TORONTO, February 11, 2022 – Woodbine Entertainment today unveiled the stakes schedule for the 2022 Thoroughbred racing season at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.
The lucrative 2022 Thoroughbred stakes program offers more than $16.9 million in stakes events, including 37 graded stakes and two $1 million classics, The Queen’s Plate and Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile.
After delayed starts in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, Woodbine is eyeing its first full racing season since 2019, with 133 race dates schedule for the upcoming campaign.
“We are feeling very optimistic that 2022 will be a strong season for our entire team and racing community at Woodbine,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “We’re heading in the right direction for a return to normal and our racing team has done a great job lining up a stakes calendar that provides excitement all season.
“All horseplayers, fans and participants will immediately take note of several significant days on the calendar that will shine a tremendous light on our world class racing product at Woodbine.”
As announced in December, the 163rd running of The Queen’s Plate is slated for Sunday, August 21, joined on that date by the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes, presented by Japan Racing Association, and Grade 2 King Edward, for Canada’s biggest racing party of the year. The “Path to the Plate” includes the Woodstock (May 1), Queenston (June 12), Grade 3 Marine (July 2) and Plate Trial (July 24).
The Queen’s Plate kicks off the 2022 Canadian Triple Crown, which is completed by the $400,000 Prince of Wales on Tuesday, September 13 at Fort Erie Race Track and the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes on Sunday, October 2 at Woodbine.
The Canadian Triple Tiara for three-year-old fillies launches on Sunday, July 24 with the prestigious $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser. The series also consists of the $250,000 Bison City (August 14) and $250,000 Wonder Where (September 11).
The $1 million Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile is again part of Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series ‘Win and You’re In’. The marquee turf event of the season is joined by the Grade 1 Pattison Summer Stakes and Grade 1 Natalma Stakes for two-year-olds on Saturday, September 17. The two-year-old events remain part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and have received purse increases to $500,000 for 2022.
The Grade 1 E.P. Taylor has also received a purse increase, vaulting from $600,000 to $750,000 for the 2022 edition. The mile and a quarter Grade 1 for fillies and mares will be run on Saturday, October 8 along with the Grade 2 Nearctic and Grade 3 Durham Cup.
The E.P. Taylor is also the final leg of the returning Ladies of the Lawn Series. The three-race event consists of the Grade 2 Dance Smartly (July 24), Grade 2 Canadian Stakes, presented by Japan Racing Association, (August 21) and the E.P. Taylor.
Another highlight of the season is a group of five graded stakes to be run over Canada Day weekend. The Grade 3 Dominion Day holds its traditional slot on Friday, July 1, followed by the Grade 2 Highlander, Grade 2 Nassau, Grade 3 Selene and Grade 3 Marine on Saturday, July 2.
Due to insurmountable international travel challenges, the Grade 1 Canadian International will be put on hold for 2022. The Canadian International was also put on hold in 2020 due to travel challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, but was run in 2021.
Other notes from the 2022 stakes schedule include the return of the Ontario Sired Heritage Series and a pair of overnight stakes added to opening weekend.
The entire 2022 Thoroughbred Stakes schedule can be viewed here.
The 2022 Thoroughbred season at Woodbine Racetrack opens Saturday, April 16 and runs through Sunday, December 11. A total of 133 race dates are scheduled for 2022. For more information and news leading up to the new season, visit www.Woodbine.com.