#HORSERACING: “ACADEMIC” WINS THE BUDWEISER WOODBINE OAKS | “DANISH DYNAFORMER” LIKELY QUEEN’S PLATE FAVOURITE
The rain certainly came and never did cease, but this would not deter Racing Fans old and new from coming-out to celebrate Budweiser Woodbine Oaks Day! The atmosphere was alive with free Corona hats to be snagged, Sundaes to be served, an awesome Budweiser Prize Pack (including a mini fridge!) up for grabs, free first bets, Bud Girls and more in attendance. Earlier on the card, Edmonton-based jockey Quincy Welch was honoured with the Avelino Gomez Award, given to jockeys who have made significant contributions to the Sport. Today also marked the first day new Announcer Robert Geller took the reins from recently-retired Dan Loiselle and a credible job he did with his distinct Tenor and Australian flare.
The $500k Budweiser Woodbine Oaks is known definitively as the top race for three-year-old fillies born in Canada, dating all the way back to 1956. Some fillies like Superstars Dance Smartly and Lexie Lou who were victorious in the race, even went-on to win the Country’s most prestigious affair, the Queen’s Plate – up next on the first Sunday of July.
Few saw it coming, but 60-to-1 Longshot ACADEMIC thrust herself straight to the lead and never looked back, paying her supporters dividends with a payout of $135.30 to a $2 bet. Not only did she win with authority under jockey Justin Stein, for Bear Stables and Trainer Reade Baker, but she smashed the existing Track Record for 1 1/8 miles in a time of 1:48.86. Race Favourite LONDON TOWER ran a game second, besting SEASON TICKET who placed third.
On the Undercard also was the Plate Trial, the official prep race for the $1-million Queen’s Plate, known as North America’s most historic race, now in its 156th year. DANISH DYNAFORMER would peak right in-time for the $150k race, winning decisively and holding-off a late charge from the much-buzzed CONQUEST CURLINATE, who ran a couple bang-up races in the U.S. this winter. Finishing third was the latter’s stablemate, CONQUEST BOOGALOO who also is improving with experience. Owned by Charles Fipke and trained by Hall of Famer, Roger Attfield, the Winner was ridden by multi-champion Luis Contreras, paying $9.90 to a $2 bet.
Like last year, the Girls ran considerably faster than the Boys, with DANISH DYNAFORMER completing 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.81, translating to about five horse lengths slower than ACADEMIC. Trainer Baker has expressed his intent to have ACADEMIC ready to face-off her male opponents in the Queen’s Plate despite not being nominated initially. As a result, a supplementary fee will be paid to have her eligible.
Although there was much cause for celebration, the Plate Trial was marred by the fatal injury of Race Favourite DANZIG MOON, who was making his first start ever at Woodbine after a successful winter, which saw him place a solid fifth in the prestigious Kentucky Derby to subsequent Triple Crown Hero, AMERICAN PHAROAH. Mishaps as this are rare in the Sport and many Fans are grieving the loss of what could well have been this year’s Queen’s Plate Champion.
I too am one of several Fans devastated by his loss, although grateful I had a chance to see him in-person once:
The Queen’s Plate is just around the corner and we look forward to seeing you there as we soon will crown a new Victor/Victress.
More details here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
This post was created in partnership with Woodbine Racetrack.