Four Canadian Horse Racing Events to Look for in 2023

The Canadian Horse Calendar has been confirmed, we are going to races again after a year-long hiatus, and we finally have something to get excited about and to get dressed up for of course. Let us look at some of the much-anticipated events of this year. First, we look at Canada’s Triple Crown which is made up of the Queen’s Plate, Prince of Wales Stakes, and Breeders Stake.

Kings Plate

The prestigious Kings Plate takes place in August at the Woodbine Racetrack, in Toronto Ontario. The 2km track is left-handed with a Tapeta surface, this race is for three-year-old Canadian -bred thoroughbreds. This year’s purse is set to be $ 1 million and the organisers promise a good race this year, the event is sponsored by Budweiser amongst others, and will take place on the 20th of August and will be the first race of the OLG (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp) Triple Crown Series

Prince of Wales Stakes

The following month in September is the Prince of Wales Stakes which takes place at Fort Erie Racetrack in Fort Erie. This dirt surface track is also left-handed but slightly shorter than woodbine at 1.9km. This year’s purse is $400,000 which is a lot considering that in 1953 the purse was a mere $2,500. The first Prince of Wales stake took place in Toronto on the 3rd of June 1929 and over the years it has become Fort Eries’ biggest race. This year’s race promises not to disappoint, aside from the actual race there will be live music, food trucks, and other entertainment, admission, and parking are free.

Breeders Stakes

Then in October, we head back to Woodbine for the last race of the Triple Crown, the race is 2.4km long with a purse of $400,000. Hopefully this year a contender will break the 28-year-old record set by Charlie’s Dewan.

Placing Your Bets

You can browse the best Canadian casinos for horse race betting as most online casinos have good sportsbooks attached to them. Because of the break in racehorse events, we will most likely see new contenders in this year’s Triple Crown. This new blood should make the odds exciting because they have no history to reference but they also have everything to prove. There are more races to be held throughout the year but the Triple Crown events are the most popular and the most lucrative not only for the owners and organizers but for the bookies and punters as well.

Other notable races are the Bison City Stakes on 13 August and the Wonder Where Stakes on September 10th, both these races have $250,000 purses. In celebration of Canada Day on the 1st of July, there will be five graded stakes, the Grade 2 Nassau and Grade 2 Highlander, as well as the Grade 3 Marine Stakes, and Grade 3 Dominion Day. So if you miss the Triple Crown events there are plenty of other opportunities for you to place your wagers.

Grade 1 Canadian International

The purse for the 84th edition of the Canadian International is a whopping $750,000. The event returns on the 8th of October to the Woodbine racetrack with a new 2.01km distance. 

This race has had some famous winners and made others famous. Who can forget three-time winner Joshua Tree (IRE) (2010,2012/13) or the iconic win by current champion Walton Street? Hall of Famer Secretariat had his final race and victory at this race in 1973 making it one of the most memorable races. The Canadian International has been around 1938 and started on dirt tracks to now being held at the E.P Taylor Turf Course.

Interesting Facts

  • Frank Dettori has ridden the most winners of the Canadian International (2000,2004,2012,2021)
  • The Kings Plate was known as the Queen’s Plate (1860 -1901) and (1952-2022)
  • The Kings Plate is the oldest constantly run race in North America ( bar 2021)
  • 12 horses are recognized as Triple Crown Winners.
  • This year will be the 50th anniversary of Secretariats’ iconic victory over the Canadian International

Last Word

After signing a two-year deal with the HPBA (Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario), Woodbine Entertainment is ready to start the 2023 live racing season. The 2023 racing season officially kicks off on Saturday the 22 April, and we cannot wait, with a staggering $62 million in prize money for the two years (2023 and 2024) and 262 race dates (133 in 2023 and 129 in 2024) we are in for some great entertainment and horse race betting.

As thrilling as racehorse racing is, we don’t want you to lose your head, so bet sensibly and with logic. Manage your bankroll and stick to your limits, don’t try to cover your losses by betting more since that doesn’t guarantee any winnings. Always do your research before wagering and remember to enjoy race days even if you can’t watch them live, racehorse events are for entertainment more than anything.

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