Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Woodbine raises the stakes

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TORONTO – Caribbean jockeys will be vying for purses worth nearly CAN$68 million when the new season gets underway at Woodbine racetrack in Canada next month.

The campaign, which will run from April 21 to December 16, will feature 133 race days and 96 stakes races worth $16.6 million.

As is the tradition, the 159th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate – the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown – slated for June 30, will be the highlight of the season.

The Grade I $800 000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile has been carded for September 15, while the $800 000 Pattison Canadian International, another Grade I event, is set for October 13.

Three other added money races will highlight the Pattison undercard, with the Grade I $500 000 E.P. Taylor Stakes, Grade 2 $250 000 Nearctic Stakes and Grade 3 $125 000 Ontario Derby all scheduled.

“We are looking forward to presenting another exciting season of Thoroughbred racing at Woodbine for our loyal fans and horse people,” said Jonathan Zammit, vice-president, Thoroughbred Racing Operations. “With 41 graded races as well as four Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ Stakes, Woodbine remains one of the premier tracks to compete at in North America.”

Last season, seven-time Woodbine champion Barbadian Patrick Husbands finished fourth in the jockey championship, accumulating 127 wins and US$5.4 million in earnings. He remains one of the premier jockeys at the western Canada oval, having twice won the Queen’s Plate along with a host of other major races.

Husbands was the last jockey to win the cherished Triple Crown – which includes the Prince Of Wales Stakes and Breeders’ Stakes – with the legendary Wando back in 2003.

The 45-year-old is one of several Caribbean jockeys competing at Woodbine, along with the likes of older brother Simon Husbands, Jamaican Jermaine Bridgmohan and Guyanese Singh. (CMC)

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