Woodbine Racetrack

Woodbine Racetrack

Woodbine Racetrack is a Canadian racetrack for Thoroughbred horse races located at 555 Rexdale Blvd. in the city of Toronto, Ontario. It is the only horseracing track in North America which stages, or is capable of staging, thoroughbred and standardbred horseracing programs on the same day. It is owned by Woodbine Entertainment Group, formerly known as the Ontario Jockey Club.

The track was opened in 1956. It has been extensively remodelled since 1993, and in 2004 has three racecourses:

History

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 there were transferred to the new Woodbine in 1994; it had been exclusively devoted to thoroughbred racing before then.

The Breeders' Cup was held at Woodbine in 1996. The Arlington Million was held at Woodbine in 1988.

The Woodbine facility is also home to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Physical Attributes

The outermost, the E. P. Taylor turf course for thoroughbreds, is one and a half miles (2414 m) long with a chute allowing races of a mile and an eighth (1811 m) 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 ft 6 in to 3 ft (80 cm to 90 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.

Inside the Taylor course is the main Polytrack course for Thoroughbreds. A left-handed one-mile oval with chutes facilitating races at seven furlongs (1408 m) and at a mile and a quarter (2011 m), the Polytrack synthetic dirt surface has been in use since August 30, 2006.

Inside the Polytrack course is an oval Standardbred racecourse seven-eighths (1408 m) of a mile in circumference, made of crushed limestone.

The ground floor of the stands houses a slot machine parlour. Some of the income from the slot machines is used to supplement the horserace purses.

tandardbred races

Major harness races run at Woodbine include the Breeders Crown for 2-year olds and 3-year olds of both sexes and gaits (pacing/trotting) every other year. When the track doesn't host the Breeders Crown, it hosts the "Fall Final Four" consisting of the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year old filly trotters; the Valley Victory for 2-year old colt and gelding trotters; the Three Diamonds for 2-year old filly pacers, and the Governors Cup for 2-year old colt and gelding pacers.

Woodbine was also the host of the C$1,500,000 North America Cup for 3-year old pacing colts and geldings from 1994-2006. That race along with the Elegantimage Stakes for 3-year old filly trotters and the Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year old colt and gelding trotters, have been moved to Woodbine's sister track, Mohawk Raceway.

Thoroughbred races

Major Stakes races for Thoroughbreds run annually at Woodbine include:
* the Queen's Plate, a grade 1-C stakes for three-year-old Canadian-bred thoroughbreds, first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown
* the Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Turf, a Grade I stakes run on Queen's Plate day
* the Breeders' Stakes, a grade 1-C stakes for three-year-old Canadian-bred thoroughbreds, third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown
* the Woodbine Mile, a grade I thoroughbred turf stakes
* the Canadian International, a grade 1 thoroughbred turf stakes
* the E. P. Taylor Stakes, a grade 1 Thoroughbred race for fillies and mares

takes races restricted to horses foaled in Canada:

*Achievement Stakes
*Bison City Stakes
*Breeders' Stakes
*Clarendon Stakes
*Coronation Futurity Stakes
*Cup and Saucer Stakes
*Fury Stakes
*Plate Trial Stakes
*Princess Elizabeth Stakes
*Queen's Plate
*Queenston Stakes
*Shady Well Stakes
*Vandal Stakes
*Wonder Where Stakes
*Woodbine Oaks

Ontario Sire Stakes:

*Ballade Stakes
*Bull Page Stakes
*Bunty Lawless Stakes
*Deputy Minister Stakes
*Frost King Stakes
*Kingarvie Stakes
*La Prevoyante Stakes
*New Providence Stakes
*Overskate Stakes
*Shepperton Stakes
*Sir Barton Stakes
*Vice Regent Stakes
*Victoriana Stakes

Grade I

*Canadian International Stakes
*E. P. Taylor Stakes
*Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Turf
*Woodbine Mile

Grade II

*Autumn Stakes
*Canadian Stakes
*Dance Smartly Stakes
*Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes
*King Edward Breeders' Cup Stakes
*Nassau Stakes
*Nearctic Stakes
*Nijinsky Stakes
*Play The King Stakes
*Sky Classic Stakes

Grade III

*Connaught Cup Stakes
*Dominion Day Stakes
*Durham Cup Stakes
*Eclipse Stakes
*Hendrie Stakes
*Highlander Stakes
*Kennedy Road Stakes
*Marine Stakes
*Mazarine Stakes
*Natalma Stakes
*Ontario Derby
*Royal North Stakes
*Seagram Cup Stakes
*Seaway Stakes
*Selene Stakes
*Singspiel Stakes
*Summer Stakes
*Vigil Stakes
*Whimsical Stakes

Ungraded

*Bessarabian Stakes
*Colin Stakes
*Display Stakes
*Duchess Stakes
*Glorious Song Stakes
*Hill 'n' Dale Stakes
*Jacques Cartier Stakes
*La Lorgnette Stakes
*Maple Leaf Stakes
*My Dear Stakes
*Ontario Debutante Stakes
*Ontario Matron Stakes
*Star Shoot Stakes
*Swynford Stakes
*Toronto Cup Stakes
*Victoria Park Stakes
*Victoria Stakes
*Woodstock Stakes

References

* [http://www.woodbineentertainment.com/qct/default.asp Woodbine Racetrack]
* [http://www.ntra.com/track.aspx?id=5619 Woodbine Racetrack at the NTRA]


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