While the 2020 racing season at Woodbine Racetrack came to an early end, we look back with gratitude at being able to cover our favourite sport even admist the most challenging of circumstances.
Though many hours go into commuting, capturing content, editing and posting never have we complained about the process. Being a part of the Horse Racing community brings me great joy and it makes me proud that Woodbine Entertainment managed to put together a fantastic abbreviated season, keeping everyone safe and well with some well-managed health and safety protocols.
Though border restrictions did alter the make-up of some of our most high-profile stakes races, one of the greatest things this year was seeing our local jockeys, trainers and owners take some of our biggest fixtures. Sam-Son Farm is one the reasons I love this sport so much, having brought us some phenomenal talent over the years. Stable stars like Dance Smartly, Ruling Angel, Wilderness Song and Sky Classic held Madonna and Michael Jackson-level idol worship from me as a kid. They were my heroes and I couldn’t wait for the weekends to come because I could see my favourite horses at Woodbine.
While I like many others are saddened Sam-Son Farm will be exiting the sport, they do leave on-top taking the Grade I Northern Dancer Stakes in October with Say the Word. I wish the best to the Samuel and Balaz families, in addition to everyone who helped preserve their legacy all these years. I am grateful for all the memories.
2020 came with challenges, but also some bright spots. How amazing was it seeing Woodbine-based star Starship Jubilee beat the boys en route to a Grade I score in the Woodbine Mile? Though Mark Casse would prevail as the meet’s leading trainer, Josie Carroll dazzled us with her phenomental roster of stable stars in a career year, taking all legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, the first ever woman to accomplish the feat. Our heart belongs to her trainee, the hard-trying one-eyed wonder Mighty Heart, our 2020 Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes victor. His fast-developing stablemate Belichick just might have a thing or two to say about the award for the country’s top three-year-old male. And while Rafael Hernandez would prevail in jockey standings with 129 wins, Justin Stein made it a thrilling match to the wire with 126!
As I do every year, here is my A YEAR IN HORSES compilation, capturing some of my favourite moments and faces of the 2020 meet. It brings me so much joy to share back to a community that gives so much to me. I hope this year’s edition does them justice.
We are so proud also to be a part of Mr Will‘s story. He tried his best with each start this season and came so close to the win. He will be going in for a minor procedure this week. Please send him and Michelle Love all your positive thoughts for a quick recovery. We will for sure spend time with him over the Holidays to check-in on him. We appreciate all your support!
While we will miss being at the races over the winter, we hope all our friends in the racing community enjoy the Holidays and a well-deserved recharge. We will be unstoppable in 2021.