Woodbine Racetrack is a racetrack for thoroughbred horse racing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Owned by Woodbine Entertainment Group, Woodbine Racetrack manages and hosts Canada's most famous race, The Queen's Plate. Also, Woodbine offers a variety of dining options, from pizza and burgers to fine dining.
Woodbine Racetrack logo
|Location||555 Rexdale Boulevard|
|Owned by||Woodbine Entertainment Group|
|Date opened||June 12, 1956|
|Course type||Flat thoroughbred/harness|
|Notable races||Canadian International Stakes (Grade I)|
Woodbine Mile (Grade I)
E.P. Taylor Stakes (Grade I)
Nearctic Stakes (Grade I)
Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (Grade I)
The track was opened in 1956. It has been extensively remodelled since 1993, and since 1994 has had three racecourses.
The current Woodbine carries the name originally used by a racetrack which operated in east Toronto, at Queen Street East and Kingston Road, from 1874 through 1993. (While the Old Woodbine Race Course was at the south end of Woodbine Avenue, the current Woodbine is nowhere near it.) On June 12, 1956 the name was transferred to the new racetrack which would be known as New Woodbine Racetrack until 1963 when the "New" was dropped from the name. The old track was converted to a combined thoroughbred and standardbred track known thereafter as Old Woodbine or, for most of the rest of its history, as Greenwood Raceway (during standardbred meets) and Greenwood Race Track (during thoroughbred meets). The two thoroughbred and two standardbred meets conducted at Greenwood were transferred to the new Woodbine in 1994, which was until then exclusively devoted to thoroughbred racing. On July 4, 2010 Queen Elizabeth II visited the Racetrack as part of her state visit to Canada, viewing the 151st running of The Queen's Plate Stakes, as well as taking part in the presentation of trophies.
The track was the opening venue for the 1976 Summer Paralympics.
The Woodbine facility is also home to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
In 2018, the track began using a GPS-based timing system.
The outermost E. P. Taylor turf course for thoroughbreds, completed in 1994, is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long with a chute allowing races of 1.125 miles (1.811 km) to be run around one turn. It is irregularly shaped, the clubhouse turn departing from the traditional North American oval, and the backstretch is from 2.5 feet (76 cm) to 3 feet (91 cm) higher than the homestretch. The Taylor turf course and the main dirt course at Belmont Park on New York's Long Island are the only mile-and-a-half layouts in North American thoroughbred racing. In 2016, Woodbine will contest up to 40 turf races running clockwise (right-hand turns) in what are being billed as "EuroTurf" races.
Inside the Taylor course is the 1 mile (1.6 km) synthetic course for Thoroughbreds. As of 2016, the surface is Tapeta; it was Polytrack between 2006 and 2015, and a natural dirt surface prior to that. Two chutes facilitate races at seven furlongs [.875 miles (1.408 km)] and at 1.25 miles (2.01 km).
The innermost oval was originally a 7/8-mile [.875 miles (1.408 km)] grass oval until the E. P. Taylor turf course opened in 1994. It was then converted to a crushed limestone dirt course and was used for harness racing until April 2018. It was then converted back to a second turf course for the 2019 thoroughbred racing season. The first race on the new Inner Turf was run on June 28, 2019 and was won by Bold Rally with Eurico Rosa da Silva aboard.
Portions of the current E. P. Taylor turf course (the backstretch and far turn) originally formed part of a long turf chute that crossed over the dirt course to the inner turf oval at the top of the stretch. This was used for several major races, including Secretariat's final race in the 1973 Canadian International, until the entire E. P. Taylor course was completed in 1994.
Woodbine has been a regular host for the Breeders Crown. Since the event changed to a one-night format in 2010, the facility has hosted three times—2011, 2012, and 2015.
Woodbine was also the host of the C$1,500,000 North America Cup for three-year old pacing colts and geldings from 1994–2006. That race along with the Elegant Image Stakes for three-year old filly trotters and the Good Times Stakes for three-year old colt and gelding trotters, have been moved to Woodbine's sister track, Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Starting in 2018, all standardbred racing has been moved to Woodbine Mohawk, as the 7/8 standardbred track is being converted into a 2nd turf course.
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The record for most wins by a jockey on a single raceday at Woodbine is seven, set by Richard Grubb on May 16, 1967, and twice equaled by the legendary Canadian jockey Sandy Hawley, first on May 22, 1972 and then again on October 10, 1974.
Major Stakes races for Thoroughbreds run annually at Woodbine include the:
- Queen's Plate, a stakes for three-year-old Canadian-bred thoroughbreds, first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. Because the race is restricted to Canadian-bred horses, it is not eligible for grading, despite being one of Canada's most prestigious races
- Northern Dancer Turf Stakes, a turf mile-and-one-half Grade 1 stakes run in early fall as the final prep for the Canadian International or Breeders' Cup Turf
- Breeders' Stakes, a stakes for three-year-old Canadian-bred thoroughbreds, third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown
- Woodbine Mile, a grade I thoroughbred turf stakes
- Canadian International, a grade 1 thoroughbred turf stakes
- E. P. Taylor Stakes, a grade 1 Thoroughbred turf race for fillies and mares
Stakes races restricted to horses foaled in CanadaEdit
Stakes races restricted to horses foaled in OntarioEdit
Ontario Sire StakesEdit
- Ballade Stakes
- Bold Ruckus Stakes
- Bull Page Stakes
- Bunty Lawless Stakes
- Classy 'N Smart Stakes
- Deputy Minister Stakes
- Frost King Stakes
- Kingarvie Stakes
- Lady Angela Stakes
- La Prevoyante Stakes
- Nandi Stakes
- New Providence Stakes
- Overskate Stakes
- Shepperton Stakes
- Sir Barton Stakes
- Steady Growth Stakes
- Vice Regent Stakes
- Victoriana Stakes
CTHS Yearling Sales StakesEdit
- Bold Venture Stakes
- Dominion Day Stakes
- Durham Cup Stakes
- Eclipse Stakes
- Hendrie Stakes
- Kennedy Road Stakes
- Marine Stakes
- Mazarine Stakes
- Natalma Stakes
- Ontario Derby
- Ontario Fashion Stakes
- Royal North Stakes
- Seagram Cup Stakes
- Seaway Stakes
- Selene Stakes
- Singspiel Stakes
- Summer Stakes
- Valedictory Stakes
- Vigil Stakes
- Whimsical Stakes
- Bessarabian Stakes
- Colin Stakes
- Display Stakes
- Duchess Stakes
- Glorious Song Stakes
- Jacques Cartier Stakes
- La Lorgnette Stakes
- Maple Leaf Stakes
- My Dear Stakes
- Ontario Colleen Stakes
- Ontario Debutante Stakes
- Ontario Jockey Club Stakes
- Ontario Matron Stakes
- Star Shoot Stakes
- Swynford Stakes
- Toronto Cup Stakes
- Victoria Park Stakes
- Victoria Stakes
- Wando Stakes
- Woodstock Stakes
- Zadracarta Stakes
- Hegarty, Matt (October 11, 2018). "Woodbine, Laurel, Pimlico officially adopt GPS timing system". DRF. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
- "EuroTurf Series launches in Woodbine's Friday opener" (Press release). Toronto, ON: Woodbine Entertainment. 2016-06-07. Retrieved 2016-06-07.
- "Training begins on Woodbine's new Tapeta surface" (Press release). Toronto, ON: Woodbine Entertainment. 2016-03-18. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
- "Woodbine Celebrates Milestone for New Turf Course" (Press release). Toronto, ON: Woodbine Entertainment Group. 13 June 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- Ferguson, Paul (28 June 2019). "Queen's Plate favourite Avie's Flatter not worried about starting from the outside post". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
Da Silva also made history on Friday, becoming the first rider to win on the new inner turf course. He rode Bold Rally to a narrow victory over Badjeros Boy in the $37,500 claiming race.
- "Join Our Team". One Toronto Gaming. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- "Table Games". One Toronto Gaming. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- "Woodbine's new Turf Course on Track". Woodbine Entertainment Group. May 28, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
- Official website
- Casino Woodbine
- Woodbine Racetrack at the NTRA
- Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, York University – Archival photographs of Woodbine Racetrack from the Toronto Telegram fonds.