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Monday Morning Quarter Pole @WoodbineTB: Trainer Layne Giliforte

February 26, 2024

TORONTO, February 26, 2024 – In this week’s edition of MMQP, graded stakes-winning trainer Layne Giliforte talks about his excellent 2023 campaign and expectations for the upcoming 2024 Woodbine season.


Starting Gate

* 913 career wins

* 6 career stakes wins   

* Top horses include Touch’n Ride, Juliet’s Kiss, Sonofawac, Divine Luck, Indy Champagne, Big Virg, Swabby, Surfs Edge, War Court

* Recorded 9 wins and 27 top-three finishes from 40 starts in 2023

* $700,033 in purse earnings was most since 2005

* Won the Grade 3 Ontario Derby and the Breeders’ Stakes with Touch’n Ride


Opening Quarter

“I haven’t looked back on 2023 yet, to be honest. You just move forward. In this business, you just get busy and keep going. There just isn’t time to reminisce.”


“I felt good about the year that we could have. So much happens with each horse, from week to week and month to month, that we have to temper expectations. I think everyone starts a new year with positivity and hope, but things can happen so quickly and change all of that.”

August 24, 2023.Woodbine Racetrack. War Court romps to victory. Woodbine/ Michael Burns Photo


Half Mile

“The highlight was obviously the Breeders’ Stakes win with Touch’n Ride. I never saw winning a race like that as a possibility, but that it came around as fast as it did – to feel that moment was amazing. Seeing him fighting down the stretch and putting his head in front at the wire was definitely the moment of the year for me.”


“This horse showed nothing early on. As a 2-year-old, he was immature. We needed some extra time with him to work out a few issues. We needed to bring him slowly along as a 2-year-old. He was put away in training and wasn’t brought back until January or February last year.”


“He still didn’t show anything. He was a bit obnoxious, he had no personality, and he was a bit cocky. We brought him to the track, and he started training. With each breeze, he showed tremendous improvement from week to week. Then things started happening with him. I believe it was around April when he had a half-mile breeze where we thought, ‘Wow… where did this come from?’ As he got closer to his first race, we started to like what we were seeing. If you had asked me last January about him, I would have said he would be lucky to break his maiden. And then something just clicked.”


October 1, 2023.Woodbine Racetrack. Jockey Kazushi Kimura guides Touch ‘n Ride to victory in the $400,000 dollar Breeders Stakes. Woodbine/ Michael Burns Photo

Stretch Drive


“If someone asked me what a successful year was for our barn, I would say it would have to be complete, that we didn’t just win with one horse. You have to go into each year with what you feel you should accomplish. I have always believed – and it may not be true for everybody – that one measure of success is to win a race per stall. I had nine stalls last year and felt like I should win nine or 10 races.”


“You always strive to maintain a certain percentage – so much of today’s racing is statistical – and that is a big barometer to go by.”


Finish Line


“I want to have another respectable year. A lot of horses that I have coming back have gone through their conditions, so they will be facing tougher company. I have young, unraced horses too, so the hope is to get them to break their maidens and win a few races with them. I have 14 stalls this year, so I would like to win in the ballpark of 14 or 15 races. I would like them all to have a safe and productive year. That’s what I would define as a successful season.”


October 1, 2023. Woodbine Racetrack. Breeders’ Stakes. Woodbine/ Michael Burns Photo

Winner’s Circle


Links to stories with Layne Giliforte:


Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms

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