Woodbine Racetrack logo
|Owned by||Woodbine Entertainment Group|
|Date opened||June 12, 1956|
|Course type||Flat Thoroughbred/Harness|
Woodbine Mile (G1)
E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1)
Woodbine Racetrack is a Canadian racetrack for Thoroughbred horse races located at 555 Rexdale Blvd. in the city of Toronto, Ontario. It is the only horseracing track in North America which stages, or is capable of staging, thoroughbred and standardbred horseracing programs on the same day. However its sister track, Mohawk Raceway located in Campbellville, Ontario hosts most of the major standardbred races in the summer. It is owned by Woodbine Entertainment Group, formerly known as the Ontario Jockey Club.
The track was opened in 1956. It has been extensively remodelled since 1993, and since 1994 has three racecourses.
The current Woodbine carries the name originally used by a racetrack which operated in east Toronto, at Queen Street East and Kingston Road, from 1874 through 1993. (While the Old Woodbine Race Course was at the south end of Woodbine Avenue, the current Woodbine is nowhere near it.) On June 12, 1956 the name was transferred to the new racetrack which would be known as New Woodbine Racetrack until 1963 when the "New" was dropped from the name. The old track was converted to a combined thoroughbred and standardbred track known thereafter as Old Woodbine or, for most of the rest of its history, as Greenwood Raceway (during standardbred meets) and Greenwood Race Track (during thoroughbred meets). The two thoroughbred and two standardbred meets conducted at Greenwood were transferred to the new Woodbine in 1994, which was until then exclusively devoted to thoroughbred racing. On July 4, 2010 Queen Elizabeth II visited the Racetrack as part of her state visit to Canada, viewing the 151st running of The Queen’s Plate Stakes, as well as taking part in the presentation of trophies and holding a book signing.
The track was the opening venue for the 1976 Summer Paralympics.
The Woodbine facility is also home to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
The future status of Woodbine Racetrack is in doubt. Nick Eaves, President and CEO of Woodbine Entertainment Group, announced during the 2012 Queen's Plate post position draw that Woodbine may be forced to close in April of 2013 due to the cancellation of slot revenue-sharing by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
The outermost E. P. Taylor turf course for thoroughbreds is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long with a chute allowing races of 1.125 miles (1.811 km) to be run around one turn. It is irregularly shaped, the clubhouse turn departing from the traditional North American oval, and the backstretch is from 2.5 feet (76 cm) to 3 feet (91 cm) higher than the homestretch. The Taylor turf course and the main dirt course at Belmont Park on New York's Long Island are the only mile-and-a-half layouts in North American thoroughbred racing.
Inside the Taylor course is the main Polytrack course for Thoroughbreds. A left-handed one-mile oval with chutes facilitating races at seven furlongs [.875 miles (1.408 km)] and at 1.25 miles (2.01 km) the Polytrack synthetic dirt surface has been in use since August 30, 2006.
Inside the Polytrack course is an oval Standardbred racecourse seven-eighths of a mile [.875 miles (1.408 km) in circumference, made of crushed limestone.
The ground floor of the stands houses a slot machine parlour. Some of the income from the slot machines is used to supplement the horserace purses.
Woodbine has been a regular host for the Breeders Crown and will once again host the 2 and 3 year old events in 2009, but starting in 2010 all the Breeders Crown races will be held on the same night. The 2010 event will be at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. All the Breeders Crown races will be held at Woodbine in 2011.
Woodbine was also the host of the Can $1,500,000 North America Cup for 3-year old pacing colts and geldings from 1994–2006. That race along with the Elegant Image Stakes for 3-year old filly trotters and the Good Times Stakes for 3-year old colt and gelding trotters, have been moved to Woodbine's sister track, Mohawk Raceway.
The record for most wins by a jockey on a single raceday at Woodbine is seven, set by Richard Grubb on May 16, 1967, and twice equaled by Sandy Hawley, first on May 22, 1972 and then again on October 10, 1974.
Major Stakes races for Thoroughbreds run annually at Woodbine include the:
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