Woodbine Entertainment, in partnership with Century Mile, announced on April 5 the winner of the Grade 3 Canadian Derby will be awarded free entry to the Grade 3 Ontario Derby, with potential of earning a $50,000 bonus.
The Grade 3 Canadian Derby will be run on August 20, 2022, at Century Mile in Nisku, Alberta. The winner of the race will receive free entry to the Grade 3 Ontario Derby on October 23, 2022, at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. If a horse can win both events, the winning connections will receive a bonus of $50,000, split evenly by Woodbine and Century Mile.
“This exciting initiative provides a great opportunity to connect our sport across the country and further develop the Canadian Thoroughbred industry,” said Tim Lawson, Director of Thoroughbred Racing for Woodbine. “The Canadian Derby has a rich history, with many notable past champions, and we’re looking forward to welcoming this year’s winner to Woodbine for the Ontario Derby.”
Paul Ryneveld, Managing Director of Racing at Century Downs and Mile, echoed Lawson’s sentiments.
“Developing this East-West relationship in Canada will go a long way to strengthening the opportunities for horsemen and ultimately the wagering product across the nation.”
The Grade 3 Canadian Derby, which will have its 93rd running this year, is open to three-year-olds and run at a distance of a mile and a quarter on the dirt surface at Century Mile. It has been won by a litany of Canadian stars including the Woodbine filly Academic, who won in 2015 following her Woodbine Oaks victory.
The Grade 3 Ontario Derby, formerly the Colonel R.S. McLaughlin Stakes, is for three-year-olds is run at a distance of a mile and an eighth over the Tapeta surface at Woodbine. It was inaugurated in 1972 and has been won by Norcliffe, L’Enjoleur and Kiridashi, among others.
Woodbine Racetrack will launch its 2022 Thoroughbred season on Saturday, April 16. Century Mile will begin its 2022 Thoroughbred season on Saturday, April 30.