Fascinators! Fashion! Fast Horses! Fabulaaaas!Woodbine Racetrack was the place to be yesterday for the 156th running of North America’s most historic Horse Race, the Queen’s Plate. If there were any doubt of a sharp resurgence in the popularity of the Sport, record betting handles were reported yesterday with a total $11.06 million bet, smashing 2009’s $9.7 million record. Attribute it to new icon AMERICAN PHAROAH and his U.S. Triple Crown feat, or a smart advertising strategy – either way, Horse Racing is back.
SHAMAN GHOST would go-on to win the $1-million race restricted to three-year-old horses born in Canada, with a total twelve males and one female entrant. The handsome Frank Stronach-owned colt by the stallion Ghostzapper (also owned by Stronach) would sweep on by the competition late to win by 1 1/4 lengths under U.S. jockey Rafael Hernandez, paying $8.60 to a $2 bet. Race Favourite DANISH DYNAMFORMER almost looked like he was going to win the race under Patrick Husbands – who won the race with LEXIE LOU last year – but simply was outfinished. CONQUEST BOOGALOO who was thought widely to be a second-tier colt from the barn of champion trainer Mark Casse, rose to the occasion to finish third after a horrific start to the race which saw him shut-out. His two more high profile stablemates DANZIG MOON and CONQUEST CURLINATE were thought to be top contenders before suffering unfortunate fates, the former being euthanized tragically and the latter being retired after a brief but promising career.
Earlier on the 13-race Card, we saw promising two-year-old BELIVEAU win under Patrick Husbands for trainer Mark Casse and owners Windways Farm & Partners in the $150k Clarendon Stakes. Champion mare STRUT THE COURSE did exactly as her name suggests before a packed grandstand in the $200k Grade II Dance Smartly Stakes, under Luis Contreras for Owner John Unger and trainer Barb Minshall. The speedy GO BLUE OR GO HOME would win the $200k Highlander Stakes a second time (he won it in 2013) for Owners Jim & Susan Hill and trainer Reade Baker, with now-Woodbine-based jockey Alan Garcia. ALDOUS SNOW, named after Russell Brand‘s memorable character in Get Him to the Greek, would defend his title successfully in the $150k Singspiel Stakes for iconic Canadian outfit Sam-Son Farm, trainer Malcolm Pierce and jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva.
From a fashion standpoint, we definitely saw men and women bringing their Fashion A-Game to the table, thanks to the high-profile presence of CTV‘s The Social, which had a tent set-up by the Hats & Horseshoes Party by Woodbine‘s scenic Walking Ring. Ladies put thought into their looks with a rainbow of Fascinators, while men are embracing tailoring and more form-fitting cuts. Hosts Cynthia Loyst, Lainey Lui, Traci Melchor and Melissa Grelo heightened the fun and prestige as several high-profile entertainment industry-types were seen taking-in the atmosphere. Rethink Breast Cancer also had a great presence with a tent set-up, hosting several influencial fashion-types, with ticket proceeds going towards research and awareness.
See the Race:
Enough typing, let’s do some gawking!
With the stunning Bri Mott of Fashion at the Races: