The King's Plate (known as the Queen's Plate from 1860 to 1901 and 1952 to 2022) is Canada's oldest thoroughbred horse race and the oldest continuously run race in North America,[1] having been founded in 1860.[2] It is run at a distance of 1+14 miles (2 kilometres) for a maximum of 17 three-year-old thoroughbred horses foaled in Canada.

King's Plate
Restricted race
Paramount Prince, 2023 King's Plate winner
LocationWoodbine Racetrack
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Inaugurated1860 (164 years ago) (1860)
Race typeFlat / Thoroughbred
Race information
Distance1+14 mi (2 km)
Qualification3-year-old Canadian-bred
WeightColt/Gelding: 126 lb (57 kg)
Filly: 121 lb (55 kg)
PurseCDN$1 million

The race is the first in the Canadian Triple Crown, typically taking place each summer at Woodbine Racetrack in Etobicoke, Ontario. The event was scheduled in June or July until 2020, when it was postponed to September, due to government-imposed restrictions in place through the COVID-19 pandemic.[3][4] Since 2021, Woodbine ran the Queen's Plate, and now runs the King's Plate, in August.[5][6]

The race's name reflects the title of the reigning Canadian monarch, following on Queen Victoria's donation of the first cup. The Woodbine Entertainment Group, which owns and operates the event, announced in December 2022 the race will be renamed the King's Plate, following the accession of King Charles III on 8 September 2022.[6]



In 1859, the then-President of the Toronto Turf Club, Sir Casimir Gzowski, petitioned Queen Victoria to grant a plate for a new race in the Canada West (today Ontario). With the monarch's approval, the first Queen's Plate was run on 27 June 1860, at the Carleton racetrack in Toronto, with the prize of "a plate to the value of 50 guineas". Despite the name, the winning owner is presented with a gold cup, rather than a plate.[7]

The race was originally restricted to three-year-olds bred in Canada that had never won a stakes race and was run in heats, with a horse having to win two heats to be declared the winner. The race conditions have since evolved; heat racing was discontinued in 1879 and, around the same time, the race was opened to stakes winners (some early records are incomplete). For many years, the race was open to older horses and, in the early 1900s, was even open to two-year-olds. The King's Plate is currently restricted to three-year-olds foaled in Canada. The owner must pay a nomination fee ($500 in 2018) in February, a second subscription fee ($1,500 in 2018) in May, and a final entry fee ($10,000) prior to the race.[8][9][10]

King's Plate, Woodbine Race track [ca. 1950]

The first four renewals were run at Carleton racetrack. After that, the Queen's Plate became a "movable feast", with politicians from all over modern-day Ontario vying to host the race in their constituency. Fifteen different race tracks hosted the race over the next two decades, with distances varying from one to two miles.[8] In 1883, the race moved to Old Woodbine, located in eastern Toronto along Lake Ontario. The race continued to be held at Old Woodbine until that track was replaced by "New" Woodbine in northern Toronto in 1956. The race has been run at Woodbine ever since. In 2006, Woodbine changed the track surface for the main track from natural dirt to a synthetic surface known as Polytrack. In 2016, the surface was changed to Tapeta.[11][4] Because of the change in racing surfaces, Woodbine maintains several sets of track and stakes records. The fastest time for the race on the original dirt surface at the current 1+14 mi (2 km) distance is 2:01 4/5, set by Kinghaven Farms' Izvestia in 1990. The current stakes record (the fastest all-time) is 2:01.48, set by Moira in 2022 on Tapeta.[12][9]

In 1902, the year after Victoria's death, the race became the King's Plate, after her successor, Edward VII. It became the Queen's Plate again during the reign of Elizabeth II (1952–2022).[13] In 2022, it reverted to the King's Plate upon the accession of Charles III.[14]

Horses owned by Windfields Farm have won the Plate eleven times, but the most successful was the stable owned by Joseph E. Seagram, a prominent distiller from Waterloo, Ontario. Seagram's stable won the Plate on twenty occasions between 1891 and 1935 including eight times in a row between 1891 and 1898, and ten times in eleven years from 1891 to 1901.

At the 1925 King's Plate, W. A. Hewitt and his son Foster Hewitt called the first horse race broadcast on radio.[15]

In 1964, Northern Dancer, the first Canadian-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby, also won the Queen's Plate in his final race.[16]

In 2006, Josie Carroll became the first woman trainer to win the Queen's Plate. The following year, Emma-Jayne Wilson became the first female jockey to win the race.

The 2004-2013 Plate winners had little success in their subsequent racing careers. This compares unfavourably to the 1990s when a number of Plate winners had considerable success thereafter, including With Approval, Izvestia, Dance Smartly and Awesome Again. The more recent Queen's Plate winners have also been successful, including Lexie Lou (who became a multiple graded stakes winner in Canada and the US after winning the Plate in 2014) and Shaman Ghost (a Grade I winner in America after winning the Plate in 2015).[17]

Nick Eaves, former President and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group, announced during the 2012 Queen's Plate post position draw that Woodbine Racetrack might be forced to close in April 2013 due to the cancellation of Slots at Racetrack program partnerships between Ontario's racetracks and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Eaves said that if Woodbine is not open, "there won't be a Queen's Plate."[18] A new funding agreement was put in place in March 2013, which ensured the continuation of horse racing at Woodbine.

38 fillies have won the Plate, beginning with Brunette in 1864. The 2017 running was won by filly Holy Helena, while the 2018 running was won by Wonder Gadot.[19] Two chestnut fillies both by the name of Wild Rose have won the Queen's Plate, in 1867 and 1886. They were the daughter and great-great-granddaughter respectively of Yellow Rose, who also produced the first Queen's Plate winner Don Juan.[8]

The latest filly to win the Queen's Plate was Moira in 2022, whose final time of 2:01.48 established an all-time speed record.[12]

The race has been held at a variety of distances:[9]

  • 1860–1867: 1-mile (1.6 km) heats
  • 1868–1870: 2 miles (3.2 km)
  • 1871: 1+34 miles (2.82 km)
  • 1872–1886: 1+12 miles (2.4 km)
  • 1887–1923: 1+14 miles (2.01 km)
  • 1924–1956: 1+18 miles (1.811 km)
  • 1957-: 1+14 miles (2.01 km)

Triple Crown dispute with Fort Erie Race Track


Since 2021, a year after the Queen's Plate was moved to September from its usual June or July spot due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, Woodbine has run the race in August. As a result, Fort Erie Race Track, which runs the second of Canada's Triple Crown races, the Prince of Wales Stakes, moved their race to after the King's Plate. In April 2023, a few months after Woodbine announced that the 2023 King's Plate would again be run in August, Fort Erie filed a grievance with the Canadian Trade Commission over what it called business practices that were "unfair and clearly predatory." A member of the Fort Erie Council suggested that the COVID pandemic was over and that the King's Plate should move back to June, adding that continuing to run the race in August would not be in Fort Erie Race Track's best economic interests, as it would result in the Prince of Wales Stakes being run after Labour Day, when the key summer tourism season is over. Woodbine responded that Fort Erie's allegations are "baseless and without merit" and that they would defend themselves if requested by the Trade Commission.[20]

Royal patronage

Queen Elizabeth II (at far left) arriving at the 2010 Queen's Plate

As King of Canada, Charles III is patron of the event. Various other members of the Canadian royal family have attended, beginning with John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, and his wife, Princess Louise, in 1881, when Lorne was serving as governor general of Canada and the couple was touring Ontario.[21] Queen Elizabeth II's fourth and final visit to the race was in early July 2010.[22]



Stakes Record

Winningest Jockeys:

Winningest Trainers:

Winningest Owners:


2023 Paramount Prince Patrick Husbands Mark E. Casse Gary Barber & Michael J. Langlois 2:01.93
2022 Moira Rafael M. Hernandez Kevin Attard X-Men Racing LLC, Madaket Stables LLC & SF Racing LLC 2:01.48
2021 Safe Conduct Irad Ortiz Jr. Philip M. Serpe WellSpring Stables 2:02.85
2020 Mighty Heart Daisuke Fukumoto Josie Carroll Lawrence P. Cordes 2:01.98
2019 One Bad Boy Flavien Prat Richard Baltas Sayjay Racing 2:02.98
2018 Wonder Gadot John R. Velazquez Mark E. Casse Gary Barber 2:02.26
2017 Holy Helena † Luis Contreras James A. Jerkens Stronach Stables 2:02.87
2016 Sir Dudley Digges Julien Leparoux Michael J. Maker Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey 2:04.09
2015 Shaman Ghost Rafael M. Hernandez Brian A. Lynch Stronach Stables 2:03.45
2014 Lexie Lou Patrick Husbands Mark E. Casse Gary Barber 2:03:94
2013 Midnight Aria Jesse M. Campbell Nicholas Gonzalez Tucci Stables 2:04.72
2012 Strait of Dover Justin Stein Danny Vella Canyon Farms 2:01.99
2011 Inglorious † Luis Contreras Josie Carroll Donver Stable 2:02.63
2010 Big Red Mike Eurico Rosa da Silva Nicholas Gonzalez Terra Racing Stable 2:04.89
2009 Eye of the Leopard Eurico Rosa da Silva Mark Frostad Sam-Son Farm 2:03.84
2008 Not Bourbon Jono Jones Roger Attfield Charles E. Fipke 2:03.59
2007 Mike Fox Emma-Jayne Wilson Ian Black D. Morgan Firestone 2:05.45
2006 Edenwold Emile Ramsammy Josie Carroll Jim & Alice Sapara 2:05.30
2005 Wild Desert Pat Valenzuela Robert J. Frankel Daniel Borislow & Partners 2:07.37
2004 Niigon Robert Landry Eric Coatrieux Chiefswood Stable 2:04.72
2003 Wando Patrick Husbands Michael Keogh Gus Schickedanz 2:02.48
2002 T J's Lucky Moon Steve Bahen Vito Armata Molinaro Stable 2:06.88
2001 Dancethruthedawn Gary Boulanger Mark Frostad Sam-Son Farm 2:03.78
2000 Scatter the Gold Todd Kabel Mark Frostad Sam-Son Farm 2:05.53
1999 Woodcarver Mickey Walls Michael Keogh Gus Schickedanz 2:03.13
1998 Archers Bay Kent Desormeaux Todd Pletcher Melnyk & Bristow 2:02.10
1997 Awesome Again Mike E. Smith David Hofmans Frank Stronach 2:04.20
1996 Victor Cooley Emile Ramsammy Mark Frostad Windways Farm 2:03.80
1995 Regal Discovery Todd Kabel Roger Attfield No. 1 Stable 2:03.80
1994 Basqueian Jack Lauzon Daniel J. Vella Frank Stronach 2:03.40
1993 Peteski Craig Perret Roger Attfield Earle I. Mack 2:04.20
1992 Alydeed Craig Perret Roger Attfield Kinghaven Farms 2:04.60
1991 Dance Smartly Pat Day Jim Day Sam-Son Farm 2:03.40
1990 Izvestia Don Seymour Roger Attfield Kinghaven Farms 2:01.80
1989 With Approval Don Seymour Roger Attfield Kinghaven Farms 2:03.00
1988 Regal Intention Jack Lauzon Jim Day Sam-Son Farm 2:06.20
1987 Market Control Ken Skinner Roger Attfield Kinghaven Farms 2:03.60
1986 Golden Choice Vincent Bracciale Jr. Michael Tammaro Dick Sanderson 2:07.20
1985 La Lorgnette David Clark Macdonald Benson Windfields Farm 2:04.60
1984 Key to the Moon Robin Platts Gil Rowntree B. K. Y. Stable 2:03.80
1983 Bompago Larry Attard John Cardella Carl Cardella & Partners 2:04.20
1982 Son of Briartic Paul Souter Jerry G. Lavigne Paddockhurst Stable 2:04.60
1981 Fiddle Dancer Boy David Clark James C. Bentley John B. W. Carmichael 2:04.80
1980 Driving Home William Parsons Glenn Mangusson CFCW Racing Stable 2:04.20
1979 Steady Growth Brian Swatuk John J. Tammaro Jr. Kinghaven Farms 2:06.60
1978 Regal Embrace Sandy Hawley Macdonald Benson Windfields Farm 2:02.00
1977 Sound Reason Robin Platts Gil Rowntree Stafford Farms 2:06.60
1976 Norcliffe Jeffrey Fell Roger Attfield Norcliffe Stable 2:05.00
1975 L'Enjoleur Sandy Hawley Yonnie Starr J. Louis Lévesque 2:02.60
1974 Amber Herod Robin Platts Gil Rowntree Stafford Farms 2:09.20
1973 Royal Chocolate Ted Colangelo Gil Rowntree Stafford Farms 2:08.20
1972 Victoria Song Robin Platts Larry Grant Green Hills Farm 2:03.20
1971 Kennedy Road Sandy Hawley James C. Bentley Helen G. Stollery 2:03.00
1970 Almoner Sandy Hawley Jerry G. Lavigne Parkview Stable 2:04.80
1969 Jumpin Joseph Avelino Gomez Robert S. Bateman Warren Beasely 2:04.20
1968 Merger Wayne Harris Roy Johnson Golden West Farms 2:05.20
1967 Jammed Lovely Jim Fitzsimmons Yonnie Starr Conn Smythe 2:03.00
1966 Titled Hero Avelino Gomez Patrick MacMurchy Peter K. Marshall 2:03.60
1965 Whistling Sea Tak Inouye Roy Johnson Olivier Ranches 2:03.80
1964 Northern Dancer Bill Hartack Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 2:02.20
1963 Canebora Manuel Ycaza Gordon J. McCann Windfields Farm 2:04.00
1962 Flaming Page Jim Fitzsimmons Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 2:04.60
1961 Blue Light Hugo Dittfach Patrick MacMurchy Col. K. R. Marshall 2:05.00
1960 Victoria Park Avelino Gomez Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 2:02.00
1959 New Providence Bobby Ussery Gordon J. McCann Windfields Farm 2:04.80
1958 Caledon Beau Al Coy Yonnie Starr Conn Smythe 2:04.20
1957 Lyford Cay Avelino Gomez Gordon J. McCann E. P. Taylor 2:02.60
1956 Canadian Champ David Stevenson John Passero William R. Beasley 1:55.00
1955 Ace Marine George Walker Yonnie Starr Larkin Maloney 1:52.40
1954 Collisteo Chris Rogers Richard Townrow Bur-Fit Stable 1:52.00
1953 Canadiana Eddie Arcaro Gordon J. McCann E. P. Taylor 1:52.20
1952 Epigram Gil Robillard Stanley V. Bowden Three V's Stable 1:58.60
1951 Major Factor Alf Bavington Gordon J. McCann E. P. Taylor 1:53.00
1950 McGill Chris Rogers Pete Keiser Vincent J. Sheridan 1:52.40
1949 Epic Chris Rogers Bert Alexandra E. P. Taylor 1:52.20
1948 Last Mark Howard R. Bailey Jim G. Fair Jim G. Fair 1:52.00
1947 Moldy Colin McDonald Arthur Brent Parkwood Stable 1:54.20
1946 Kingarvie Johnny Dewhurst Arthur Brent Parkwood Stable 1:55.60
1945 Uttermost Robert B. Watson Cecil Howard Harry C. Hatch 1:53.80
1944 Acara Robert B. Watson Cecil Howard Harry C. Hatch 1:54.80
1943 Paolita † Pat Remillard William Thurner Charles H. Hemstead 2:02.60
1942 Ten to Ace Charles W. Smith Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Jr. 1:57.80
1941 Budpath Robert B. Watson Loyd Gentry Sr. Harry C. Hatch 1:56.80
1940 Willie the Kid Ronnie Nash Gordon J. McCann Mildred A. Kane 1:55.80
1939 Archworth Sydney Denny Birley Mark Cowell C. George McCullagh 1:54.40
1938 Bunty Lawless John W. Bailey Jack Anderson Willie F. Morrissey 1:54.40
1937 Goldlure Stirling Young William H. Bringloe Harry C. Hatch 1:55.40
1936 Monsweep Danny Brammer William H. Bringloe Harry C. Hatch 1:55.00
1935 Sally Fuller † Herb Lindberg Johnny Thorpe Seagram Stables 1:55.40
1934 Horometer Frankie Mann Harry Giddings Jr. Col. Samuel McLaughlin 1:54.20
1933 King O'Connor Eddie Legere William H. Bringloe Seagram Stables 1:56.40
1932 Queensway Frankie Mann Harry Giddings Jr. Robert W. R. Cowie 1:55.20
1931 Froth Blower Frankie Mann Harry Giddings Jr. Robert W. R. Cowie 1:59.20
1930 Aymond Henry Little Jack Hutton Ryland H. New 1:57.20
1929 Shorelint J. D. Mooney Fred H. Schelke Thorncliffe Stable 1:57.60
1928 Young Kitty † Lester Pichon William H. Bringloe Seagram Stables 1:57.00
1927 Troutlet † Francis Horn John Nixon Ryland H. New 1:55.80
1926 Haplite Henry Erickson William H. Bringloe Seagram Stables 1:59.60
1925 Fairbank † Chick Lang Jack Givens James C. Fletcher 1:56.40
1924 Maternal Pride George Walls William G. Wilson Hugh S. Wilson 1:57.60
1923 Flowerful Terry Wilson William H. Bringloe Seagram Stables 2:11.00
1922 South Shore † Kenny Parrington Fred H. Schelke Thorncliffe Stable 2:12.00
1921 Herendesy James H. Butwell George Walker Brookdale Stable 2:10.00
1920 St. Paul Roxy Romanelli Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Sr. 2:09.00
1919 Ladder of Light † Lawrence Lyke Joseph H. Doane George W. Beardmore 2:09.40
1918 Springside Lee Mink Ed Whyte George M. Hendrie 2:08.80
1917 Belle Mahone Frank Robinson Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:08.80
1916 Mandarin Arthur Pickens Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:12.00
1915 Tartarean Harry Watts John Nixon Charles Millar 2:09.20
1914 Beehive Guy Burns Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Sr. 2:10.60
1913 Hearts of Oak Johnny Wilson Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Sr. 2:09.20
1912 Heresy Robert Small John Nixon Brookdale Stable 2:11.00
1911 St. Bass Eddie Dugan Harry Giddings Jr. Harry Giddings Sr. 2:08.80
1910 Parmer Johnny Wilson John Nixon Valley Farm Stable 2:12.40
1909 Shimonese † Clifford Gilbert John Nixon Valley Farm Stable 2:10.40
1908 Seismic Charles Fairbrother Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:11.00
1907 Kelvin James Foley Charles Phair T. Ambrose Woods 2:12.60
1906 Slaughter John K. Treubel Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:11.60
1905 Inferno H. Kelly Phillips Barry Littlefield Joseph E. Seagram 2:12.00
1904 Sapper Jimmy Walsh John Dyment Jr. Nathaniel Dyment 2:12.00
1903 Thessalon Quintin Castro John Dyment Jr. Nathaniel Dyment 2:15.50
1902 Lyddite † Sam Wainwright Ed Whyte William Hendrie 2:15.00
1901 John Ruskin Harry Vititoe Harry Blair Joseph E. Seagram 2:18.75
1900 Dalmoor Harry Lewis Harry Blair Joseph E. Seagram 2:14.00
1899 Butter Scotch † R. J. Mason Eddie Whyte William Hendrie 2:15.50
1898 Bon Ino † Tiny Williams Charles Boyle Joseph E. Seagram 2:15.50
1897 Ferdinand Harry Lewis Charles Boyle Joseph E. Seagram 2:13.00
1896 Millbrook Harry Lewis John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:19.00
1895 Bonniefield Alf Brooker John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:17.50
1894 Joe Miller Frank Regan John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:28.50
1893 Martello Harry Blaylock John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:14.00
1892 O'Donohue F. Horton John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:22.00
1891 Victorious Michael Gorman John R. Walker Joseph E. Seagram 2:14.50
1890 Kitestring † Fred Coleman Daniel Curtin Thomas D. Hodgens 2:22.00
1889 Colonist Richard O'Leary Richard O'Leary J. D. Matheson 2:16.00
1888 Harry Cooper Richard O'Leary Richard O'Leary J. D. Matheson 2:18.50
1887 Bonnie Duke Charlie Wise William E. Owen Robert Bond 2:19.00
1886 Wild Rose † Charles Butler Charles Butler David Watson Campbell 2:48.25
1885 Willie W. William Jamieson Erastus Burgess Erastus Burgess 2:58.00
1884 Williams A. Martin A. Martin John Halligan 2:50.75
1883 Roddy Pringle Jacob Smith Charles Boyle Charles Boyle 2:52.50
1882 Fanny Wiser † Allie Gates W.E. Owen Arthur Abingdon Stable 2:51.00
1881 Vice Chancellor Mr. Brown Erastus Burgess John White 2:53.00
1880 Bonnie Bird † Richard O'Leary Erastus Burgess John Forbes 2:47.00
1879 Moss Rose † Allie Gates Jonathan Scott John White 2:54.50
1878 King George Allie Gates Richard O'Leary Col. John Peters 2:49.50
1877 Amelia † Charles Phair Jonathan Scott John White 2:56.50
1876 Norah P. † Mr. Cook Daniel Curtin Col. John Peters 2:52.00
1875 Young Trumpeter Unknown Daniel Schoff R. Ellison & C. Horton 2:52.50
1874 The Swallow † John Hazard William H. Hannon Dr. Robert Thompson 2:51.75
1873 Mignonette † Unknown Jacob Smith Roddy Pringle 2:57.00
1872 Fearnaught Richard O'Leary Richard O'Leary Alex Simpson 2:54.50
1871 Floss † James Lee Robert T. Davies Robert T. Davies 3:21.00
1870 John Bell John Bennett Charlie N. Gates Charlie N. Gates 3:54.50
1869 Bay Jack Abe Robinson Jr. James Berry Edward S. Bilton 3:50.00
1868 Nettie † Archie Fisher Jonathan Scott James & John White 3:55.00
1867 Wild Rose † Alex McLaughlin Mr. Fagan James & John White 1:50.50
1866 Beacon Johnny Gagen Johnny Gagen Peter D. McKellar 1:54.00
1865 Lady Norfolk † Unknown John Sheppard John Sheppard Ukn
1864 Brunette † Unknown Dr. George D. Morton Dr. George D. Morton 2:00.00
1863 Touchstone William Small James White James & John White 1:59.00
1862 Palermo Charles S. Littlefield Charles Boyle George C. Chalmers 2:03.00
1861 Wild Irishman Ben Alcott George Cameron[23] George Henderson 2:00.00
1860 Don Juan Charles S. Littlefield James White James White 1:58.00

† indicates a filly


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  15. ^ Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2005). Silverware. Toronto, Ontario: Fenn Publishing. pp. 28–29. ISBN 1-55168-296-6.
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  18. ^ Campbell, Alex (21 June 2012). "Eaves: Closure of Woodbine Possible in 2013". Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  19. ^ "Queen's Plate Winners". Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  20. ^ Angst, Frank (18 April 2023). "Fort Erie, Woodbine at Odds Over Triple Crown Schedule". The Blood-Horse. Retrieved 21 April 2023.
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  23. ^ Toronto Star, February 7, 1935