Vella Joins Woodbine as Horse People Liason

Woodbine | Christina Bossinakis

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 and enjoyed success at our highest levels, is a big boost for our stakeholder relationships.”

Vella's first stakes victory came in 1985 with Bert James (Dom Alaric {Fr}) in the Sir Barton Stakes. He won his first Queen's Plate with Basqueian (Bounding Basque) in 1994 and a second in 2012 with Strait of Dover (English Channel). He was honored with the Sovereign Award as Canada's outstanding trainer in 1994 and 1995. Overall his runners won over 800 races for $39 million in earnings.

“I am so excited to have this opportunity to work for Woodbine and continue to be involved in the industry and sport that has given me so much,” Vella said.

Vella will begin his new role on Apr. 1.

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