~ edited press release
Woodbine Entertainment releases its stakes schedule for the 2023 Thoroughbred racing season at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario on Monday evening.
The 2023 Thoroughbred season at Woodbine Racetrack opens on Saturday, April 22 and runs through Sunday, December 10.
The number of race days remains at 133 with this start date. However, the number of race dates remains under consideration in consultation with the regulators and the horse racing community. In the event of reduced race dates the number of individual races will be substantially the same as 2022 through the redistribution of races to other periods during the meet.
The lucrative 2023 Thoroughbred stakes program will offer more than $17 million in purses, including 39 graded stakes, five Grade 1 events and two $1 million classics, The King’s Plate and Ricoh Woodbine Mile.
“Highlighted by the return of the Canadian International, and the first running of The King’s Plate in 70 years, this year’s stakes program at Woodbine will be as exciting as ever,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment.
The 164th running of The King’s Plate is scheduled for Sunday, August 20 to launch the OLG Canadian Triple Crown. The $400,000 Prince of Wales will be run on Tuesday, September 12 at Fort Erie Race Track, while the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes will be contested on Sunday, October 1.
The Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile is accompanied by the $500,000 Grade 1 Johnnie Walker Natalma Stakes and $500,000 Grade 1 Summer Stakes on Saturday, September 16 for a super showcase of turf talent. The trio of Grade 1 events are all part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series.
The biggest addition to the 2023 stakes schedule is the return of the Grade 1 Canadian International. The iconic race will have its 84th running on Sunday, October 8 at a new distance of a mile and a quarter over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. The Grade 1 E.P. Taylor for fillies and mares will also be contested on October 8. Both Grade 1 races will be run for a purse of $750,000.
The Algonquin Stakes, formerly the Ontario Racing Stakes, will be run on Sunday, October 8 as well with an increased purse of $200,000 for two-year-olds on the inner turf.
The $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser will launch the Canadian Triple Tiara on Sunday, July 23. The $250,000 Bison City Stakes (August 13) and $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes (September 10) complete the Triple Tiara.
Fans will also want to make note of July 1, as Woodbine will celebrate Canada Day in style with five graded stakes races. The Grade 2 Nassau, Grade 2 Highlander, Grade 3 Dominion Day, Grade 3 Selene and Grade 3 Marine Stakes are all scheduled for the nation’s birthday.
To view the entire 2023 Thoroughbred stakes schedule, click here.