Like the Kentucky Derby is to Churchill Downs, the Queen’s Plate is to Woodbine Racetrack. Canada’s oldest Thoroughbred horse race and the longest continuously run race in North America is regarded as one of the most prestigious for three-year-olds. Held approximately 20 miles west of Toronto, one of the largest and most fashion forward countries in the world, Woodbine’s marquee race attracts a crowd unlike any other. Here are 10 facts about to get better acquainted with the soiree of the summer.
10 FACTS TO KNOW
1. The Queen’s Plate is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.
2. Like its American counterpart (the Kentucky Derby), the Queen’s Plate is also run at the 1 ¼ mile distance; however, it is run on tapeta/synthetic instead of dirt.
3. It is open to both male and female three-year-olds bred in Canada and does not grant entry to Thoroughbreds bred on foreign soil.
4. Sir Casimir Gzowski, then president of the Toronto Turf Club, initiated the race in 1859 and the inaugural Queen’s Plate was run on June 27, 1860 at Carleton racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. The grand prize, presented by Queen Victoria of Great Britain, was 50 guineas.
5. In 1902, the year that followed Queen Victoria’s death, the Queen’s Plate became the King’s Plate, after successor Edward VII. It wasn’t until 1952, When Queen Elizabeth II came to throne that the Queen’s Plate regained its original name.
6. Since 1956, the Queen’s Plate has been run at Woodbine Racetrack, located in Etobicoke, Ontario.
7. In 2006, Josie Carroll became the first female trainer to win the race, and Emma-Jayne Wilson became the first female jockey to win it just one year later in 2007.
8. Three jockeys have won the race four times: Avelino Gomez, Sandy Hawley and Robin Platts.
9. In 1964, Northern Dancer won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before galloping to a win in the Queen’s Plate. He went on to become one of the most influential sires, was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 1965 and, to this day, is considered a Canadian icon.
10. A total of 36 fillies have won the race. The first being Brunette in 1864.
To learn more about the Queen’s Plate visit www.QueensPlate.com