Industry Reports

Desert Encounter Emerges Triumphant Second Time in a Row at Woodbine

Horse racing at Woodbine Racetrack is a never-ending excitement, evident on a regular basis during the live season. This weekend was a rather special one, as it saw the 82nd running of the Grade I Pattison Canadian International elevating Thoroughbred racing on a whole new level. Desert Encounter was the triumphant winner at the end of the turf race for CA$800,000. The track was among the preferred ones by the participants – E.P. Taylor Turf Course.

For the 82nd time, Thoroughbred racing enthusiasts had the chance to experience the thrill of live racing of three-year-olds and upward part of the Grade I Pattison Canadian International race. The purse of this event is a rather hefty one, amounting to CA$800,000, with the winner bagging a CA$480,000 slice of the overall amount. This was a motivation enough for six horses to enter and run for the win.

Woodbine Racetrack Welcomed International Favorites

Three of those horses were European bright stars to the likes of Ziyad of Great Britain, Pivoine of Ireland, as well as Alounak of France. The remaining racers were the Kentucky shipper Nessy, Pumpkin Rumble, as well as the ultimate winner, Desert Encounter. The latter finished first at the 2018 race and all eyes were set on it at the beginning of this weekend’s race.

Andrea Atzeni was Desert Encounter’s jockey last year, something that remained unchanged this year. Trainer of the winning horse is David Simcock, once again relying on the established dynamics between the two of them and the horse. The 1 ½ mile distance was supposed to be dominated at a steady pace, starting last and outrunning all horses when the time arrives.

Jockey Atzeni said that the horse felt good on the turf and among his rivals for the grand prizes. He noticed an improvement since the victorious performance last year. Mr. Atzeni has gotten used to winning at Woodbine Racetrack, as he succeeded in emerging victorious during the 2018 Grade I E.P. Taylor Stakes with Sheikha Reika.

‘Stronger Together’ on October 18

This year saw the 82nd running of this renowned race, but this is actually the 62nd edition using turf. The largest purse available at the end of the Pattison Canadian International was reached in 2010 when racing horses had the chance to bag CA$2,013,600 at the end of the race. Last year the favorite Thundering Blue managed to make it to the runner up position right next to Desert Encounter.

The age range of this evens is three-year-olds and upwards, but it should be taken into account that the oldest winner of this event was Collier Hill. Back in 2006, the then eight-year-old succeeded in outrunning all rivals on his way to the first place. Moreover, a ten-year-old horse called Yovana’s Pace is the all-time racer of the Grade I Pattison Canadian International.

Woodbine Entertainment wants to have a meaningful conversation on the subject, which is scheduled to happen on October 18. The organized panel discussion called ‘Stronger Together’ is about to take place at Woodbine Mohawk Park and gather leading names in the industry.