On Monday, March 6, 2023, Woodbine Entertainment announced its full stakes calendar for its highly-anticipated 2023 Thoroughbred racing season at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. This season’s schedule features over CA$17 million in purses, including 39 graded stakes, five Grade 1 events, as well as the prestigious The King’s Plate and Ricoh Woodbine Mile.
The Thoroughbred will officially kick off on Saturday, April 22, and will run until Sunday, December 10, 2023. There will be a total of 133 race dates, however, the number will remain under consideration in consultation with the regulators and the horse racing community. Provided that there are reduced race dates, individual races will be the same as last year.
Action-Packed 2023 Season
In its Monday, March 6, 2023 press, the horse racing leader provided its full stakes schedule for Thoroughbreds. Once more the season will be highlighted by The King’s Plate, which was recently renamed. This year will be the 164th running of the event and it will be hosted on Sunday, August 20, 2023. Its launch will greenlight the start of the Canadian Triple Crown.
Horse racing enthusiasts also have the CA$400,000 Prince of Wales to look forward to, which will take place on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at Fort Erie Race Track. Meanwhile, the CA$400,000 Breeders’ Stakes will be contested on Sunday, October 1, 2023. Also, Algonquin Stakes, previously known as Ontario Racing Stakes, will be on Sunday, October 8, 2023. It will have a boosted purse of CA$200,000 for two-year-olds on the inner turf.
Furthermore, the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile will go together with the CA$500,000 Grade 1 Johnnie Walker Natalma Stakes and the CA$500,000 Grade 1 Summer Stakes on Saturday, September 16, 2023. It should be mentioned, that the trio of Grade 1 events are all part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series.
Grade 1 Canadian International will also make its return for the 2023 season for its 84th edition. The landmark race will be hosted on Sunday, October 8, 2023, at a new distance of a mile and a quarter over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. Also, worth noting is that the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor for fillies and mares will also be contested on October 8, 2023.
In July, the CA$500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser will start the Canadian Triple Tiara. It also features the CA$250,000 Bison City Stakes on August 13, 2023, and the CA$250,000 Wonder Where Stakes on September 10, 2023. Grade 2 Nassau, Grade 2 Highlander, Grade 3 Dominion Day, Grade 3 Selene and Grade 3 Marine Stakes will be held on July 1, 2023.
Celebrating International Women’s Day
In order to celebrate International Women’s Day, Woodbine Entertainment will again host an all-female harness race at its Standardbred track, Woodbine Mohawk Park. The special event will take place on March 9, 2023, and will again field 10 female drivers. Last year’s edition of the race was captured by Natasha Day with the pacing mare Mach My Kiss.
Source: “Woodbine releases 2023 Thoroughbred stakes schedule” Woodbine Entertainment, March 6, 2023