Leavem in Malibu scored a front-running victory in the Valedictory Stakes (G3) for Mark Casse, who finished second in the Woodbine trainer standings for the first time in over a decade as Norm McKnight took the lead with a five-win performance during the final program of the 2017 Thoroughbred season Dec. 10.
In the close race for the trainers title that went right down to the wire, McKnight ended up with a three-win lead over Casse (99-96). Casse, once again, topped all trainers for earnings with almost $5.4 million in purses and won a meet-leading 18 stakes, including his second consecutive Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes (G1T) Sept. 16 with Live Oak Plantation's World Approval. In third was Kevin Attard, who finished the meet just one win ahead of Martin Drexler and Sid Attard with 43 victories.
Eurico Da Silva, who had four photo ops Sunday, topped the jockey standings for the fifth time, winning a total of 203 races, including 34 stakes to come within two wins of Woodbine's single-season record for most stakes victories. Da Silva rode seven of his stakes winners in October alone, including the Pattison Canadian International Stakes (G1T) winner Bullards Alley, who upset at 42-1, scoring by a record margin of 10 3/4 lengths for trainer Tim Glyshaw and owners Wayne Spalding and Faron McCubbins.
Other highlights included teaming up with the Entourage Stable's Pink Lloyd, the winningest horse of the meet who earned a record eight straight stakes at Woodbine for trainer Robert Tiller, as well as Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman's Melmich for four earlier stakes wins for trainer Kevin Attard. In total, Da Silva's mounts earned more than $8.48 million in purses.
Luis Contreras was the second-leading jockey of the meet with 170 wins and Rafael Hernandez rounded out the top three with 154 victories. Contreras was aboard Stronach Stables' Holy Helena in the Queen's Plate Stakes July 2 after taking the Woodbine Oaks in June. The James Jerkens trainee was the leading money-winning horse of the meet courtesy of those two major wins.
Bruno Schickedanz led all owners in the win category for the third straight year with his horses finishing first in 69 races at Woodbine, including 65 while teaming up with McKnight as the meet's top owner-trainer combo. Chiefswood Stable ranked second with 24 wins, including seven stakes races, and amassed more than $1.69 million in purses to top the standings for earnings. Ryan S. Kerbel rounded out the top three for wins with 22. Stronach Stables' $1.65 million earnings were second-best.
Live Thoroughbred racing returns to Woodbine April 21, 2018.