#HORSERACING: 2015 WOODBINE MILE + ROCK N’ RACING FESTIVAL!
Sunday marks a huge day in Woodbine Racetrack‘s 2015 Racing Season with the $1-million RICOH WOODBINE MILE to be run over one of the World’s finest turf courses.
Despite making the headlines as two-time American Horse of the Year WISE DAN‘s big return to the races, it was just announced that the champion has been retired due to an injury. Still expect it to be a superb race with a strong local contingent and some outstanding horses invading Canada for a shot at that huge purse money!
Your probable field for the one-mile turf race:
Tower of Texas
OBVIOUSLY has competed against top-class competition in California earning $1.4 million and will be making the Woodbine Mile is seasonal debut. LEA also is mighty-classy, having run against the top-shelf opposition in the U.S. and certainly in the thick of things with $2.03 million in earnings. MONDIALISTE also is shipping-in from England and coming-off two important wins in 2015. French three-year-old colt MR. OWEN is eyeing the Woodbine Mile after an impressive win in France earlier this month.
Don’t discount Toronto boys though! GRAND ARCH is Woodbine-based mostly, before having achieved success in the U.S. and comes off a win in the important Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga in New York. REPORTING STAR wowed many of us recently with a gutsy win in the Play the King Stakes at Woodbine, beating-out local favourites TOWER OF TEXAS and KAIGUN. Meanwhile, ZA APPROVAL (now based at Woodbine after spending much of his career in the U.S.) ran second to WISE DAN back in 2013 in this very race, en route to an identical placing in the important Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile that year too.
There will be lots of excitement on the undercard also with the $300k Northern Dancer Stakes which will see the hero of last month’s Breeders’ Stakes, DANISH DYNAFORMER, take-on older competition in that 1 1/2 mile turf race. This is seen as a test of his class.
Fillies and mares also will be looking for an automatic birth in the Racing’s championship day, the Breeders’ Cup this November, with a win in the $300k Canadian Stakes and it looks to be a tough one with OVERHEARD up against French filly UCHENNA. Talented Irish-bred and American-based WATSDACHANCES, who recently won the important Beverly D Stakes at Arlington Park in Illinois, also likely will be shipping in.
Top local sprinter CALGARY CAT looks also to solidify his case as one of the best horses in the country in the Bold Venture Stakes, where he will face English-bred filly ENDLESS LIGHT.
Did you know also Woodbine is hosting a Rock N’ Racing Festival with lots of live music for you to enjoy? Acts like Rynheart, The Honest Heart Collective, Aukland, Highs and JJ and The Pillars will be playing, with The Edge 102.1 Hosts Melani Mariani and Wade MacNeil in attendance too!
Admission and parking are free, you get a pair of sunglasses free and your first bet is on them (head to the third floor to get ’em)! It all starts at 12! For directions, click here.
For more on Woodbine Mile Day, click here.
And don’t forget to take a Selfie from Woodbine Racetrack on Woodbine Mile Day and post on Twitter with the Hashtags #WOMile and #OfftotheRaces, for a shot at a prize of $1k! So easy!
Although we’re swamped with TIFF, we’ll be sure to be at Woodbine this coming Sunday, September 13, 2015!
And one for Wise Dan, who will be missed!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#HORSERACING: THE 2015 BREEDERS’ STAKES TAKES PLACE THIS SUNDAY | WIN A LUNCH WITH MR. WILL!
First run in 1889, the Breeders’ Stakes will take place this Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The race, known as the third jewel in Canada’s Triple Crown will be run over 1 1/2 miles on Woodbine‘s lush turf course with a 5:13 PM EST post-time and a value of $500k. For those of you following the story, Triple Crown veterans DANISH DYNAFORMER, CONQUEST BOOGALOO and BREAKING LUCKY will be squaring-off once again, the latter looking to capture two out of three legs of the series after an upset win late July at Fort Erie in the Prince of Wales Stakes.
Sunday’s field includes:
Obstacles the field face are that this is the only race in the Triple Crown run on the grass, the third race in six weeks for the Triple Crown veterans and most of all, the challenging 1 1/2 mile distance will be a true test of stamina for all. DANISH DYNAFORMER, SAMUEL DECHAMPLAIN, CONQUEST BOOGALOO and LUCKY LINDY all have proven themselves on the grass either having won a race or finishing within the top three against stakes company on the surface.
If you are attending Sunday, there also is an exciting race earlier on the card, the $200k Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes which features an exciting field including Sam-Son Farm‘s ALDOUS SNOW, who won on Queen’s Plate Day in the Singspiel Stakes. U.S. invader MR. SPEAKER comes from the reputed Phipps Stable, having won a stellar $1.06 million against top-class competition includng the Grade 1 Belmont Derby. ARE YOU KIDDING ME is having a career season, absolutely unbeatable in a pair of Grade 2 races locally including the Eclipse and Nijinsky Stakes.
Things to keep in mind:
- Your first bet is free! Register on the third floor for your free bet upon arrival.
- Parking and admission are absolutely free.
- The first race goes-off at 1:00 PM EST.
- You also can tune in on TSN 4:30 PM EST.
Can’t make it out Sunday? You won’t want to miss the $1-million Ricoh Woodbine Mile on Sunday, September 13, 2015, buzzed highly as two-time North American Horse of the Year WISE DAN’s big return to the races. The racing icon has overcome multiple health issues and is fit and ready to fight against the young ones and all eyes are on him. He in fact has won the race twice already.
If you see me, come say “hi” and remember to Tweet that Selfie of yourself at Woodbine using the Hashtag #OFFTOTHERACES for a shot at $1,000!
Now for the fun stuff! I want to invite one Reader for lunch and drinks at Woodbine this Sunday in celebration of the Breeders’ Stakes! You’ll even get a free betting card! All you have to do is “like” this Post at Mr. Will on Facebook by tomorrow, Friday, August 14, 2015. In the comments section, tell me why you would make an awesome lunch date!
See you at the races! The weather should be great!
To learn more, including directions how to get there, CLICK HERE.
Mr. Will and winner of the 2014 Breeders’ Stakes, AMI’S HOLIDAY:
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
This post was created in partnership with Woodbine Racetrack.
#HORSERACING: “TRADE STORM” RIPS THROUGH THE WOODBINE MILE
So Horse Racing is a popular sport we hear! 16k people crowded at Woodbine Racetrack on Sunday to witness a fabulous card of Racing culminating in the $1-million Ricoh Woodbine Mile. Although two-time reigning Horse of the Year in North America WISE DAN wasn’t up for the rare Hat Trick after having won in 2012 and 2013, a fantastic Field still was attracted to the historic Track which boasts one of the World’s finest Turf Courses.
Celebrating the Festivities was NBA Star Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors. Earlier in the week he filled Drawmaster duties and Sunday he returned once again to present Awards to the winning Connections of the Day’s major races.
After placing third in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile in 2013, British invader Trade Storm would not be denied this time around under top English rider Jamie Spencer at 4-1 odds at a time of 1:36.8 for Qatar Racing Limited and Trainer David Simcock. Canadian-bred Kaigun who has improved dramatically took second spot for Hollywood Mega-Producer Gary Barber and Trainer Mark Casse. Third was talented U.S.-based three-year-old Bobby’s Kitten.
Earlier on the Card, Sam-Son Farm‘s regally-bred Deceptive Vision showed she belonged with the best, defeating with much left, a talented Field which included this year’s Woodbine Oaks–Queen’s Plate Double winner Lexie Lou. British invader Sheikhzayedroad also won gamely under Martin J. Lane for Rabbah Bloodstock and again, Trainer David Simcock. He likely will surface in next month’s $1-million Pattison International, while Deceptive Vision likely resurfaces for the prestigious E.P. Taylor Stakes.
All three Winners gained a berth with their victories for Racing’s Championship Day at Santa Anita Park this November, competing against the World’s best in the series of races known as the Breeders’ Cup.
See the 2014 Ricoh Woodbine Mile below:
We had the privilege of entertaining a select group of VIP Guests, enjoying the day’s free Sunglasses, Food Trucks, Beer Tents, Live Music and BBQ! A slew of $1k Bursaries also were handed out to Students. And as an FYI, the Pulled Pork on a Pretzel Bun was to die for!
Media Coverage also was abundant with premiere outlets like Fox Sports, America’s Best Racing and The Paulick Report coming out to cover the Day.
The Pattison Canadian International is coming up on Sunday, October 19, 2014.
Stay tuned for some exciting initiatives, Willionaire$!
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Woodbine Entertainment Group)
#HORSERACING: “WISE DAN” TRIUMPHANT A SECOND YEAR IN THE $1-MILLION WOODBINE MILE
He’s Dantastic! Reigning Horse of the Year, Wise Dan, made a triumphant return to Woodbine Racetrack yesterday for the $1-million Woodbine Mile. Despite deterring the Competition from a shot at the lucrative purse, the Race still drew five other brave Entrants and once again the six-year-old Gelding owned/bred by Morton Fink and trained by Charles LoPresti would not disappoint, going off as the prohibitive 1-5 (only a $.50 proft from a $2 bet) Favourite. And not only did the handsome Chestnut win rather effortlessly by three-and-half lengths, he broke the Course Record for the distance/surface, clocking-in a blistering time of 1:31.7!
Fans cheered with delight as he paraded before them before entering the Winner’s Circle for some Photos with his Connections. Jockey John Velazquez, who appeared earlier in the day at the Venue drawing a huge Line-up for Autographs, once again guided Wise Dan to victory. This latest success pushes his earnings past the $5-million mark and tallies-in as his ninth consecutive score. He is being pointed towards the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile on November 2nd at Santa Anita Park on Horse Racing’s Championship Day.
Za Approval coming-in off a second-place finish at Hollywood Park late June certainly was not shamed in second, and British Invader Trade Storm finished third with a now out-of-retirement Hall of Famer, Gary Stevens aboard.
On the Undercard, French Filly Minakshi under local Rider Luis Contreras won the Canadian Stakes, seen as a stepping stone to next month’s prestigious E.P. Taylor Stakes. Sam-Son Farms’ three-year-old Colt His Race to Win may have been outshone by his Stablemate Up with the Birds this year, but yesterday was his moment, winning the Ontario Derby under Eurico Rosa Da Silva.
Missed the action? Woodbine Racetrack hosts the $1-million Pattison Canadian International on Sunday, October 27, 2013 where some of the World’s top Racehorses and Jockeys are set to do battle. Mark your calendars!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong/M. Paler)
#HORSERACING: “WISE DAN” SOLIDIFIES “HORSE OF THE YEAR” TITLE WIN BREEDERS’ CUP WIN
A thrilling stretch duel in the Breeders’ Cup Classic is what will define Horse Racing’s Championship Day(s) in 2012. The marquee $5- million Match, drew eleven Competitors out to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California today, just one of several title-deciding races held Friday and today. Racing Fans got exactly what they had hoped for – a real Battle to the Finish, watching Fort Larned win the Classic by a head over Mucho Macho Man. Race Favourite Game on Dude who finished second in the same Event last year, placed a troubled seventh this year, causing many to criticize Trainer Bob Baffert‘s decision to replace Woodbine-birthed Rider Chantal Sutherland mid-season after much success with her. “That was the worst race of his Career”, Baffert tells NBC Sports.
Even though all eyes were on the day’s big Finale, it was a stunning Victory from Wise Dan in the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile which ultimately sealed the deal for the five-year-old Gelding as North America’s Horse of the Year, based on the strength of three consecutive Grade I wins this Season, including a giant Victory at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack this September in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile. Under just a bit of urging from John Velazquez, Wise Dan steered clear of last year’s Kentucky Derby Winner, Animal Kingdom to set a Course Record with a sizzling time of 1:31.78 for the one-mile Event. The Champ even took a minute to Re-Tweet me today (below) after his Win. Great to see he’s so versed in Social Media!
Unbeaten in five starts, two-year-old Colt Shanghai Bobby has stamped himself a deserving Favourite for next year’s Kentucky Derby. Jockey Rosie Napravnik guided him to a Win in the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, solidifying his standing as the best two-year-old Colt in North America. Napravnik has the distinction of being only the second female Jockey ever to win a Breeders’ Cup Race.
Royal Delta on Friday for a second year in-a-row, won the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic under famed Jockey Mike Smith, en route to in all likelihood being voted Champion Older Filly or Mare at the forthcoming Eclipse Awards. She was voted Champion Three-Year-Old Filly last year and now has earned a remarkable $3.7 million in only 15 races. Word is that she’s United Arab Emirates-bound for the $10-million Dubai World Cup.
The Canadian Contingent fared well at the Breeders’ Cup this year with a pair of Runner-Up finishes. Delegation finished a bang-up third under Toronto-based Rider Patrick Husbands in the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile; he was just at Woodbine a couple weeks back winning the Durham Cup Stakes. Meanwhile stellar Filly Marketing Mix, finished second yesterday in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Spring in the Air, a major Contender (and my personal pick) for Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in Canada, finished a respectable fifth in the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Friday under Husbands also.
Celebrity Horse Racing Fans who were named Ambassadors at this year’s Breeders’ Cup include the likes of Elizabeth Banks, Toby Keith and Bo Derek, while legendary Crooner Tony Bennett was called-upon to sing at the Post Parade for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, also presenting the winning Trophy post-Race to the Connections of Fort Larned.
Watch the Recaps of the Races over at the Official Website for the Breeders’ Cup right here. How could you not love this Sport?
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)