TORONTO, March 22, 2019 – Woodbine Entertainment has released the official logo for this summer’s iconic Queen’s Plate Racing Festival, which runs from June 28-29 at Woodbine Racetrack.

For the first time, the logo incorporates the word “festival” recognizing the event’s growth in popularity as a full entertainment experience highlighted by the 160th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate on Saturday, June 29. This year’s logo is fully engulfed in gold representing the prestige of the race with elegance and fashionable flair.

The annual logo refresh commemorates each edition of the Queen’s Plate and is accompanied by a full creative campaign concept that is rolled out across several different media platforms and merchandise promoting the Canada Day long weekend event.

Led by Creative Director Ken McConnachie, Woodbine Entertainment’s talented Creative Services Department opted for a more symbolic approach to capture the spirit of the event, with a focus on racing and fashion for this year’s campaign.

“We wanted a more simplified approach this year, to tell the event story in a more concise, contemporary way,” said McConnachie, who has directed the artistic vision for the Queen’s Plate campaigns over the past eight years. “After much discussion and visual exploration, we landed on what we think is a very strong visual that symbolizes what the Queen’s Plate is all about.

“The campaign is based on a very arresting visual of a woman in a beautiful floral summer dress, looking very elegant and contemporary. She has a smile on her face as she gazes below towards a flowing, skirt-shaped cascade of chrysanthemums, which are used in the winner’s blanket of flowers. The flowers symbolize victory. Amongst the flowers, bursting into action is a horse and jockey, at the apex of energy and excitement. When you see the sum of all the parts, it tells the story of the Queen’s Plate event. The headline ‘Celebrate The Reign’ captures the spirit of the event with a clever nod to the royal tradition of the Queen’s Plate race.”

Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.ca for Canada’s premier horse racing festival, featuring the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, live music from JUNO Award winner The Washboard Union, delicious dining experiences and renowned attractions including the Hats & Horseshoes Party presented by Stella Artois, Garden Social and exclusive Premium Lexus Lounge.

Visit QueensPlate.com or follow @WoodbineTB for the latest updates on all things #QP19.

TORONTO, March 19, 2019 – Welcome to the 11th edition of the weekly Woodbine Snowbirds Report, now in its eighth year, chronicling the winter adventures of Woodbine-based trainers and jockeys currently plying their trade south of the border.

This week, we check in with trainer Mike Keogh, who has his 21-horse stable at Aiken Training Track in Aiken, South Carolina for the winter. Keogh said the weather in Aiken has been a bit cooler than in years past, but training is going well.

“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “The weather hasn’t been that brilliant. We haven’t missed that many days. All in all, it’s been pretty good.”

While Keogh doesn’t get his horses to the races during the winter, this past weekend gave him an opportunity to get some racing experience for a couple of his horses with the Aiken Trials. Held annually at the training track, the trials give the track the opportunity to fundraise to help maintain operations.

This year, Keogh recorded a couple of winners at the trials on March 16, as Silver Sheriff won the feature race of the day, the City of Aiken Trophy, and Roansmoke won the Coward Trophy. Gustav Schickedanz is the listed owner and breeder of both horses, and owns Silver Sheriff in partnership with Don Howard.

“It’s just trial races so there’s no pressure or anything,” Keogh said. “It’s fun for Gus to come out and watch them run because he lives not far away from here on his own farm. It supports the Aiken Training Track. A lot of people show up to watch it and that money goes towards the upkeep of the Aiken Training Track.”

Silver Sheriff winning his career debut last year at Woodbine. (Michael Burns Photo)

Keogh has three horses nominated to the Canadian classic races this summer, including Just Like Larry and Mr. Diffley for the Queen’s Plate, and Appella for the Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser. While Mr. Diffley is unraced and unlikely to make the Plate at this point, Keogh’s other candidate, Just Like Larry, had shown some ability last season despite not reaching the winner’s circle, finishing in-the-money in all four of his starts. Just Like Larry finished second in his second start on August 24, a seven-furlong sprint on the turf, where he finished ahead of current Kentucky Derby prospect War of Will. War of Will is the morning line favourite for this weekend’s Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.

“Last year he had a hell of a time with mucous,” Keogh said of Just Like Larry. “Every time you turned around, he was full of it. We kept treating him and getting it cleared up, and then he’d get it back again. Hopefully, he’s over that.”

Just Like Larry has resumed his training at Aiken, breezing four furlongs on dirt in 51.10 seconds on March 13. Keogh said he’s been pleased with Just Like Larry’s development over the winter.

“He’s not a very big horse, but he covers a lot of ground and he has a great stride on him,” he said. “We don’t know if he’ll get a mile and a sixteenth or two turns yet, but we’re hopeful.”

Appella also appears to be another promising three-year-old for Keogh and Schickedanz. After running second on turf against males in her debut in July last season, Appella then finished third to Sovereign Award finalist Tiz Breathtaking in the Shady Well Stakes on August 4. Following that start, she finished sixth in a maiden event at the end of August, but suffered an injury in that race and missed the rest of the season.

“She’s a nice little filly,” Keogh said. “She was second first time out on the grass against the boys. Then I ran her back in the Shady Well and she was third, so she’s stakes placed. Her third start was an Ontario-sired, but she came out of it with a condylar fracture in behind, so we had to put three screws in. She’s only had one little breeze so far, so we’re a little behind the eight ball with her.”

Keogh said he would remain at the Aiken Training Center for a couple more weeks before shipping the stable back to Woodbine during the first week of April. With the new Woodbine inner turf course set to open this season, Keogh said he had a couple of horses in his stable who he thought might fit that program nicely.

“We’re looking forward to the new turf course with (Will She),” he said. “I’ve got a couple of them I think will like it. Will She and City Boy, and maybe even Sweet Grass Creek. Now that you can run five furlongs, I think that will be up her alley.”

***

Three Woodbine trainers made trips to the winner’s circle last week, led by Norm McKnight, who recorded a pair of wins at Oaklawn Park on March 14 from Paxos and Redeal. McKnight saw five of his seven starters hit the board last week, including Golden Bullet (3rd, March 14), Honduras (2nd, March 15) and Adios Muchacho (2nd, March 17).

Michael McDonald sent out Major Kelly to a victory at Gulfstream Park on March 15. McDonald also saddled King Kingo to a fourth-place finish on March 16.

John Simms recorded a win with Josie’s Riddle at Tampa Bay Downs on March 13. Simms also sent out Stormy Leo to a ninth-place finish at Tampa Bay Downs on March 15.

***

Two Woodbine jockeys rode winners last week, including Luis Contreras, who recorded four wins at Sunland Park. Winners from Contreras included Livin On Prayer (March 12), Thirsty Kitty (March 12), Merlin’s Jewel (March 16), and Bully Ride (March 17). Contreras also recorded four runner-up finishes and one third-place finish from 15 starters last week.

Ademar Santos rode Josie’s Riddle to victory for Simms at Tampa Bay Downs on March 13. Josie’s Riddle was one of four winners for Santos last week, who also won with Faction Cat on March 16, Sassy Miss on March 16 and Malkia on March 17. In all, Santos recorded four wins from 16 starts last week, with one runner-up finish and two third-place finishes.

Chantal Sutherland recorded three in-the-money finishes from 17 starts at Fair Grounds last week. Sutherland recorded a runner-up finish with Kentucky Steal during the March 13 card, and recorded a pair of third-place finishes with Glance and Swifty Cat during the March 14 card.

Gary Boulanger recorded a runner-up finish with Hard Count at Tampa Bay Downs on March 13. Boulanger also rode G Friday to a seventh-place finish on March 17.

Rafael Hernandez had 10 mounts at Gulfstream Park last week, recording a pair of fourth-place finishes with Rate of Return (March 13) and Monaco Princess (March 15).

***

Here’s a look at how the other Woodbine trainers fared last week, in alphabetical order, starting with Sid Attard, who sent out Atypical to a ninth-place finish at Gulfstream Park on March 16.

Roger Attfield recorded a pair of starts at Tampa Bay Downs last week, sending out Saba to a 10th-place finish on March 13 and Secret Path to an eighth-place finish on March 16.

Mark Casse sent out eight starters between Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn Park last week, with three of those horses recording in-the-money finishes. That group was highlighted by Eclipse award winner Shamrock Rose, who finished third in the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 16. Other in-the-money finishes for the Casse stable last week included Sly Beauty and For Reef’s Sake, who both finished third at Gulfstream Park on March 14.

Steven Chircop recorded an in-the-money finish from three starters at Penn National last week, as Speightstown Time finished third on March 14. Chircop also sent out Meet You At Home (4th, March 15) and J M R Victory Lap (5th, March 15) last week.

Nick Gonzalez recorded a pair of runner-up finishes at Gulfstream Park last week, as Diddley and Littleroughjustice both finished second during the March 16 card.

Rachel Halden sent out a pair of starters at Gulfstream Park last week, including Western Trouble (5th, March 13) and Canary Song (8th, March 16).

John Mattine recorded four starts at Gulfstream Park last week, with a pair of those starters hitting the board. Mattine sent out Rock You to a runner-up finish on March 16, while Calais Cove finished third on March 13. Mattine also saddled Caspian Jewel (4th, March 14) and Vaughan (8th, March 15) last week.

Uncle Shaggy finished fifth at Laurel Park on March 16 for Justin Nixon.

Stuart Simon sent out Dragon Bay to an eighth-place finish at Gulfstream Park on March 14.

William Tharrenos recorded three starts at Gulfstream Park last week, sending out Farfalla (5th, March 14), Dexter Road (4th, March 14), and Bee Keeper (9th, March 14).

TORONTO, March 18, 2019 – The Washboard Union, who will headline the opening day of the Queen’s Plate Racing Festival this summer at Woodbine Racetrack, earned their first JUNO Award as Breakthrough Group of the Year this past weekend in London, Ont.

“Our hearts are literally exploding tonight as we won our first @thejunoawards for Breakthrough Group of the Year,” the group wrote in an Instagram post following the awards ceremony that celebrates the country’s biggest achievements in Canadian music. “We are blessed to have an army of passionate people behind us that make this life possible.”

Check out The Washboard Union’s exclusive performance of “Shot of Glory” live from KX96 New Country FM‘s kitchen last week when they announced their upcoming Queen’s Plate Racing Festival performance.

The Washboard Union will open this year’s Queen’s Plate Racing Festival at Woodbine Racetrack with a live performance on Friday, June 28. The 160th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate will be contested on Saturday, June 29.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the Queen’s Plate Racing Festival, visit QueensPlate.com.

TORONTO, March 15, 2019 – The Washboard Union appeared on KX96 New Country FM earlier this week to discuss their upcoming Queen’s Plate performance, their new single “She Gets Me” and their JUNO Award nomination with morning show host Jerry Archer.

The Washboard Union will open this year’s Queen’s Plate Racing Festival at Woodbine Racetrack with a live performance on Friday, June 28. The 160th running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate will be contested on Saturday, June 29.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the Queen’s Plate Racing Festival, visit QueensPlate.com.

TORONTO, March 13, 2019 – The JUNO Award-nominated country music group The Washboard Union will be among the featured musical acts to headline this year’s Queen’s Plate Racing Festival, which runs from June 28-29 at Woodbine Racetrack.

Fronted by step-brothers Aaron Grain & Chris Duncombe and their best friend David John Roberts, The Washboard Union will take the stage at 8 p.m. on the opening day of Canada’s premier racing festival this summer on Friday, June 28.

Already of winner of 24 country music awards, the Canadian band is nominated in the Breakthrough Group of the Year category at this Sunday’s JUNO Awards.

The Washboard Union’s most recent album, What We’re Made Of, has spawned the Country Radio hits “Shine,” “What We‘re Made Of” and “Feel Like That” as well as their current single “She Gets Me.” The Washboard Union have nearly 150,000 cumulative spins on radio and more than 11 million streams across Spotify and Apple Music.

One of the busiest bands touring in Canada, The Washboard Union will be hitting the road with Nashville stars Old Dominion for a second time this May and have also shared the stage with country music legends Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Dwight Yoakam, Jason Aldean and Lonestar.

Fans of horse racing, the Vancouver natives are excited to bring their bluegrass country hits back to Woodbine, the site where they filmed the music video for their first Gold certified record “Shot of Glory” three years ago.

Rising star Jade Eagleson will open for The Washboard Union at the Queen’s Plate Racing Festival, starting at 6:30 p.m. on the Hats & Horseshoes stage. Born and raised in rural Southern Ontario, Eagleson’s classic country voice won him the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase in 2017. He was immediately signed to Universal Music Canada and recently released his debut self-titled EP, Jade Eagleson. His first single, “Got Your Name On It” hit #6 on the Canadian Country Radio charts and the video for his first single broke records and currently sits at 9 million + views on Youtube. His latest single, “Count The Ways,” is now on Country Radio.

The Queen’s Plate Racing Festival features world-class horse racing, live entertainment, incredible culinary experiences and renowned attractions including the Hats & Horseshoes Party presented by Stella Artois, Garden Social and exclusive Premium Lexus Lounge. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.ca.

Visit QueensPlate.com and follow @WoodbineTB on Twitter for the latest updates on #QP19.

TORONTO, March 8, 2019 – Avie’s Flatter leads a list of 84 three-year-old Thoroughbreds nominated to the Canadian Triple Crown, which opens with the $1 million Queen’s Plate on Saturday, June 29 at Woodbine Racetrack.

Avie’s Flatter has been assessed as the early 3-1 favourite in this year’s edition of the Queen’s Plate Winterbook. Compiled by Ron Gierkink and Alex Campbell of the Daily Racing Form, the hypothetical Winterbook offers an early look at the 84 three-year-olds, including 11 fillies, that are nominated to the 2019 Canadian Triple Crown.

In addition, a total of 59 fillies have been nominated to the 64th running of the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks Presented by Budweiser, the first leg of the Triple Tiara, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 8.

Owned and bred by Ivan Dalos’ Tall Oaks Farm, Avie’s Flatter went three-for-four and earned more than $250,000 during a juvenile campaign that included back-to-back victories in the Cup and Saucer Stakes over 1-1/16 miles of turf and the Coronation Futurity over 1-1/8 miles on the Tapeta. After breaking his maiden in his August 12 debut, the Josie Carroll trainee took on Grade 1 foes finishing a credible fourth despite a troubled start in the Summer Stakes.

Avie’s Flatter is a 2018 Sovereign Award finalist in the Champion Two-Year-Old Male category. The Flatter colt is out of the Sovereign Award-nominated broodmare Avie’s Empire and he is a half-brother to last year’s Wonder Where Stakes winner Avie’s Mineshaft.

“He’s doing very well. He had a little bit of break after his last race and has been training in Florida,” reported trainer Josie Carroll.  “We had anticipated running next weekend in the Tampa Bay Derby, but he wasn’t quite ready for that, so we’ll possibly get a race in south before he comes home.”

With multiple highlights from his debut season, Carroll was most impressed by the colt’s versatility winning on both the turf and the synthetic surfaces.

“I think he’s a pretty special horse,” said Carroll, who has trained 795 winners in her career including past Queen’s Plate champions Edenwold (2006) and Inglorious (2011).

“I think Mr. Dalos has been a very patient man with his horses and I think that’s key to developing a horse and getting the best chance to win a race like this.”

Avie’s Flatter winning the 2018 Coronation Futurity at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

Following Avie’s Flatter among the top three picks are Coronation Futurity runner-up Federal Law (4-1) and the undefeated Skywire (6-1), both trained by Mark Casse. The filly Desert Ride (8-1) and Awesome Wok N Roll (10-1) round out the top five selections with Chiefswood Stable’s homebred filly Bold Script, winner of the Princess Elizabeth Stakes for trainer Stuart Simon, assessed as the 12-1 sixth choice.

Last year, Gary Barber’s super filly Wonder Gadot, runner-up in the Woodbine Oaks, beat the boys in the $1 million Queen’s Plate as the Winterbook third choice and popular pick at post time for Casse before going on to win the Prince of Wales Stakes. Her stablemate Telekinesis, the early season favourite, finished fifth in the Queen’s Plate.

The first jewel of the Triple Crown is the highlight of the two-day Queen’s Plate Racing Festival, which runs from Friday, June 28 to Saturday, June 29. The fashion-forward festival will feature world-class horse racing, live entertainment and delicious dining experiences. For the latest Queen’s Plate news and event details, visit QueensPlate.com.  Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.ca for Canada’s premier horse racing festival.

Here is a look at the complete Queen’s Plate Winterbook odds:

Top 10

1. Avie’s Flatter (3-1)

2. Federal Law (4-1)

3. Skywire (6-1)

4. Desert Ride (8-1)

5. Awesome Wok N Roll (10-1)

6. Bold Script (12-1)

7. Come On Gerry (14-1)

8. My Silencer (16-1)

9. Intanga Rose (18-1)

10. Tone Broke (20-1)

25-1

Dun Drum

Green Fleet

He’s a Macho Man

Jammin Still

Just Like Larry

Lady Azalea

Mayan Ghost

Mind the Gap

Moon Swings

Souciologist

Spider Dance

Tiz Breathtaking

30-1

Bala Falls

Bobby Bittman

Camp Nardo

Charge Ahead

Corduroy Road

Dynamic Force

Encierro

Field Patrol

Flame Zapper

Flashymeister

Frankie Barrone

Hesathriller

Krachenwagen

Last Sunrise

Lucas n’ Lori

Ojiisan

Pay for Peace

Preferred Guest

Seguimi

Skynyrd

Souper Success

Tricky Magician

Victor’s Dynasty

Yzerman

40-1

A Song for Artie

Big Classic

Brutus

Capture the Music

First Crusader

Flawless Bourbon

Garrison’s Charge

Guestimation

Hurricane Dancer

Into Temptation

Jacob’s Brew

Keen Samurai

Leave It to Kitten

Lion’s Goldenheart

Lionessa

Madsam

Muskoka Son

Northern Haze

Scattered Strikes

Schimmel

Temper’s Tale

The Newfie Express

50-1

Ari Gold Speedwagn

Box N Score

Canola World

Honor the Causeway

Lothbrook

Mildmay’s Secret

Mr Leo

Mr. Diffley

North Battleford

Ruggero

Sailin Street

Seal Team Two

Thunderbull

Tiltingatwindmills

Unilateral

Warrior’s Heart