Horse racing fans of Ontario and Canada had plenty of live harness action last weekend as last Sunday’s card at Woodbine Racetrack featured four Standardbred racing stakes. The four stakes combined accumulated to over CA$600,000 in purses, and fans of the sport watched graduates of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s sales compete against each other.
The four stakes in Sunday’s card were the CA$201,200 Simcoe Stakes for colts and geldings, the CA$201,600 Muskoka Stakes for filly companions. Then there they were the CA$100,000 Elgin Stakes for colts and gelding, and the CA$100,000 Algoma for fillies with both over seven furlongs on the Tapeta, featured 3-year-olds.
Starting off with Lorena (CA$3.50) for Gary Boulanger, who started slow the CA$100,000 Algoma Stakes but eventually emerged victorious with a time of 1:23.79. This was her second career stake win and fourth score from five starts for trainer Stuart Simon. This was great for the team behind her as they arrived for the event after previously placing eighth in the Woodbine Oaks in August.
The CA$100,000 Elgin Stakes was claimed by Secret Reserve (CA$3.20) who once again impressed the crowds. The horse is owned by Carlo D’Amato and Stacey Van Camp, and trained by Mike Mattine, and won the race with a final time of 1:22.30. Mason’s Gamble came second, followed by Jelgo who was a second behind, and Perfect Crime arriving fourth.
Baksheesh made her first start for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber, and managed to win the CA$201,600 Muskoka Stakes for 2-year-old fillies foaled in Canada. Thatsitthatsall, at 18-1, finished second, with Proud Speaker ending at third place. Backsheesh who was purchased for CA$18,000 has now made CA$120,000 with her victory on Sunday.
Then at the CA$201,200 Simcoe Stakes for 2-year-old colts and gelding foaled in Canada, Ironstone emerged as the winning one. The horse clocked 1:16.61 for 6 ½-furlongs on the main under regular rider Ademar Santos. Where’s Neal, made an impressive debut and managed to claim second place. With Chairman Bob coming third. Ironstone earned CA$120,000 for his win, after being purchased for CA$7,000 at the local select sale.
The Queen’s Plate
In August horse racing fans had the opportunity to witness the 162nd edition of The Queen’s Plate, which is one of the most prestigious live harness races in the country. Woodbine Entertainment reported that during the weekend of the event, fans have recorded an impressive number of bets, as this year’s total volume is the second-largest until now. Sunday’s August 22, 2021, 13-race card has managed to generate over CA$16.1 million in wagering handle.
Changes to the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship
This week Standardbred Canada announced that the Board of Directors has approved a motion to make some changes to the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship. According to the changes candidates for the honor will be assessed on several conditions such as the development of young horses under their wing for the duration of a year. As well as the award will now be open to small and large operations horsepeople.
Source: “Price is right: Canadian Sales Stakes grads deliver huge paydays”, Woodbine Entertainment, August 29, 2021