#HORSERACING: MY 2015 WOODBINE RACING SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
It’s been absolutely a stellar 2015 racing season at Woodbine Racetrack and even though we’ve still got a month to go before the curtain drops for the Thoroughbreds, both the 24-hour Casino and Standardbreds still are going into the New Year! Details and schedule here!
We’ve been there every step of the way this racing season. The build-up to the Woodbine Oaks, won by likely champion three-year-old filly Academic. We were there for the thrill and fashion of North America’s most historic race, the Queen’s Plate, won by Shaman Ghost. We ventured even to Fort Erie in our first visit there ever for the Prince of Wales Stakes, upset by Breaking Lucky. Although there was no Triple Crown winner in Canada this year, we still witnessed the third leg being won decisively on the grass by Danish Dynaformer. Despite the TIFF ’15 madness, we would not miss seeing Irish-invader Mondialiste get it done in the Woodbine Mile. And who could forget Cannock Chase‘s thrilling stretch run to take the Pattison Canadian International? We even revisited Standardbred Racing as Woodbine hosted the 2015 Breeders Crown on a thrilling night of championship races!
2015 has been a highly-competitive year in all respective divisions and it truly is one of the most wide-open matches for thoroughbred Horse of the Year in recent memory. This however is a true testament to the quality of horses racing at Woodbine and that there’s a slice of the pie for everyone.
Academic winning the $500k Woodbine Oaks under Justin Stein
Mr. Will + Academic
Shaman Ghost winning the $1-million Queen’s Plate under Rafael Hernandez
Frank Stronach leading Shaman Ghost into the Winner’s Circle after their Queen’s Plate victory!
Mr. Will + Shaman Ghost
Breaking Lucky wins the $500k Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, the second leg of Canada’s Triple Crown, under Jim McAleney
Danish Dynaformer romps in the $500k Breeders’ Stakes under Patrick Husbands
With adorable Danish Dynaformer and his favourite teddy
I loved spending Breeders’ Stakes day with one of my favourite Readers @CupcakeDawnie whom true to her name brought me some amazing homemade cupcakes!
Such an honour to meet the Speed Queen herself, Ageless, who smashed yet another course record on the turf at Woodbine in the Royal North Stakes. We’re bummed she won’t make it to the Breeders’ Cup, but are happy she’s doing well and getting the queen treatment she deserves.
Brooklynsway is one of my favourite girls on the track and she always gives it her all on her best day. So overjoyed getting to meet her and give her some Scotch Mints. I don’t bet big, but she was responsible for a couple of my biggest wins in 2015!
Another one of our favourite girls Caren, who is just a two-year-old, but tough as nails. Her family at the Mike DePaulo barn and even her owners agree she’s nasty, but was just a perfect angel when I went by to visit her in the summer. They all are gonna nod their heads reading this.
Although that huge 2015 comeback never happened for our heroine and 2014 Canadian Horse of the Year Lexie Lou, we’re glad she’s safe and sound at the farm. Was a highlight of our year getting a kiss from her.
What a joy it was seeing my sweetheart “Mimi” (Don’t Leave Me) score in the Ontario Colleen Stakes under Eurico Da Silva. I even got to meet her amazing owner, THE Josephine Abercrombie! I always try to bring her an apple when she’s around. It has to be Royal Gala though. You don’t wanna see what happens when it’s not.
Although he had scratched from the $1-million Woodbine Mile, I got to catch-up quickly with hometown hero Grand Arch who soon after would go on to win the $1-million Shadwell Mile at Keeneland! He is amazing and rather handsome, wouldn’t you agree?
That time we went to our friend Linda‘s (@ldavis2229) BBQ and champion jockey Patrick Husbands shows up and gives Billy some jockey advice… NBD…
That time we met miniature pony, Pepper… it was the greatest!
Our little friend Gator is a Florida rescue cat adopted by our friend Sarah Ritchie, an assistant to Trainer Mark Frostad. He quickly has made a name on the backstretch at Woodbine and even has his own Twitter account: @gatorkitten.
So we went to the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park this summer and took-over Woodbine‘s Social Media for a day… The Selfie with Triple Crown champ AMERICAN PHAROAH was just the icing on the cake! Thanks Julie (@reddogcw) for the Snap!
So I got to present the winner’s trophy to Hall of Fame inductee Roger Attfield and local newcomer Alan Garcia after the Nijinsky Stakes… again NBD…
It’s not every day we get to see a Breeders’ Cup champion at Woodbine. Even though Bobby’s Kitten had an off-day in the Play the King Stakes, we’re still thrilled we got to see him up-close.
With Irish-bred $1-million Woodbine Mile winner Mondialiste and rider Fergal Lynch
This one Bartender at Woodbine knows me too well… It was a dream having this many Maraschino Cherries in my Singapore Sling! Almost died of deliciousness…
2013 Canadian Horse of the Year Up with the Birds being his lovable self before his valiant first runner-up finish in the $1-million Pattison Canadian International
Curvy wins the $500k E.P. Taylor Stakes on Woodbine International Day under megastar Ryan Moore
Irish-bred Cannock Chase takes the $1-million Pattison Canadian International, again under Ryan Moore!
With five-time winning driver on 2015 Breeders Crown night, Dave Miller!
Sending-off beloved Woodbineannouncer Dan Loiselle on his retirement was bittersweet, but am so happy for him and know he’s never far away…
In addition to being a huge supporter of the sport, we are equally concerned with horses going to loving homes after their time on the track. Organizations like LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society aim to do just that and we are always sure to give a bit of money every year and donate some auction items. It was so much fun attending their annual Fundraiser this year and seeing jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson as Wonder Woman. Trainer Mark Frostad as Elvis …we have no words!!
Umm… and did we mention that there is a yearling filly named after me? Look out in 2016 for a filly named A PIC BY MRWILL (Kentucky Bear – Princess G, by Cee’s Tizzy). She is owned by John Ross (the man who brought us Lexie Lou and Brooklynsway!!!) & Cathy Wong! Yes, this is real life!
Although we’re approaching the end, you still can Tweet a Selfie of yourself at Woodbine with the hashtag #OFFTOTHERACES for a chance to win $1k! It’s that easy!
Remember to follow also via @woodbineracing on Twitter.
Don’t forget, the Breeders’ Cup, Horse Racing’s championship days take place this Friday and Saturday and you can watch the races on NBC! Check local listings! We’ll be there at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky!
We’ll definitely be seeing you again in 2016!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
This post was created in partnership with Woodbine Racetrack.