment Group (then the Ontario Jockey Club) in 1994, and over the next three decades served in senior leadership positions with WEG, Magna Entertainment Corporation, Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ listed), and Sportech PLC a UK based publicly traded (LSE) gaming technology business. "Andrew is the ideal candidate to step into the role," said outgoing Independent Chair John Hayes....

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