MILTON, March 7, 2023 – Woodbine Entertainment today released the full list of horses nominated to this season’s major stakes races at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Woodbine’s lucrative Standardbred stakes program again saw strong support from owners and trainers for the February 15 nomination deadline. From 18 major stakes requiring a nomination, half of the events saw numbers increase or remain the same.
The $850,000 Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers saw the biggest increase from 180 nominations last year to 213 for this year’s event. The filly counterpart, $540,000 Shes A Great Lady, also saw nominations rise from 164 to 175.
The $640,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotters remains popular with 188 nominations, down just nine per cent from 2022. The $400,000 Peaceful Way for two-year-old filly trotters saw nominations rise by 30 horses with 165 trotting fillies made eligible.
The winner of the William Wellwood Memorial receives a free slot in the prestigious Mohawk Million. Since the introduction of the Million in 2020, the Wellwood Memorial has averaged 198 nominations, up from an average of 168 nominations the four-years prior (2016-2019).
The Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot continue as the top Open events in North America.
The Pacing Derby received 46 nominations, including 2021 winner Allywag Hanover and 2022 runner-up Tattoo Artist. A total of 37 nominations came in for the Maple Leaf Trot, highlighted by the returning Alrajah One IT, who was scratched due to injury from last year’s race as the morning-line favourite. Superstar mares Bella Bellini and Joviality S are also among the eligible trotters.
Woodbine’s top three-year-old races saw three of four receive a bump in nominations.
As announced Monday, the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup saw nominations increase from 62 to 86, marking the highest number of nominations since 2010.
The $600,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-old trotters received 70 nominations (up 13 from 2022). Breeders Crown champion Gaines Hanover and Dan Patch Award winner Volume Eight are among the eligible horses.
On the filly side, the $450,000 Fan Hanover for pacers jumped from 51 to 64 for 2023. O’Brien and Dan Patch Award winner Sylvia Hanover is the star eligible. The $375,000 Elegantimage for trotters dropped from 67 to 57, with Breeders Crown champion Special Way and O’Brien Award winner Righteous Resolve both nominated.
To view all the eligible horses for Woodbine’s 2023 major Standardbred stakes, click here.
To view the 2023 Woodbine Standardbred stakes calendar, click here.
Woodbine reminds all owners and trainers that sustaining payments for all major stakes and several other events are due March 15. For more information, click here.