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Jim Lawson Excited about This Year’s Queen’s Plate

Horse racing fans of Ontario have plenty of reasons for excitement this summer, as the highly-awaited Queen’s Plate will take place this August. CEO of Woodbine Entertainment is extremely optimistic about this year’s edition as it could be a 17-horse field. On top of that live spectators will be able to enjoy the annual stakes in-person, for the first time since 2019.

The Queen’s Plate 2021 is on schedule to take place on August 22, 2021, at Woodbine Racetrack, and for the first time since the beginning of the unprecedented situation live audiences will be permitted at the venue for the event. In compliance with the province’s health and safety protocols, Woodbine Entertainment expects around 5,000 spectators to attend the CA$1 million event this month.

Potential Contenders

For the first time since 2011, when Inglorious emerged as the grand winner, the Queen’s Plate could have a full field of 17 starters. CEO Jim Lawson recently said that it is very likely that we will be able to see a 17-horse field, according to him, this comes as great news as it would make the CA$1 million stakes even more exciting.

Probables for the annual race include 2021 Woodbine Oaks winner Munnyfor Ro, as trainer Kevin Attard said this week, that the horse has come out of the CA$500,000 race in a good form. However, the final decision on whether she will be taking part will be made when the gala event draws near. Munnyfor Ro proved that she is a capable candidate for the event after she won 1 1/8-mile Oaks on Woodbine’s Tapeta course in 1:50.31

A filly will not feature in the CA$1 million event is Weyburn, who was pointed as an early 3-1 favorite to win the event back in March. The horse is owned by Chiefswood Stables and general manager Robert Landry said that the timing of the event and it is run on Tapeta are two main reasons why the horse will not be participating in the stakes.

Latest Promotion

On Friday, the horse racing leader announced that Tim Lawson will be promoted to Director of Thoroughbred Racing at Woodbine Racetrack. Tim Lawson who previously took the position of Manager of Racing Development and Stabling Operations at the company has plenty of experience in his resume after working in Canada and the U.S. in several racing positions.

Closer to Normality

Last month, Woodbine Entertainment also reopened its Woodbine Mohawk Park for in-person spectating, this was the first time that fans set foot at the track since the occurrence of the unprecedented situation in March. Guests can now enjoy specifically designated indoor areas at the property for simulcasting and wagering. Face masks are a requirement and prior to their attendance visitors must make a booking.

Two Internships

Additionally, in July, the horse racing corporation announced two new Standardbred Racing Internship positions. This is a great opportunity for everyone who wants to familiarize themselves with the live harness industry. The perfect candidate will have experience in management positions and the approved ones will be able to take a closer look at how the Race Office, Stakes Manager, Bookkeeper, Charter, Placing Judge, and Paddock operate.

Source: “Woodbine Entertainment CEO Lawson optimistic about full 17-horse Queen’s Plate field”, Moosejaw Today, August 13, 2021