The wheels are already in motion for the planning of Canada’s premier thoroughbred horse race and the can’t miss social and fashion event of the summer: The King’s Plate.
Woodbine Entertainment today announced the 165th running of The King’s Plate, one of Toronto’s biggest annual sporting events, will take place Saturday, August 17, 2024 at Woodbine Racetrack.
“This year’s King’s Plate was a big success, delivering a record handle, sold-out crowd and really exciting racing,” said Michael Copeland, CEO of Woodbine. “The third weekend in August has been a good spot for attracting a quality field on the track and an energetic crowd off the track.
“Building on our momentum created at this year’s Plate, we are excited to make the event even bigger in 2024 and look forward to welcoming everyone to Woodbine for the 165th King’s Plate on August 17.”
The “handle” is the amount of money wagered by bettors. More than $18.1 million was bet across all 13 races on the King’s Plate card this year.
This year’s race was the first under “The King’s Plate” name in more than 70 years after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in September of 2022. Since its inception in 1860, The Plate has been named after the reigning British monarch.
A formal invitation to His Majesty King Charles III to attend the event has been extended to Buckingham Palace.
The King’s Plate is North America’s longest continuously run stakes race and serves as the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. It is open to Canadian bred three-year-old Thoroughbreds and is contested at a distance of a mile and a quarter. The purse is $1 million.
Ticket and event information will be announced in the coming months.
Time and again, the Honda Accord has proven to be a favourite of mine. It balances sophistication, practicality and performance so beautifully, a perfect pairing for an annual Summer tradition of mine, the Queen’s Plate. With King Charles’ coronation recently, the most historic horse race in North America was re-branded the King’s Plate this year. This marks the first time the race has been run under the name since 1951. The affair is a $1 million race, restricted to three-year-old horses foaled in Canada, but for some it is a celebration of fashion, with guests donning their very best for a fabulous reason to party!
The race was won this year by PARAMOUNT PRINCE, who is co-owned by Michael Langlois and Hollywood giant Gary Barber, who flew in for a very successful day which saw him win another feature race on the card, the Soaring Free Stakes, with GOLD CANARY. Jockey Patrick Husbands piloted to score, defeating stablemate ELYSIAN FIELD, a filly going up against the boys. Like the flashy and speedy Radiant Red Metallic 2023 Honda Accord EX I test drove for the day, Paramount Prince also is what you call “red” in colour, being of chestnut colouring just like Secretariat. In fact, that legend’s nickname was “Big Red”!
Interest in Horse Racing is peaking once again and there’s proof in numbers. Not only did the King’s Plate sell-out completely, wagering also hit record numbers with $18.1 million bet that day alone!
I initially was given the opportunity to test drive the 2023 Honda Accord EX a couple weeks back for a road trip. After experiencing an “emissions system problem” message (below), I had brought it into Formula Honda in Scarborough, who were amazing to give it a look and a system reset and it turned out everything was fine. When experiencing this error, the car will cap at a certain speed with a reduction in power, and it directs you to visit a dealer. This admittedly was concerning but after a check-through by trusted hands, I was assured the car was as good as new! The error message never resurfaced. Giving it a second go, I was thrilled how true to form it is with what I love about Accords. Sleek, fuel effiicient and just all-around a car I would want to drive every day!
Going over specifications, the Accord EX is powered by a 1.5-litre, 16-valve, Direct Injection, DOHC, VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It operates at 192 @ 6000 rpm horsepower, has idle stop and Eco Assist, which are a better alternative for both the environment and the wallet. Running on Regular Unleaded fuel (also with capless fuelling) it will have you second-guessing if it’s even on because it is so quiet! If you’re looking to save a bit on gas, this is your car with a Highway, City and Combined Fuel Economy of 8.6/6.4/7.3L per 100 km.
Because looks do matter when it comes to cars, the Accord EX comes with small subtle flourishes that elevate it. It has body-coloured door handles, heated power door mirrors (which fold) and a shark fin antenna. The EX is blessed with a one-touch power moonroof including a tilt feature. Proximity Entry makes it super-easy for you and we are all for no more fumbling for keys!
Honda has a way of understanding the passenger experience so well and the EX‘s dual-zone automatic climate control with air-filtration system, gets it just right. While I like it freezing cold, my Mom for example doesn’t, and that’s fine because you can have it both ways with the EX! Everybody wins.
The Driver has much flexibility with with 8-way power adjustment, including 2-way power lumbar support. The front passenger’s seat gets 4-way manual adjustment. There’s an adjustment for everyone’s comfort levels and mobility.
The marriage of phone and car is a sacred union, whether we are navigating Google Maps, streaming Spotify and receiving urgent messages on the EX’s 7″ touchscreen display. Connecting was a cinch with HandsFreeLink™-bilingual Bluetooth® wireless mobile phone interface. The EX is powered by a Bose 8-speaker Audio System, perfect for Audiophiles. Above this, the EX has steering wheel-mounted controls (cruise control, audio, telephone, Driver Information Interface) for ease of navigating while you’re busy driving.
Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines are the new norm, making parking or reversing so easy and eliminating anxieties about this. What was life actually like before cars had cameras?
The EX is packed with Active Safety features including 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); Auto high beam; Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS®); Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system; Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system; Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS); Blind Spot Information (BSI) system; Rear Cross Traffic Monitor system; Traffic Jam Assist; Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system; Traffic sign recognition (HS); and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with Traction Control. All needed for those months we get great and not-so-predictable weather!
Passive Safety also is a focal point. 3-point front seat belts with automatic tensioning system; Next-Generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure reducing shock and impact in the event of a collision; Childproof rear door locks i-SRS airbag system (front); Front knee airbags; Rear side airbags; HondaLink™ Assist; Automatic Emergency Response System; Side curtain airbags with rollover sensor system; and SmartVent™ side airbags are there to protect you and your loved ones. Also, the EX comes with a Security System and Find My Car/Vehicle Locator features for added piece of mind.
In all, a real gem, reinforcing why exactly test-driving the Accord is always a joy. The 2023 Honda Accord EX starts at $31,000 CAN.
She’s back! The Stella Artois Terrace at Woodbine Racetrack once again is open for reservations. In addition to boasting the best view in the City, the space located on the third floor in the home of the upcoming King’s Plate has amazing food and drink.
Experience Chef Jay‘s curated food and drink menu which is fixated on variety, trends of today and most importantly, taste! For the apps, I highly recommend the Oysters, Fish Tacos, Chicken Wings (for all sorts of spice tolerances) and Calamari. These were a home run. Mains include a diverse range of cuisines including Salads, Pastas, Steak Frites, Ribeye, Ribs, Fish & Chips, Burgers, Ratatouille even and more! Trust me you will not leave hungry. Did we mention there’s dessert too?
The Stella Artois Terrace is perfect for celebrations and milestones if you’re looking to make it unforgettable. And who doesn’t want that?
But best of all, to go with this world-class experience, you also get the best seats in the house to enjoy some world-class Horse Racing as well, as the 2023 meet at Woodbine Racetrack is well underway. A seat on the patio oversees the top turf course in North America! Book your reservations now here.
A reel of highlights of the best day ever:
Thank you, @WoodbineTB for the best day ever! The Stella Artois Terrace is back open and accepting reservations for the 2023 racing meet.
It’s hard to believe another racing season at Woodbine Racetrack has concluded and we’re so thrilled to have been there start to finish. While I admit it gets a little tougher as the years pass and I get a bit older, what always brings me back is the stories, the lineage and relationships. Sometimes along the way I get a little reward for my $2 investments of a bet!
2022 was a standout year for horses based at Woodbine on a world stage. We got to see Hall of Fame Trainer Roger Attfield send-out his two top charges LADY SPEIGHTSPEARE and SHIRL’S SPEIGHT to top three placings at the Breeders’ Cup in November against the world’s best. We also saw our Queen’s Plate heroine MOIRA also made us proud finishing in the thick of things, not to mention locally-based CAIRO CONSORT finishing well also before being sold and taken under the wings of top Trainer Todd Pletcher.
Woodbine truly is proving its worth on an international stage, hosting Breeders’ Cup Win-and-You’re-In races. Time and again, we’ve shown the world that we not only are a stepping stone to the best. Some of the best in the world in fact are based right at home in Toronto.
A huge congratulations to our leading Trainer Mark Casse and Jockey Kazushi Kimura, once again taking year-end title honours! Kimura despite an absence due to injury, still made it back to reclaim his title which is super-impressive.
It was such a joy seeing fans back in full capacity this year with Covid restictions having been lifted. And every week I pop by, I marvel at how quickly the construction is coming along in the new Casino/Hotel portion of the venue. We welcome a new era soon!
In carrying-on my annual tradition, here’s my 2022 A Year in Horses Review, set to Harry Styles’ “As It Was”. All moments here lensed by yours truly.What a year!
April 22, 2023 will mark the start of a new racing season at Woodbine and I can’t wait.
Woodbine fans got a huge treat this past weekend as 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner MODERN GAMES made his way to our world-famous E.P. Taylor turf course to take the $1-million Grade I Woodbine Mile in a romp. The Dubawi colt owned by Godolphin and trained by Charles Appleby, was guided to a 5 1/4-length win under world-travelling jockey William Buick in a speedy time of 1:32.77, as the prohibitive race favourite. With everything going according to plan, he should be at Keeneland in November for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Second and third respectively were second-choice IVAR, and FINEST SOUND. Wagering on the race card totalled a healthy $11.7 million, even with one race cancelled end of day due to unforseen circumstances.
The latter part of the card on Saturday was crammed with stakes action, as part of Woodbine‘s involvement with the Breeders’ Cup Win-and-You’re In program. Winners from the three marquee Grade I races, the Woodbine Mile, Summer and Natalma Stakes each earn a berth in the Breeders’ Cup, Horse Racing’s championship days of racing slated for November 4th and 5th.
The combination of Godolphin x Appleby x Buick nabbed Grade I glory earlier on the card in the $500k Summer Stakes with two-year-old Irish-bred Dark Angel colt, MYSTERIOUS NIGHT. Like his stablemate, he scored by just over five lengths, and is pointed next to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, the same race MODERN GAMES had won last year.
LAST CALL broke her maiden in style at 21-1 odds, winning the Grade I Natalma Stakes, also valued at $500k. The English Channel filly owned by X-Men Racing 2 LLC and SF Racing LLC, is trained by Kevin Attard, winning with a late sweep to score by a length.
Famed Canadian Geologist Charles Fipke made a rare appearance at Woodbine this weekend and did he ever pick the right weekend to come! He, Trainer Roger Attfield and Emma-Jayne Wilson proved an amazing combo taking a pair of Grade III stakes with LADY SPEIGHTSPEARE in the Seaway Stakes, and READY FOR THE LADY in the Singspiel Stakes on the Sunday card. The former is a perfect three-for-three at Woodbine this season and actually took the Natalma Stakes two years back, and continues to be incredibly consistent.
A couple other notable moments:
Upcoming major races at Woodbine include the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes on October 2nd and also the Grade I E.P. Taylor Stakes October 8th.
It was one for the records as MOIRA took the 163rd edition of North America’s most historic Horse Race, the Queen’s Plate! The race worth $1 million, was contested at 1 1/4 miles yesterday at Woodbine Racetrack and not only did she as the lone filly beat the boys by a commanding seven lengths, she also smashed the track record for the distance, stopping the clock in an expedient 2:01.4 minutes.
The daughter of Ghostzapper bred by Frank Stronach‘s Adena Springs, notched Trainer Kevin Attard and Jockey Rafael Hernandez their first ever Queen’s Plate winner, rewarding bettors who backed her betting her down to 9-5 odds as the race favourite. Moira is owned by a partnership of Madaket Stables LLC, X-Men Racing and SF Racing LLC, purchased for an investment in 2020 for $150k and has now earned $902k in just five starts. It is said that her connections have their sights set potentially on the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland this November which might mean we won’t be seeing her in the upcoming two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown.
Finishing second in the Queen’s Plate was Hall of Dreams under Patrick Husbands, and third was Sir for Sure, ridden by Declan Carroll. Both horses are trained by Woodbine‘s leading Trainer Mark Casse, who had a strong showing on the Card with wins in both the King Edward and Canadian Stakes on the turf. Casse who is based out of the U.S., made an appearance for the day.
Lorne Richards Trainee HAZELBROOK continues to have a career season winning her second-straight Stake Race in a row in the Sweet Briar Too under Jason Hoyte, who notched his second stake victory at Woodbine with her. She is a perfect three-for-three in 2022.
Wagering handle was a healthy $13.6 million on this first Queen’s Plate since 2019 to allow fans to attend at full capacity.
The Queen’s Plate is synonymous with party and fashion and that it was with activations and tents for attendees to get their Photo Ops, including a Step-and-Repeat which gave them a chance to show-off their outfits.
The picture for the upcoming 2022 Queen’s Plate – the 163rd running of North America’s most historic horse race – just got a little clearer. MOIRA scored an authoritative victory in the $500k Woodbine Oaks presented by Budweiser, winning as the even-odds favourite by 10 3/4 lengths under Rafael Hernandez for Trainer Kevin Attard and Co-Owners Madaket Stables, X-Men Racing and SF Racing. She won in a rapid final time of 1:49.7 for 1 1/8 miles. This was just the second start in 2022 after the winter off for this talented filly by stallion Ghostzapper, from the Unbridled Song mare, Devine Aida. This definitely stamps Moira a leading contender in the Queen’s Plate, to be contested August 21, 2022 at Woodbine Racetrack where she would face males. Finishing second was Sister Seagull and American invader, the maiden Sahlabiya from famed Shadwell Stable and leading Trainer Chad Brown finished third. The high-strung Moira prior to the race had kicked her Blacksmith, though he appears to be fine, and also post-race almost unseated Hernandez after getting spooked by infield flags blowing in the wind. Despite her quirks, she is a consummate professional when racing.
Earlier on the Card was the $150k Plate Trial Stakes, the official prep race for the Queen’s Plate. That was taken by 21-to-1 longshot SIR FOR SURE under Declan Carroll who just joined the local jockey circuit this year, for Team Mark Casse and Owner Heste Sport, which is a force both on the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred side in Ontario. This marks Carroll‘s first ever stake win at Woodbine. Second was stablemate Hall of Dreams, while U.S. invander Causin’ Mayhem held-on for third. The latter is owned by local outfit Chiefswood Stable and is based in the U.S. with top Trainer Todd Pletcher. The race was run about a full second slower than the fillies in the Woodbine Oaks.
Also on the Super-card today was the Grade II Dance Smartly Stakes, taken by another American invader, WAKANAKA. Going off as the post-time favourite at 6-to-5 odds, this Bill Mott Trainee owned by Film Producer Gary Barber and Team Valor, won by 1 1/4 lengths, finishing the 1 1/16 mile race on the turf in a brisk 1:39.4. Rafael Hernandez had a big day taking both the Oaks and this, surviving a claim of foul here.
HAZELBROOK scored a surprise upset in the $150k Hendrie Stakes at the top of the Card, winning at 26-to-1 odds for True North Stable and Trainer Lorne Richards. Jockey Jason Hoyte scored his first-ever stakes win at Woodbine here. The 6 1/2 furlong sprint was won in 1:15.6.
It was an eventful day which saw multiple claims of objection filed but none successful and one of those winners was two-year-old Ransom the Moon colt ONE FOR CHAP. He broke his maiden on the turf for Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson’s Spruce Stable, with Rafael Hernandez winning again. Mark Casse trains this colt who is a half-brother to champion filly Mrs. Barbara. We learned that Lawson used to call his dad “Chap”, hence inspiring the name. Perhaps we will be seeing him in September’s Grade I Summer Stakes, a win-and-you’re-in Breeders’ Cup race?
Veteran jockey SLADE CALLAGHAN also was named 2022 Avelino Gomez Award recipient, an honour given to a jockey who has made a signficicant contribution to the Sport locally. Callaghan was joined by his peers, past and present accepting the Award with his wife, Trainer Kelly Callaghan beside him.
It was a day of many faces. Some of the names here today.
Betting handles were phenomental today with the total reaching $10.1 million for this star-studded Card.
More on the upcoming Queen’s Plate including tickets here.
WoodbineRacetrack are thrilled to announce the launch of their brand-new Stella Artois Terrace. The space formerly known as Champions Bar and Patio, gets a re-brand and a sophisticated makeover with new loungey booths, an elevated Food and Drink menu and festive weekend vibes, with the DJ spinning your favourite Top 40 hits! The Terrace, located on the third floor, launches July 23, 2022 right in time for Woodbine Oaks weekend, just one of the many marquee race cards in the 2022 Thoroughbred meet.
We’re thrilled to have had a chance to preview this amazing space hanging right above Woodbine‘s scenic world-class E.P. Taylor turf course. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, trust me! This is Horse Racing the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
Here’s a small preview of some of our favourites from their brand-new Menu:
There were Desserts too! I tried the Banana Cake which was topped with Rum-flambéed bananas and caramel sauce – nice and not too, too sweet. The Hot Fudge & Hibiscus Sundae was very popular among others, but the real star is the super-decadent and luxuriant Double Chocolate Godiva Cheesecake. We were seriously-strapped for time, but they were so kind to give us takeaway boxes for us to enjoy at home. No stuffiness here, everyone is welcome.
You won’t leave here feeling hungry.
Be patient, this is an afternoon or night out. The food will come when it comes. Have some fun, win some money! Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, there’s always Ambassadors walking around to show you. And if you’re shy, there’s a QR code for you to scan that walks you through it!
Dress code is comfortable but dress to impress. No strict guidelines.
A couple cool Photos Ops at the Stella Artois Terrace, including a Step & Repeat:
You can book a reservation now for the Stella Artois Terraceright here! The amazing weather is only here for a small while more. Don’t miss out!
WALK OFF THE EARTH are back with new Single “BET ON ME” featuring Tyler Shaw! This is a catchy Summer Bop and I don’t even know how this escaped our radar where Lead Vocalist Sarah Blackwood is telling her love interest to “bet on her” like “Apple in the ’90s”. Hilar.
We love Horse Racing and the cover of the Single made us chuckle, and there’s even a few references to pedigree and stallions which is amaze. They need to film this Video at Woodbine Racetrack. I can’t see it being filmed anywhere else!
On the Single Cover, that’s a betting terminal, the type you see are racetracks and betting parlours. Fully-committed. YES!
The Track is produced by Gianni Luminati, Tokyo Speirs and The Futuristics.
This Indie Pop Outfit from Burlington knows how to have fun and we love that they’re still going strong! So awesome getting to chat quickly at the JUNOs last month!
For a second consecutive year, MIGHTY HEART takes top honours at the Sovereign Awards, honouring the best in Canadian Horse Racing. For the first time ever, the event was held at Universal Eventspace in Vaughan. The one-eyed horse owned and bred by Larry Cordes, in 2020 went-on to beat the odds and win the Queen’s Plate. His success didn’t stop there and he also had a successful 2021 campaign which saw him notch two graded stake wins, the Autumn and Dominion Day Stakes, plus some big runs in the U.S. against open company including a win in the Blame Stakes.
Also honoured this evening with an E.P. Taylor Award was Owner/Breeder Ivan Dalos. Throughout his career, Dalos under his Tall Oaks Farm, has bred and raced some greats including the likes of Victorious Ami, Galloping Ami, Ami’s Flatter, Amis Gizmo, Ami’s Holiday, Johnny Bear, Gamble’s Ghost, Ami’s Mesa and multi-millionaire Channel Maker.
Other winners tonight included:
Mrs. Barbara – Champion 2-year-old filly
God of Love – Champion 2-year-old male
Munnyfor Ro – Champion 3-year-old filly
Frosted Over – Champion 3-year-old male
Amalfi Coast – Champion female sprinter
Pink Lloyd – Champion male sprinter
Jolie Olimpica – Champion turf female
Town Cruise – Champion turf male
Avie’s Empire – Outstanding broodmare
Sam-Son Farm – Outstanding breeder
Mark Casse – Outstanding trainer
Live Oak Plantation – Outstanding owner
Kazushi Kimura – Outstanding jockey
Denzil Fonseca – Outstanding groom
Woodbine Entertainment Group – The 2021 Queen’s Plate – Outstanding audio/visual broadcast
Hayley Morrison – Outstanding writing
Will Wong – Outstanding photograph
We are thrilled again to have won Outstanding Photograph and can’t believe this is real! So honoured to be among these legends and gamechangers. Cannot wait for the Woodbine ’22 season to begin at last this Saturday, April 16, 2022!
You can steam the entire Awards Ceremony here:
Some Snaps from the night:
(Photo/video credit:Woodbine Entertainment Group/Mr. Will Wong)