It may have been the 158th running of the Queen’s Plate but believe me, it never gets old! While #Canada150 and long weekend were very much on people’s minds this past weekend, that didn’t stop a huge crowd from filling up the Woodbine Racetrack grandstand trackside all the way up to the fourth floor. Known as the longest-running annual horse race in North America, the race now featured in a two-day long Festival is a huge annual draw deep in history and culture. Headlining the two days of concerts this year were Canada’s Our Lady Peace on the Saturday and Goo Goo Dolls on the Sunday. Fun fact: did you known OLP frontman Raine Maida is Sovereign Award-winning Trainer Barb Minshall‘s nephew? We didn’t know that until recently when that came-up in a conversation. Cool, right?
We had the pleasure of being Woodbine‘s first ever Facebook LiveQueen’s Plate Co-Host along with our new friend Jen Kirsch, influencer and relationship writer, checking-in on the fun and fashion with guests from the Hats & Horseshoes Party, presented by Stella Artois. We loved the eclectic range of outfits, many patriotic and #Canada150-themed and many nodding another era.
Cast members of The Real Housewives of Toronto, fashion icon Jeanne Beker, Goo Goo Dolls, hosts of CTV’s The Social and Rachael Ancheril of Rookie Blue were in attendance. We’re pretty sure you’ve seen the fashion spots on Woodbine‘s website leading-up to the Queen’s Plate right? Those were actually directed by the latter.
Frank Stronach and his Adena Springs team have been a major force now for many years in the sport and this was the case in the day’s marquee race, the $1-million Queen’s Plate taken in dominant fashion by his superfilly Holy Helena. Ridden by Luis Contreras and trained by U.S.-based James Jerkens, she won the race as the post-time favourite and we hear that she is being pointed to the prestigious Alabama Stakes at Saratoga where she will face the top three-year-old fillies in North America. She just may make one more start in Canada to qualify for a Sovereign Award as she has made just two starts in her native country in a brief but v. illustrious career!
Watch the race:
Other major winners Queen’s Plate Festival weekend included Russell Brand character namesake Aldous Snow (Singspiel Stakes), Financial Recovery (Ontario Damsel Stakes), Melmich (Dominion Day Stakes), Green Mask (Highlander Stakes), Yorkton (Charlie Barley Stakes), Go Bro (King Edward Stakes) and a rare dead-heat between Rainha da Bateria and Starship Jubilee (Dance Smartly Stakes).
See our Snaps:
Jen Kirsch + I
Holy Helena, her groom Denzil + Frank Stronach
Queen’s Plate heroine Holy Helena + I
A Holy Helena cupcake (courtesy of Hayley Morrison)
The adorable Contreras Family (family of Queen’s Plate-winning jockey Luis)
Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell + Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson
Rainha da Bateria + Starship Jubilee, your Dance Smartly Stakes victresses
Catherine Day Phillips (and family), winning Trainer of Ontario Damsel Stakes victress Financial Recovery
Yorkton, winner of the Charlie Barley Stakes
Woodbine‘s Dawn Lupul
Aldous Snow, winner of the Singspiel Stakes… a third time!
Green Mask, winner of the Highlander Stakes
Melmich, winner of the Dominion Day Handicap. His co-owner Cory Hoffman (front right) is the father of fellow Film Writer Matt Hoffman.
Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida
We loved meeting our VIP Paddock Party winners Maria + Brett (fourth down). Some Queen’s Plate Fashion 👒🎩:
Woodbine Handicapper Jim Bannon and former Woodbine announcer Dan Loiselle. Legends.
The official Queen’s Plate cocktail, the Blue Diamond 💎
Full House 🏠
The rain would not prevail!
While we were pretty much everywhere on Queen’s Plate Day, we loved seeing the faces of friends, new and old. If you couldn’t make it out this year, we hope to see you at the races this season as it goes till December! Beginning Friday nights in July, Woodbine will host a patio party called the Grandstand Social on the third floor at Champions.
All I Do is Win ✔
Everyone needs a selfie with the soon-to-be-iconic “ALL I DO IS WIN” neon sign which will be there!