The 162th edition of North America’s most historic race, the Queen’s Plate, took place at Woodbine Racetrack yesterday. Fans being able to return back to the grandstand was something to cheer about. Even at 50% capacity at which tickets were sold-out with safety guidelines in place, the energy was electric still with reduced fanfare like activations, concerts and pop-ups.
The $1-million race was taken by SAFE CONDUCT, a New York-based son of Bodemeister who held-on gamely to the wire under U.S. jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., to win by a head. The 1 1/4 mile affair was run in a quick 2:02.8, the Phillip Serpe trainee owned by WellSpring Stable paying $8.00 to win on a $2.00 bet as the race favourite. Mitchell Kursner bred the colt and was present for the festivities with his family.
Prior to the race, the Jockey Class of ’21 posed together for a group shot!
Bettors wagered a whopping $16.1 million on the Queen’s Plate Sunday card, up from last year’s $14.5 million. The boost in popularity Woodbine has seen amidst the pandemic has continued with a spiked interest from U.S bettors who turned to the Toronto oval, while other tracks had closed.
In addition to action-packed racing, some notable names visited yesterday including Canada’s most decorated Olympian of all time, Penny Oleksiak, a vision in pink. Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Walk of Fame inductee Jim Cuddy graced us with his presence, performing with his Trio on the track apron, while Universal Music Canada emerging artist Ryland James performed the national anthem. Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elisabeth Dowdeswell arrived at the event by carriage, in a manner fit for the queen that she is!
So amazing Oleksiak shared our Snaps with her followers as well, a class act!
Several enticing stakes races lined the race card as well, giving the betting public some exciting options to wager.
The $350k Grade I Highlander would go to Stronach Stables’ SILENT POET. The hard-knocking six-year-old notched the biggest score of his career under regular pilot Justin Stein. Frank Stronach and his team at Adena Springs North also were present for celebrations. Trainer Nick Gonzalez received several congratulations from other horses’ connections, and he gestured to the sky in thanks at his late wife Martha who had passed last year.
The $175k Grade II Dance Smartly Stakes was taken by Christophe Clement trainee MUTAMAKINA, under jockey Dylan Davis. The formerly French-based mare by top sire Nathaniel, has found success in North America by way of the New York circuit.
The $150k Grade III Ontario Colleen Stakes took place earlier on the card with OUR FLASH DRIVE making it a perfect three-for-three in 2021 for Team Mark Casse and Live Oak Plantation. Patrick Husbands was aboard the score.
Was very excited seeing 79-1 shot MAMBOINTHEFOREST take his leg of the Turf Endurance Series under Sahin Civaci for Trainer Ron Sadler and Owner Phillip Lanning. You might recall this is the horse whom won me my Sovereign Award earlier this year for Outstanding Photograph! He won for me and that’s my story! Still waiting for the chance to visit him on the backstretch one day to give him some mints!
An awesome tidbit is that Stronach Stables’ RIPTIDE ROCK ran a hard-fought second in the Queen’s Plate. I remember joking when I took this Selfie with him and his mom Irish Influence – just a couple days old – that he’d one day be a Queen’s Plate winner… and we never would’ve guessed he’d almost do it!
The 161st edition of the Queen’s Plate was run at Woodbine Racetrack yesterday, headlining a stakes-filled card of racing. While the public was not permitted to attend this year, owners and connections were allowed to be present with safety guidelines in-place including mandatory temperature check, face coverings and social distancing measures.
Even without fans in attendance, betting totaled $14.5 million, a very impressive number helped by American fans hungry for the sport amidst this Pandemic. They continue to turn to Woodbine‘s quality product for entertainment.
The marquee race saw top Canadian-bred three-year-old horses facing-off at a distance of 1 1/4 miles for a purse of $1 million, drawing a field of 14 competitors. Winning the race was one-eyed colt MIGHTY HEART under Jockey Daisuke Fukumoto for Trainer Josie Caroll and Owner and Breeder Larry Cordes. While the grandstand has largely been quiet of late with restricted visitor access, cheers were loud for the son of Dramedy, who overcame his physical limitation to run the second-fastest edition of the Queen’s Plate ever at 2:01.98 leading all the way. No cheers were louder though than those of his handlers Siobhan Brown and Renee Dockstader who were overjoyed at the win. It has been a phenomenal year for 23-year-old Japanese import Fukumoto who just earlier this year won his first stake race on another Carroll trainee, Court Return after arriving at Woodbine in 2016. Carroll last won the Queen’s Plate in 2011 with filly Inglorious.
While he still has yet to win a race, NK Racing and LNJ Foxwoods’BELICHICK ran a stellar second at 26-1 odds under Slade Callaghan, giving Carroll a 1-2 finish in the prestigious race.
CLAYTON, who was the morning line favourite for the race, ran third under Rafael Hernandez and Trainer Kevin Attard. He went off as the second choice at 3-1 odds.
The $250k Bison City Stakes for three-year-old Canadian-bred fillies born in Canada, known also as the second leg of Canada’s Triple Tiara, was taken by American-based MIZZEN BEAU under Jockey Steven Bahen. The daughter of Mizzen Mast is owned by Daniel Investment Holdings and trained by Norm Casse and has been spending much time at Woodbine the past bit gearing-up for this Summer campaign with the help of his father Mark Casse‘s Toronto team. She prior had finished fourth in August’s Woodbine Oaks.
Sam-Son Farm‘s RIDEFORTHECAUSE sprung an upset at 22-1 odds in the $250k Canadian Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. David Moran piloted the win which saw her make a big sweeping move at the top of the stretch after exhibiting some nerves in the pre-race. The Gail Cox Trainee is a daughter of Candy Ride and came off another win early August at Woodbine.
Talented Chad Brown Trainee CAMBIER PARC shipped-up for the race and ran a credible second in the Canadian Stakes.
The Ruling Angel Stakes, named in honour of another great Sam-Son Farm filly, was taken by ARTIE’S PRINCESS whom while based in the U.S. under the care of Trainer Wesley Ward, has capitalized off her Canadian breeding running in restricted races, finding success at Woodbine. Finally, she notched her first stakes score in the race under Justin Stein.
Justin Stein also took the King Corrie Stakes earlier on the card aboard Cathal Lynch-owned and trained FRANCATELLI, continuing his red-hot riding streak of late, taking three races on the card.
Leo Salles also took three wins on the card earlier in the day.
While largely quiet this year, some sights from the day including a visit from Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdswell and a visit from retired top Jockey, Eurico Rosa Da Silva.
Special thanks to David Dunkley, official Millner of the Queen’s Plate for sending me this elegant mask he designed!
Another stakes-filled weekend of racing takes place next weekend at Woodbine with the Grade I $1 million Woodbine Mile, plus also the Grade I Natalma and Summer Stakes!
2020 has been awful challenging. Believe me, our hearts are with the Horse Racing community right now with racing cancelled or postponed both sides of the border, with a select few racetracks continuing operations with access restricted to the public. With the 2020 season postponed indefinitely at Woodbine Racetrack, we are glad that safety of the community is being placed first on the backstretch. At the same time, we worry for our friends whose livelihoods depended on that initial April 18, 2020 start date and also the concerned owners who have to wait even longer for a return on investment from their stock. We know for certain this period of isolation amidst COVID-19 worries, will continue into the Summer and our racing season’s marquee event the Queen’s Plate, accordingly has followed suit in its postponement.
Despite all this, we have our health and safety to treasure and I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else than Canada where at a provincial and federal level, the situation has been handled in an exemplary manner. The 2020 racing season will commence at some point and those fruits of labour also will come. Sending all my support and encouragement that while times are harrowing and tough right now, we are all in this for the long haul and we are not alone in our losses. While setbacks are temporary, resilience will prevail in the end. Let’s not obsess about things that weigh-down our spirits, but instead do all we can do to help us all get back to business as soon and safe as possible. Know at the end of the day those fans will be there to cheer the community on at the end of the tunnel when time allows.
That being said, we were so excited to see Mr Will return to training last month after nursing a minor injury over the winter. The time away looks to be paying off. His Owner/Trainer Michelle Love reports to us after outfinishing his workmate under exercise rider Nikki Alderson, “Our boy came out of his workout better then ever!! He thinks he’s a racehorse now. All business.”. That brings me joy and he just returned home again for some rest with the delayed start of the racing season. His much anticipated debut will come before we know it and we know it will be so worth it!
Some Snaps of Mr Will‘s first jog on Woodbine‘s Training Track under Love, accompanied by his Dad, Rob Love, Woodbine’s Head Outrider. It was awful quiet that morning, being frigid out, but he was super-professional!
Mr Will also was paired again with Jayne Smith, who always gives him that extra bit of loving care.
…and of course a new Snuggle Buddy for our little champ! He loves his plushies.
Did I tell you how Mr Will and Princess (A Pic by Mrwill) finally met? I was overjoyed seeing them together at last! Mr Will and some of the babies from Love’s stable were brought to the facility where Princess is boarded for some schooling earlier this year. They hit it off just great!
Princess continues to thrive in her life of retirement. Her Mom Emily Fisher (second photo, above) has done a fantastic job nursing her back to wellness and socializing her with her new family. Princess always has been a special filly, perhaps getting along better with humans than horses. You might recall she almost lost her life as a baby, getting nursed back to health by caretakers and of course our constant pampering made her lose sight of who she really is. She’s adjusted beautifully, enjoying her time outdoors in the company of her family.
The 160th edition of the Queen’s Plate took place at Woodbine Racetrack this Canada Day weekend! The two-day festival of horse racing, fashion, music, food and drink, culminated in North America’s most historic race on Festival Saturday. The race at ten one and a quarter miles, is restricted for three-year-old horses foaled in Canada and valued at a purse of $1 million. Taking the glory was none other than California-based ONE BAD BOY. The strapping dark brown son of Twirling Candy took it wire-to-wire by 3 and 1/2 lengths over Avie’s Flatter and then Tone Broke under Flavien Prat, defeating a field of 13 in 2:02.9 minutes before a packed grandstand. Prat won the Kentucky Derby this May via disqualification aboard Country House. One Bad Boy colt is owned by a partnership of Say Jay Racing, Brooke Hubbard and Greg Hall. He was bred by Ontario’s Ron Clarkson and was sold at the 2017 Keeneland September Sale. It has just been confirmed that he will contest the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes July 23, 2019 at Fort Erie.
One Bad Boy
Watch the race here:
The two-day Festival featured a star-studded lineup of racing with six other stakes races contested including the Lady Angela, Charlie Barley, Zadracarta, King Edward, Dance Smartly and Highlander Stakes.
Holy Helena – Dance Smartly Stakes, the 2017 Queen’s Plate victress shows she’s still got it! Her owner, icon Frank Stronach was in attendance.
Synchrony – King Edward Stakes, the American invader is owned by Josephine Abercrombie‘s Pin Oak Stable and she too graced us with an appearance.
Wet Your Whistle – Highlander Stakes, the off-the-pace sprinter went last-to-first for American-based trainer Michael Trombetta, who has found stakes success locally this season.
The Black Album (FR) – Charlie Barley Stakes, this French-bred colt ridden by Flavien Prat, is owned by Team Valor and Hollywood Mega-Producer Gary Barber, and regained the winning form he showed in France last year.
Desert Isle – Zadracarta Stakes, this Graham Motion-trained filly is owned by iconic Canadian outfit, Sam-Son Farms
Ciuri – Lady Angela Stakes, this Bob Tiller trainee owned by the same connections as Woodbine legend Pink Lloyd, was one of two stakes winners at Woodbine this weekend by red-hot sire Souper Speedy.
Also taking place at Woodbine this weekend was the unveiling of the new Inner Turf course. I recall Woodbine having had a Marshall Turf Course as a child, however this new, improved and re-branded course gives fans something new to cheer about and a new angle to wager on.
The Queen’s Plate is rooted in tradition and pageantry. Lovely seeing Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell with us once again, a vision of royalty.
We wished we had more of a chance to enjoy the Hats & Horseshoes Party and witness some of the Fashion, but our focus always has been the amazing racing on Queen’s Plate Festival weekend and we simply had to choose with six stake races on one card. We did spot these amazing looks including a Pretty Woman homage and David Dunkley owning the fascinator and hat game!
JUNO winners THE WASHBOARD UNION headlined the Queen’s Plate Festival, playing Festival Friday. The Trio treated fans to a surprise bringing on-stage fellow JUNO winner, BRETT KISSEL! Check-out a Clip of them performing their new single, “She Gets Me”below.
“She Gets Me”
And for your favourite part of our coverage of course, our world-famous Selfies!
One Bad Boy and his winning connections, including Co-Owners Brooke Hubbard and Greg Hall
The Washboard Union and Brett Kissel
Kaitlyn Leeb, star of upcoming Netflix Figure Staking series SPINNING OUT
Fort Erie‘s Ashley Mailloux joined us this weekend, contributing to HRRN‘s Queen’s Plate coverage
Beauty Queen and TVG personality Megan Devine also gave us a real treat with her visit. Amazing seeing America’s Best Racing‘s Dan Tordjman and Boston’s Woodbine fan extraordinaire, Sean Patrick Nolan back too!
With Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson on the lush new Inner Turf
This amazing sculpture had Instagram ‘lit’ Queen’s Plate Festival weekend!
Our #QP19 look: suit by Calvin Klein, ascot by Zara, sunnies by H&M and shoes by INC
Also, our dear friend Dawn Lupul, who has given fans amazing race analysis for eleven years now, says goodbye. We will miss her so much at the races and can’t wait for her next venture in holistic health and wellness. Send her your regards at @DawnLupul.
Congrats to our Reader, Cindy who won a pair of passes to the Festival this weekend. She had a blast, meeting The Washboard Union and also our adorable Mr Will!
We’re a week away from the party of the Summer, the Queen’s Plate Festival! North America’s most historic horse race, the 160th edition of the $1-million Queen’s Plate, caps-off a two-day Festival of Horse Racing, Fashion, Music, Drink and Food at gorgeous Woodbine Racetrack.
Canadian Country sensations THE WASHBOARD UNION headline the Festival’s Friday night, followed by HIGH VALLEY on the Saturday night, among other musical acts.
An awesome card of races is slated for the Festival including some world-class talent arriving for the Dance Smartly Stakes, the Highlander Stakes and King Edward Stakes.
Let’s meet some of the top Queen’s Plate contenders (Horse Name/Trainer/Owner/Jockey) in the big race, shall we?
Avie’s Flatter / Josie Carroll / Ivan Dalos / Javier Castellano
Desert Ride (filly) / Neil Howard / Sam-Son Farm / Steven Bahen
Federal Law / Mark Casse / Qatar Racing Limited / Jamie Spencer
He’s a Macho Man / Josie Carroll / Di Scola Boys Stable / Patrick Husbands
Lucas n’ Lori / Kevin Attard / Frank Cirillo / Kazushi Kimura
Moon Swings / Michael De Paulo / Zilli Racing Stables / Jesse Campbell
One Bad Boy / Richard Baltas / Sayjay Racing LLC / Flavien Prat
Pay for Peace / Rachel Halden / Team Penney Racing and Lisa Moser / Rafael Hernandez
Rising Star / Michael De Paulo / Zilli Racing Stables / Justin Stein
Skywire / Mark Casse / Gary Barber and Lou Tucci / Eurico Rosa Da Silva
Don’t forget to support the Queen’s Plate 50/50 Raffle to support Rethink Breast Cancer, where there’s a guaranteed prize of $2,500 CAN. Details at http://qp5050.ca.
Need inspiration for your perfect Queen’s Plate look? Check-out this awesome 2019 Queen’s Plate Style Guide by Zach Ramelan, featuring some of Canadian Racing’s most familiar personalities and Toronto influencers!
We’re thrilled to share one of our favourite joys with you and give Toronto Readers a chance to win a pair of passes to this amazing experience! These passes are good for both days of the Queens Plate Festival.
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK! Tell us in the comments who your pick is to win the 2019 Queen’s Plate, the first leg of Canada’s Triple Crown.You also may enter on Twitter by Re-Tweeting this Tweet from @mrwillw or “liking” this Instagram Post from @mrwillwong and leaving a comment with your pick there also! Increase your chances and enter on all three platforms!!!
You are responsible for your own transportation.
The Queen’s Plate Festival takes place Friday, June 27 through Saturday, June 28, 2019 at Woodbine Racetrack. More on how to get tickets here.
Follow Woodbine Racetrack on Instagramhere and Twitterhere.
You’ll see me there, trust me!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong/Woodbine Entertainment/Zach Ramelan)
Hot of the press! An official date has been confirmed for the 2019 QUEEN’S PLATE RACING FESTIVAL, culminating in the North America’s most historic horse race. The Festival is a celebration of tradition, fashion, music, food and drink and is sure to be a blast!
It runs Friday, June 28, 2019 through Saturday, June 29, 2019 and you can bet we’ll be there!
It was a hectic weekend with it being both Canada Day and the Queen’s Plate, but it wouldn’t have been the same without the 2018 HONDA CIVIC TOURING! As you know from having followed me, the Queen’s Plate is my party of the Summer and now being expanded to a three day Festival, mobility was crucial. We’ve been busier than ever and we looked forward to a weekend finally with even the slightest of “me time” in there. Work-life balance always is good, although we’ve been feeling pretty work-work only lately. With Billy just finishing his Chemotherapy and my going through a lot of work changes in scheduling has proven a bit stressful. We wanted a car we could rely on, which was no fuss as we already had more than enough on our mind.
A marriage of style and practicality, there is a reason why Canadians keep choosing the Honda Civic as their favourite car – a top-seller in the Country for 20 years. This edition more than ever veers further to the luxury with upscale fixings like a power moonroof, sleek leather seats (eight adjustable positions for the driver), the almost requisite rear-view camera, smartphone charging plate, rain-sensing windshield wipers and keyless entry/ignition. More importantly, with fuel being as pricy as it is right now, its ECON mode certainly will win a fan or two over. We test drove the 2018 HONDA CIVIC TOURING, far-stretching runs, and still hadn’t used a tank of gas six days counting. The car nails all the marks.
Boasting a 1.5-litre, 16-valve, Direct Injection, DOHC, turbocharged 4-cylinder, 174 hp* engine, we felt empowered every step of the way. Safety comes first with Honda Civics and its lane departure and lane watch systems were hard at work even when we tired after long days in the sweltering heat this past weekend. We are obsessed with the easy to use climate control panel and air conditioning kicked in at remarkable speeds when needed badly.
Connectivity is a huge selling point for us. Its charging plate, which worked well with our Samsung Galaxy, wouldn’t recognize some iPhones (iPhone 7) and newer Blackberrys (Key 2). Either way, the trusty USB port was an easy fix to that issue. A 452-watt AM/FM Premium audio system with 10 speakers (including subwoofer), sounded glorious and it’s always a blast catching-up with SIRIUS XM, although we went to Spotify a lot for our drives this time.
Alas, we had a bit of “us time” today by the water, courtesy of the 2018 Honda Civic Touring and we are grateful for it. Always make time for those you love most. One day you’ll look back and wish you did.
The party of the Summer for us always has been the Queen’s Plate. Now in its 159th edition, the historic $1 million affair brings together Canada’s best with a distinction of being the most historic horse race in North America. Social circles collided at the bash, now a three-day Festival at Woodbine Racetrack, as Horse Racing reunited once again with fashion, cocktails and entertainment, highlighted by a headlining performance by Country star Brad Paisley on Festival Friday and Sam Roberts Band following the big race Saturday. Betting was an all-time high tallying-in at $14,625,756, surpassing a 2017 record, proving that the Queen’s Plate is here to stay.
The big race itself went to superfilly WONDER GADOT, who overcame the opposition with ease for her owner Gary Barber, former Chairman and CEO of MGM Entertainment. He last won the Queen’s Plate in 2014 with another brilliant filly, Lexie Lou. Ridden by U.S.-based John Velasquez and trained by reigning champion Mark Casse and his team led at Woodbine by David Adams and Kathryn Sullivan, she was crowned top two-year-old filly in the land this April before almost winning the prestigious Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in a dramatic finish. The daughter of Medaglio d’Oro named after Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, boosted her career earnings just shy of the $1.2 million-mark and she was bred by Toronto’s David Anderson of Anderson Farms. A box office smash just like her namesake! Superheroes all need their gear and it is said that the addition of blinkers helped the filly focus and she soared the skies.
The Tragically Hip fans would be delighted that John Ross co-owned trainee and hit namesake Aheadbyacentury, got up second for newcomer co-owners Jack of Hearts Racing, followed bysecond runner-up Cooler Mike and hisowner/trainer Nick Nosowenko.
Wonder Gadot likely is to be seen next at Fort Erie RacetrackTuesday, July 24, 2018 in the Prince of Wales Stakes, before heading possibly to Saratoga for the Alabama Stakes. Her win in the Queen’s Plate secures her a spot at Horse Racing’s championship days, the Breeders’ Cup, this fall at Churchill Downs with this now being considered a qualifying “win and you’re in” race.
2018 continues to be Barber‘s year. He recently was in the news reaching a $260 million settlement with his former employer and he won another stake on Festival Sunday, the $225k Bison City Stakes with 2016 CTHS Premier Yearling Sale topper SAFE TO SAY. The filly is co-owned by Windway Farms (Jeffrey and Annabelle Begg), giving French jockey Jerome Lermyte his first stake win locally. Casse, who trains the filly, kicked-off his string of stakes scores on Festival Saturday in the Charlie Barley Stakes with John Oxley/My Meadowview LLC-owned RIDE A COMET.
Safe to Say
Other big winners this weekend at the Queen’s Plate Festival include Brad Cox trainee LONG ON VALUE who also earned a berth at the Breeders’ Cup with a win in the Highlander Stakes; the impressive Chad Brown mare SANTA MONICA(GB) powering through the heat in the Dance Smartly Stakes to deny her stablemate, Canadian-bred INFLEXIBILITY; DELTA PRINCE, a half-brother to the late and great Royal Delta won the King Edward for Frank Stronach; TIZ A SLAM, a former Queen’s Plate entrant, upset the Dominion Day Stakes; SILENT SONET roared in the Zadracarta Stakes; and FAIRY HILL, a $25k claim for Bruno Schickendanz by trainer Norm McKnight, sprinkled some magic and won the Lady Angela Stakes on Festival Friday.
See some Snaps:
Santa Monica (GB)
Long on Value
Frank Stronach & Delta Prince
Ride a Comet
Tiz a Slam
Entertainment and Fashion also were front and center at the Queen’s Plate Festival. Bold type names attending included fix-it gurus Mike Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr., beauty queen and popular horse racing personality Acacia Courtney, Letterkenny stars Andrew Herr and Nathan Dales, County singer Natasha Zimbarro, The Umbrella Academy star Tom Hopper, media personalities Jennifer Valentyne, Sangita Patel and Rick Campanelli, plus members of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and more. Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Elizabeth Dowdeswell once again too graced us with her presence.
See more below:
Elizabeth Dowdeswell & Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson
Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ Simoni Lawrence
Woodbine’s Tony Gattellaro and Phil Forde with the Cast of Letterkenny
Mike Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr.
And let’s not forget the fashion! Bri Mott and Fashion at the Races once again were at the Queen’s Plate engaging attendees to show-off their #QP18style!
Bri Mott of Fashion at the Races
Breeder/Owner Yvonne Schwabe
Best Friends, jockeys Florent Geroux & Jerome Lermyte
Impeccably-outfitted power owner Kenneth Ramsey & family, including grandson trainer Nolan, who now is based at Woodbine
Liliana Garcia & Cynthia Hernandez
Princess (@APicbymrwill) and I in our matchy Festival Friday outfits:
More #QP18 sights and vibes:
The official #QP18cocktail, the Royal Flush
Fresh off Wonder Gadot‘s victory blanket
We are thrilled to have featured the top two finishers in this year’s Queen’s Plate in our Webseries, MR. WILL’S PATH TO THE PLATE. We apologize the Series ended prematurely this season due to scheduling conflicts, but hope to bring you more in 2019.
Missed it this year? Follow @WoodbineTB on Twitter to stay up to date on all updates Woodbine and Queen’s Plate-related.
Want more? We’ve got a Facebook album full of #QP18. Click here to see!
Great news! The 159th edition of the Queen’s Plate has just been confirmed and unlike previous years, the Festival has been expanded to three days!
The marquee race itself, known as North America’s most historic horse race, also will take place on Saturday, June 30, 2018! That’s three days of food, fashion and fun. Country Superstar BRAD PAISLEY will be the musical headliner The Whiskey Lullaby and When I Get Where I’m Going Hitmaker will be performing on Friday, June 29th!
What better way to celebrate Canada Day weekend than three action-packed days of racing?
More updates and will follow soon, but in the meantime head over to Woodbine’s Facebook Page and RSVP here! Tickets will be on sale Friday, December 15, 2017.
It’s never too soon to start planning your outfits!
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!