Woodbine Entertainment’s 2022 Thoroughbred season came to an end and according to the operator’s latest reports, it is one for the history books. In a press release, the horse racing leader said that the season has generated the largest all-source single-season handle with CA$621,782,346. Thus, shattering its record set in 2018 with CA$533 million.
Due to the unprecedented situation of March 2020 and related closures in 2020 and 2021, the 2022 Thoroughbred season was the first full one contested at Woodbine Racetrack since 2019. Both the 2020 and 2021 racing calendars suffered from delays and interruptions due to the health and safety protocols mandated by the provincial government to stop the spread of the virus.
Smashing the All-Source Handle Record
For the 2022 Thoroughbred season, the Toronto track set a new record for all-source single season-handle with CA$621,782,346. Meanwhile, the track also continued its strong foreign market performance and saw a record-setting amount in the foreign handle of CA$515 million. This amount smashed the previous international handle from the 2021 season with CA$420 million.
In its report, the group also informs that the home market area generated over CA$87.2 million in handle for the season. The Thoroughbred track saw an average CA$519,016 handle per race in 2022. This was a higher race average than any season prior to the unprecedented situation results. Also, the average filed size in 2022 was 8.2, which is above the average for the season.
Additional highlights from its 2022 season, include the fact that 25 race cards exceeded CA$6 million in handle. The previous record was 11 in 2019. The 163rd edition of the prestigious The Queen’s Plate was won by the filly Moira, who was led to victory by jockey Rafael Hernandez. Meanwhile, the Ricoh Woodbine Mile was captured by Modern Games.
CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, Jim Lawson, shared that the group is pleased with the 2022 season results. He commented that at the start of the unprecedented situation he felt that through the industry’s determination and resiliency, the sport would be able to come out stronger. And the organization’s new record for the 2022 Thoroughbred season proves that the sector is on the right track.
Queen’s Plate has been Renamed
Last but not least, in 2022, Ontario’s horse racing leader announced that it will be rebranding its The Queen’s Plate for its 2023 Woodbine Thoroughbred season. Next year, the renowned race will be known as The King’s Plate. The change of the name comes after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II who was succeeded by King Charles III.
According to the horse racing operator and provided that there are no closures such as the ones from 2020 and 2021, the 2022 season is slated to kick off at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Meanwhile, the 164th edition of The King’s Plate is scheduled for Sunday, August 20, 2022. The full schedule for the track should be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Source: “Woodbine Thoroughbred meet generates largest all-sources handle in track history” Woodbine Entertainment, December 14, 2022