It’s been a hot summer and we know our Prince William (Mr Will) and Princess (A Pic by Mrwill) have been enjoying it!
It’s been about a month since we’ve seen our dear Princess but her Mom Emily Fisher has been wonderful keeping us posted on her updates. We’re so thrilled she’s finally able to go out and enjoy the sun and the grass after recovering fully from her injury which had her on stall rest for over a year. Emily has taken every precaution to ensure this doesn’t occur again and the wait has been worth it! We knew she would get here one day and she’s shown so much patience and deserves this happiness.
See how happy our big girl in pink looks!
Congrats also to Keveh Nicholl‘s, Princess’ new Papa, who not too long ago returned to riding on the local circuit and has picked-up some nice scores at both Fort Erie and Woodbine, including this one last weekend for Trainer Tedston Holder on STREET CAT SAM! You might recall when Princess was three, she spent the winter in Ocala, Florida training. Tedston was one of the people who took care of her down there. Amazing this all came back full circle!
She keeps growing! Princess with Keveh:
Our little Prince William (Mr Will) sure is developing quite a personality and his Mom, Trainer and Owner Michelle Love is thrilled how well he’s developing. She messaged me yesterday to tell me that his three-furlong breeze was super-professional, saying “He outworked his workmates and galloped our strongly”. He’s building endurance as we know his first breeze a furlong longer a couple weeks back had him tuckered-out. We’re so excited!
Amidst last week’s rainstorm and subsequent flooding, Michelle brought him out on the track for a jog and it was a learning experience seeing him react to the rain. She joked he was “like a puppy”. Wish I was there to see that and snap some pics!
His awesome workout:
Mr Will was feeling amazing after his breeze yesterday and snatched his Mom’s jacket and taunted her with it. Such a character! He probably meant to tell her it’s hot and that she didn’t need it.
Many thanks to his caretaker Detroit, who not only makes a killer Oxtail and Rice, but also does an amazing job ensuring he’s at his best.
We still don’t have a date when Mr Will is set to make his debut but he’s sure heading in the right direction fast.
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)
It’s the most fashionable event of the spring in Toronto! The Greenwood Stakes is back again at Woodbine, the Toronto cousin to Vancouver’s Deighton Cup.
Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019. Gates Open: 12:00PM – 5:00PM. Post Time: 1:00PM. Location: Woodbine Racetrack – 555 Rexdale Blvd. Transportation: Guests can drive to the Racetrack, grab our Greenwood Express Bus Tickets, or you can book an Uber, it’s only a 25 minute drive. Food: À la carte pre-purchased menu items will be available. Beverage: Cash bar, VISA, Mastercard, and AMEX also accepted. Dress Code: Derby Attire. Cost: Tickets starting at $75.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
Premium Whiskey Lounge
Old World Meets New World Style Photo Booth
Unique Luxury Vehicle Showcase
Pop Up Art Gallery Featuring Some of Toronto’s Top Artists in Multiple Mediums
Style Stakes Best Dressed Competition
Adrenaline-pumping Thoroughbred Horse Racing
Delectable Food Offerings by Woodbine’s Culinary Team
A Great Combination of Throwback Live Jazz & Funk along with the City’s Finest DJs.
Our Cocktail Jockey Showcase Featuring 5 Of Toronto’s Top Mixologists
You know we love Woodbine and we’d love to give our Toronto Readers a chance to win a pair of passes (value $150) to attend the Greenwood Stakes! We’ll also be there and would love to introduce you to our namesake racehorse MR. WILL for a Photo Op also!
Happy Easter from our little Prince William and Princess!🐇
It’s been a bit since we’ve checked in with you about our two stars. MR. WILL or William as we like to call him around the barn, is progressing great for his Owner and Trainer Michelle Love, going for regular jogs around the Training Track at Woodbine with his sis, a sweet two-year-old filly by hot sire Souper Speedy, who is unnamed but known right now as Anastasia (yes, as in Fifty Shades of Grey).
Michelle tells us, “He’s doing great! They ran down the lane for an 1/8th (one furlong) for the first time yesterday”. It is exciting seeing the little guy put together the building blocks to becoming a racehorse. The two also went for their first walk today with the weather a bit nicer out finally, getting acclimated with the track and surroundings, which will be crucial later as part of their pre-race when they transition to the Main Track at Woodbine later.
He definitely is a good student and something about his introvertedness tells us he means business. That aside, he is a bit of a cuddlebug and it made me so happy to see him warm-up to a Bunny plushie we brought one (one for his sis too, of course!). His caretaker Jayne who adores him so much, nicknamed him “Sucky Face” for his adorable pout. Michelle and I are actually shocked he hasn’t ripped it apart yet, so maybe he does have a gentle side!
Mr. Will x Bunny
Mr. Will x Jayne
Mr. Will and his loving Aunties Katya, Lauren x Brianna
Mr. Will at work under Nikki and his sis under his Mama, learning to be off the rail and on the rail
Princess (A PIC BY MRWILL) continues to recover at her temporary home out in Caledon and we’re totally with her in her restlessness for some good weather. For the first time ever, I heard her let out a nicker, signalling her eagerness for time outside her stall. Emily Fisher continues to do an amazing job caring for her and it shouldn’t be long before she gets that vet clearance to be able to go outside again and just be a horse! She’s definitely earned it and we can’t to see her run free outside.
We recently stopped by for a visit and Princess got to spend time with both her moms Cathy and Emily. We could see how happy she was for a bit of us time, snacking on all her favourites after finishing up her dinner.
A Pic by Mrwill with Cathy x Emily
See a couple candid clips of our stars:
We’re a bit early but wishing you all an amazing long weekend ahead! May you find many treasures on your hunt.
We look forward to seeing you at the races at Woodbine, with opening weekend being next weekend!
February was a big month for our dear Prince and Princess with both of them being born in the month! Princess (A Pic by Mrwill) celebrated her fifth birthday on February 5th and we were so happy to throw a little party for her where’s she staying and it was an amazing afternoon seeing her out of her stall, bandages off being spoiled!
Miraculously, she still is growing and while she’s a bit sore from her stall rest, she gets her regular massages which she loves. Emily, her Mama even showed us a few pointers how she likes to be massaged! She tells us Princess will take a year off to get better and just enjoy life. Motherhood will be looked at next year. We’re beyond excited for her! In the meantime she enjoys her hand walks with her Mama around the barn.
See some Snaps of our day together Emily, Sheri, Billy, Princess and I:
After our celebration, she had another party with Emily and there were little Princess Cupcakes! Amazing!
… and we must introduce you to our new friend at the barn, Lincoln. He literally is the cutest and Princess adores him!
Emily sent us this beautiful candid taken by her sister, Chantelle!
Prince (Mr Will) we hear has been training brilliantly and we’re super-stoked he’ll be arriving at Woodbine mid-March according to his his Mama/Owner/Trainer Michelle Love. She tells us, “Mr. Will is training like a dream. I’m so excited”. We’ll so be there to cheer him on as he trains. This doesn’t shock us at all as he oozes professionalism and looks and acts every bit a racehorse. Mr Will’s birthday is February 27th and he turned two officially, so feel free to drop him a line to wish him a Happy Birthday!
One of the biggest fashion events of the season, will be back once again Saturday, May 25, 2019 at Woodbine Racetrack!
A sister to Vancouver’s Deighton Cup, Toronto’s own Greenwood Stakes is a fabulous excuse for Toronto’s fashionable set to experience world-class Horse Racing and be seen!
When: Saturday, May 25, 2019
Where: Woodbine Racetrack – 555 Rexdale Blvd, Toronto
Time: 12 – 5 p.m.
Race Post Time: 1 p.m.
Price: Tickets start at $75
Dress Code: Derby attire
In addition to amazing music, cocktails, food and photo ops, the day will be highlighted by the inaugural running of the $125k Greenwood Stakes a six-furlong stakes races for horses three-years-old and up.
We had fun last year and even spotted some stars! More here.
True to tradition, we present to you our A YEAR IN HORSES 2018 Video. Annually at the end of the Woodbine racing season, we compile our favourite moments of people and horses at the races to commemorate the year.
This year we chose to pair our highlights with one of our favourite tracks, ONE KISS by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa. The song is a celebration of falling in love and that is exactly what we do year after year. We never get sick of this, our favourite sport! It’s always been about the people, the passion and the horses for us rather than hitting a Jackpot Hi-5.
The year was marked by Wonder Gadot‘s reign as the Queen of Canadian Racing and veterans shining like Pink Lloyd, Pumpkin Rumble, Mr. Havercamp, Kingsport and Tiz a Slam. We saw also the rise of several recent additions to the jockey colony like Jerome Lermyte and Kazushi Kimura. 2018 may have been a divisive year with many getting their moment to shine and split opinions, but there certainly were a lot of memories to capture. We take you right from the start of the season, all the way to Churchill Downs at the Breeders’ Cup, right to the end of the Woodbine meet.
While we had to scale back our visits slightly this year due to various commitments and Billy’s health issues – he is the only thing that could keep us from the races – we still were very much there throughout the year. Hence when people ask me “Where have you been?”, honestly I never left! And here’s the proof.
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!
To have one racehorse named after you is a dream, but for this to happen twice has me feeling like Bob Baffert winning his second Triple Crown!
While my schedule was super-busy during TIFF, it was almost impossible not to make a trip north of the City to see adorable MR WILL. Those of you following on Social Media will know how overjoyed we were to hear that a colt named MR WILL would be going through the sales ring at the 2018 Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Premier Yearling Sale last month. Bred by Northern Dawn Stable (Sherry McLean and Bob Craig), the colt after multiple bids went to owner/trainer Michelle Love and her husband Rob, who has the all-important job of Outrider at Woodbine Racetrack, keeping horses, horsepeople and fans safe. Once again, we are so touched by the Horse Racing community’s love. I am so grateful and thrilled about what lies ahead!
While we were saddened that our dear Princess (@APicbymrwill) had to be retired prematurely earlier this year, this gives us something to be really excited about. We still try to visit her every chance we can and we find comfort knowing that she is under the amazing care of Emily Fisher. She looks rather amazing and continues to be spoiled like she deserves. A bonus is that she’s only about ten minutes away from MR WILL. Emily is dealing with her beloved stallion Don’s Folly, who is nursing an injury right now so we wish her and Don all the best in his recovery.
After driving past their home a few times (GPS only gets you so far in the country!) and finally finding it, I was ever anxious to meet my adorable new namesake. Rob told me, “I thought that might’ve been you!” seeing a little red Acura ILX driving back and forth like a lost soul. Michelle led me into her barn, which houses Rob‘s beloved pony Grouch, a handsome gray who is a great ambassador for Woodbine, having appeared at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square to promote the sport. Michelle also has there a sweet filly she bought at the sale by red-hot freshman stallion, Souper Speedy. Although she warned me that MR WILL might bite (just like his namesake!) being the colt that he is, he was on his best behaviour, reaching over to give me a peck. He’s even getting the hang of Selfies and I’m sure we’ll be giving him lots of practice! The colt definitely loves an audience and I was so impressed watching him do laps around his pen as both Michelle and Rob each took turns on him. He is under amazing guidance and while many other yearlings are taking their time getting ready, this boy already is at work and a true professional about it. It also helps that he was prepped well entering the sale, making Michelle‘s job a lot easier.
MR WILL knows all about mini carrots already, surprising Michelle even! 🥕
See some Snaps:
Looking at his pedigree, I have every reason to expect that MR WILL should excel on the turf. He is by 2008 Queen’s Plate winner Not Bourbon who has some deep bloodlines tracing back to the great Northern Dancer and Secretariat, the latter whom he actually resembles with his chestnut coat and linear white blaze. He also has some stamina and turf breeding on his mom, Wila Brew‘s side. He is her first foal and she was a winner at Woodbine back in 2015 for trainer Dave Cotey, a man who knows his bloodstock having picked-out Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird on whom the Film 50-to-1 is based. I even remember seeing MR WILL‘s great-grandmother Willamar race at Woodbine when I was a kid and she was remarkably fast, setting a course record. Tons of history there.
Michelle and Rob also are notable breeders, having bred stakes winner CLICKITY CLACK, who is one of the best three-year-old fillies on Woodbine’s grounds.
We’ll try to keep you all updated on our boy’s progress without having to crash at Michelle and Rob‘s all the time. Too tempting to just show up at their home!! We’ve created a Twitter and Instagram for MR WILL, so please be following his exciting story as he transforms into a star of tomorrow!