(Edited press release)
All the fan favorites are returning, but the Woodbine Thoroughbred stakes schedule, released Feb. 13 by Woodbine Entertainment Group, will have a slightly different look in 2007. The 102-race day calendar is worth more than $22 million.
"Our big races are in the traditional spots on the calendar," said Steve Lym, Woodbine's racing secretary. "But we've bundled some of other key stakes events to create several big, exciting days this year."
The $700,000 Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Turf Stakes (Can-II) is set for July 22. It will be one of four added-money events including the $300,000 Dance Smartly, $125,000 Bold Venture, and $125,000 Ontario Matron on the card.
The Bison City Stakes, second gem in Canada's Triple Tiara, will now be contested at Woodbine after 27 years at Fort Erie. The $250,000 race will be coupled with the $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) July 1.
The Queen's Plate, Canada's most renowned horse race and North America's oldest continuously-run stakes event, will have its 148th running June 24. The 1 1/4-mile race, the first jewel in Canada's Triple Crown, carries a $1 million purse.
Once again, the most lucrative race on the Woodbine stakes calendar is the Pattison Canadian International (Can-I). The $2 million turf event as well as the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I) and $500,000 Nearctic Stakes (Can-II) are set for Oct. 21.
The $1 million Woodbine Mile presented by Bell (Can-I) is set for Sept. 16. The 2007 renewal marks the race's 11th running.
The Breeders' Stakes, the third race of Canada's Triple Crown, is set for Aug. 5 at Woodbine, and the 1 1/2-mile turf event carries a purse of $500,000. The middle leg of the three-race series, the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, will be run at Fort Erie July 15.
The $500,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks, first leg in the Canada's Triple Tiara, is scheduled for June 10, and the $200,000 Scotts Highlander Stakes returns as the complement feature on Queen's Plate day.
For further details on the schedule, please visit www.woodbineentertainment.com.