Woodbine Mile Has Open Feel

Saturday's GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile serves as a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Fanduel Breeders' Cup Mile at Del Mar in six weeks' time, and a legitimate case can be made for at least half of the 10 runners set to face the starter. Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}), promoted to third in this event in 2019, is the proven Grade I runner in the field, having scored three times at the highest level. The Peter Brant colorbearer made the most of his seasonal debut, belying...

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Woodbine to Implement Vaccination Policy

Woodbine is implementing a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for its staff, horse racing participants and contractors starting Sept. 15. The track is fully supportive of the Government of Ontario's requirement for guests to provide proof of vaccination in select settings which includes horse racing venues and casinos. As per the Government of Ontario's new policy, guests entering Woodbine Racetrack or Casino Woodbine, Woodbine Mohawk Park Racetrack or Elements Casino Mohawk, Greenwood Teletheatre and WEGZ Stadium Bar will be required to provide proof of full vaccination as of Sept. 22. Employees will...

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Saturday's Insights: OBS April Topper Must Overcome High Draw

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 10th-DMR, $70K, Msw, 2yo, 5 1/2f, post time: 9:07 p.m. ET CORNICHE (Quality Road) topped this year's OBS April Sale on a bid of $1.5 million from Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner's Speedway Stable and has drawn gate 10 as the 9-5 favorite Saturday at Del Mar. The son of six-time GSW and GI Matriarch S. runner-up Wasted Tears (Najran) was led out unsold on a bid of $385,000 at KEESEP last year, but turned in a smooth sales breeze in :10 flat to become...

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Aug. 29 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency STRONACH HOMEBRED DEBUTS IN CANADA 3rd-WO, $126.8K, Msw, 2yo, 7fT, 2:07p.m. Stronach Stables homebred RAPPER ZAPPER (Ghostzapper) makes his career bow in this event. The chestnut is a full-brother to Canadian champion, Queen's Plate victress and MGSW Holy Helena and a half to GSW & MGISP Holy Boss (Street Boss). TJCIS PPs   BROWN UNVEILS PRICEY CURLIN FILLY 5th-SAR, $100K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6f, 3:21p.m. Chad Brown saddles an expensive first timer in DISTINCTLYPOSSIBLE (Curlin), who summoned $670,000 at OBS April after breezing in :10...

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Saturday Insights: Turf Maiden Kicks Off Travers Day Program

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 1st-SAR, $100K, Msw, 2yo, 1 1/16mT, post time: 11:35 a.m. ET Though there are more fashionable pedigrees on display for the Saturday opener at the Spa, DAUNT (Nyquist) may present longshot players something to grab on to. Owned and bred by Marc Keller and trained by Bobby Ribaudo--who teamed to win back-to-back renewals of the GI Sword Dancer Invitational in 2007 and 2008 with Grand Couturier (GB)--the February-foaled dark bay is the first produce for his dam Promotional (Artie Schiller), third in the GIII Rood...

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Woodbine Cancels Thursday Racing

Woodbine Entertainment has cancelled its Thursday, Aug. 26, card due to extreme heat and high humidity. A heat warning has been issued by the Meteorological Service of Canada to the Toronto area of Ontario, where Woodbine is located. Live racing is scheduled to resume Friday, Aug. 27, with the first race at 4:50 p.m. ET.

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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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Silent Name's Silent Poet Bounces Back in GI Highlander

Silent Poet, a winner of both the GII Connaught Cup and his second-straight running of the GII Nearctic S. last term, bounced back from a trio of off-the-board efforts to upset Sunday's GI Highlander S. at Woodbine. The 9-1 shot sat perched just behind odds-on and in-form filly Caravel, took over from that foe with relative ease in the stretch and kept finding to hold off a furious late bid from Admiralty Pier. Caravel held on for third. The winner, who was 12th in the 2018 Queen's Plate, was last...

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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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Classic Empire Gets His First Stakes Winner

First Empire, fittingly trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse, became the first stakes winner for freshman sire Classic Empire with a win in Saturday's Soaring Free S. at Woodbine. He dueled and tired to fifth in his debut over the all-weather July 4, then dueled free when switched to grass to graduate here Aug. 1. Backed as the second choice in this one, First Empire forced the issue from an outside second, began to shake clear rounding the far turn and gamely kept finding after switching to his left...

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Our Flash Drive Seeks Third Straight Win in Ontario Colleen

Our Flash Drive (Ghostzapper) looks to extend her hot streak in Sunday's GIII Ontario Colleen S. at Woodbine. After two unsuccessful starts at Saratoga, the Live Oak homebred broke through in her first try on the local synthetic June 19. She followed suit with a decisive score in the two-turn GIII Selene S. July 10 and tried turf for the first time here. Her trainer Mark Casse also saddles Salty as Can Be (Into Mischief), who captured a local optional claimer last time July 15; and I Get It (Get Stormy),...

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