Entries will be drawn for the first of 129 racing dates at Woodbine this year on Wednesday and from the buzz, field size should not be an issue for the Saturday and Sunday cards.

Adding great interest to the opening weekend for avid racing fans are two stakes races for three-year-olds which could have a King’s Plate or Woodbine Oaks candidate or two in the fields. The Star Shoot for fillies at 6 furlongs is Saturday and the Woodstock is on Sunday.

Both races are also expected to attract a few American stables such as Arnaud Delacour and Saffie Joseph Jr.

Canada’s Sovereign Award-winning jockey KAZUSHI KIMURA will miss the first three days of the season due to a suspension from late last year. Kimura is also getting set to ride in his second Kentucky Derby, as he has the mount on Japanese colt T O Password.

As with last year, there is no shortage of riders for early Woodbine, plus there are more than half a dozen apprentice riders set to get to work.

Woodbine has a new tote board and the former Favourites dining room is going to be up and running this year, called the Turf Lounge (not the same as the track’s popular Turf Lounge on Bay Street from a few years ago).

WOODBINE SELECTIONS: Canadian Thoroughbred hopes to have its race-day selections available on this site as of opening day.

STAKES SCHEDULE: The iconic King’s Plate headlines the 2024 racing meet with the 165th running scheduled for Saturday, August 17. The King’s Plate and the Woodbine Mile serve as Woodbine’s prestigious $1 million classics, while the full stakes schedule consists of 38 graded stakes, including four Grade 1 events.

The 165th King’s Plate on Saturday, August 17 will launch the 2024 Canadian Triple Crown. The $400,000 Prince of Wales (raced at Fort Erie Race Track) will be held on Tuesday, September 10, while the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes will conclude the Triple Crown on Sunday, September 29 at Woodbine.

Racing fans around the world will be focused on Woodbine for Canada’s most lucrative day of racing on Saturday, September 14.

The Woodbine Mile leads a quartet of Grade 1 turf events on September 14, accompanied by the Grade 1 $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes, Grade 1 $500,000 Johnnie Walker Natalma Stakes and Grade 1 $500,000 bet365 Summer Stakes.

The Woodbine Mile, Johnnie Walker Natalma and bet365 Summer are traditionally part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In”. The E.P. Taylor Stakes has been moved up three weeks from its date in 2023 to join the outstanding turf showcase.